Dogs have long held the title as man’s best friend and are often thought of as the friendlier, more affectionate, perhaps even smarter, of the two companion animals.

Cats tend to be more aloof,  and their independent natures are often mistaken for coldness and disinterest in having a relationship with humans.

However, felines can become very bonded to people and can be extremely affectionate. Like people and dogs, cats have very distinct temperaments and personalities.

Some cats will want to be in your lap and will purr to let their humans know they crave attention, while others are happy just to be in the room near people, but not to cuddle.

Here are some bonding tips for making friends with a feline:

1. Kittens learn key social skills between 2 to 9 weeks of age, so the early weeks are the perfect time to bond and to introduce the kitten to other family members, cats and dogs.

2. If adopting an adult cat, let him explore at his own pace. Restrict him to one room until he is comfortable. While some cats may walk into a home and feel at ease from day one, others may be nervous, even terrified, and hide for a few days or even weeks. The time period for settling in is different for each pet. Felines need space and time to feel comfortable and acclimate to a new environment.

3. Do not expect a cat to bond equally with every person in the home. Some cats pick their person and get more attached one family member over the others.

4. Don't leave food out 24/7. By being the food source for the cat, it will help with bonding and earning trust.

Fun Feline Facts

1. Cats live about 14 to 16 years, so plan on a long-term commitment.

2. Meowing is not their method of communication. Rather, purring, hissing and shrieking are how cats get their messages across. Cats also communicate through body language and mark things with their scent. Marking happens by rubbing up against them with their tail or face or by spraying them.

3. Felines in their prime usually can jump about 5 feet off the ground. As they get older and arthritis sets in, 75 percent of cats no longer jump at all. Medicine, supplements and losing weight can help ease arthritis pain.

4. All kittens are born with blue eyes, and their eyelids stay closed until they are 10 to 14 days old. They usually get their true eye color by eight weeks.

Cats are just as cool as dogs, they just need a little more time to feel out a new situation and make sure you’re a keeper!

Humane Society

The Humane Society of Louisiana accepts donations of used vehicles, boats and SUVs. Proceeds from their sale will support the group's statewide humane initiatives and the operation of its two no-kill sanctuaries.

The group is currently caring for 30 formerly abused and neglected horses and an assortment of donkeys, goats, cats and dogs. For more information, call (901) 268-4432.

Several local businesses raised funds to support the Humane Society of Louisiana over the holiday season.

Dots Diner, with six locations in the greater metropolitan area, raised more than $2,000 through raffle sales of giant stuffed polar bears, courtesy of Coca Cola.

Mandeville Animal Hospital raised $400 through the sale of its holiday ornaments and by collecting spare change from its clients, and the Egyptian Door, a community center located on Dumaine Street in New Orleans, raised several hundred dollars through its raffle sales of artwork.

The Humane Society of Louisiana investigates thousands of animal abuse complaints annually and cares for companion animals and formerly abused farm animals on its sanctuary in Mount Hermon, in Washington Parish. For more information, visit www.humanela.org or call 1-888-6-Humane.

Events

FRIDAY: From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., visit with Louisiana SPCA adoptable dogs as they help celebrate the grand opening of The Boot’s new pet-friendly patio at 1039 Broadway in New Orleans. Adoption counselors and volunteers will be on hand to help you select the perfect pooch. For more information about adoption visit www.la-spca.org/adopt.

SATURDAY: From noon to 4 p.m., Animal Rescue New Orleans holds an adoption event at the Microsoft Store in Lakeside Mall in Metairie. Meet ARNO adoptable dogs. For more info: adopt@animalrescueneworleans.org.

LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact info to lostandfound@la-spca.org. In Jefferson Parish, send to molsen@jeffparish.net and bbourgeois@jeffparish.net. In St. Bernard Parish send to cluna@sbpg.net.

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animalrescuecolumn@gmail.com or visit www.animalrescueneworleans.org.