I am a big animal lover.  Have been all of my life.  My family has always had pets in the house. They enrich our lives, help with our health, protect us, and give us companionship.

Since I began my career in radio, I have traveled across this country, with stops in Indiana, Montana, Illinois and Missouri.  I almost ended up in Wyoming.  Since I lived alone, and wasn't necessarily home enough, having a dog wasn't ideal and a lot of places would not allow dogs.  I have always had a connection to cats, so getting one was an easy choice.

Apollo is the tabby that has been with me for over 11 years now.  He has traveled with me through 7 homes, 8 if you count the first one he was in.  He is a re-home, and has been a great companion.  Well traveled for sure.

I recently saw a video that every cat owner should keep in mind.  Cats are more independent than dogs.  But we still need to show them love.  Here are 12 ways we can do just that, and if we can do these, you should have a happy and healthy cat for years to come.  And for the record, ADOPT, don't shop for a pet.  Check out your local shelter as so many are looking for forever homes.  Remember it is a lifetime commitment.

1.  Play games with them.  Find what game seems to stimulate your cat and try to do a little bit on a daily basis.  One that you will be able to do for their entire life.  When they get tired of it, they will let you know.

2.  Allow you cat to sleep with you if you can.  If they like this, that is a sign that they see you as a protector and they trust you with their lives.

3.  Cats can be trained.  So see if you can teach them new commands, and reward them with treats if they do well.  This may require some patience but it will be worth it.

4. On occasion, turn on the faucet and see if you cat wants to drink from it. Or get a water dish with a fountain.  They usually see this as a sign of best water, and the more they drink is usually better.

5.  Slow blinking.  When cats feel relaxed and at peace, the slow blink they do is their way of showing their gratitude.  Do it back to them so you can tell them you feel the same way.

6.  Head to tail rubs.  Cats release pheromones in their cheeks, and will often rub their faces against your legs or face to show affection and to show you that they consider you their human.  Return the favor.

7.  Hold your cats paw once in a while.  They recognize this as a sign of affection. Just be gentle.

8.  Cats show trust and respect when you get a head butt from them.  You can do the same.  They will appreciate it.

9.  The cat equivalent of a hug is a lean-in gesture.  Let them lean in first, and respond in kind.

10.  Call you cat by their name.  Trust me, they recognize it, and make them feel important.

11.  Try to mimic your cats meow, or sing to them.  It usually calm your pet down because you are trying to speak to them in their native tongue.

12.  Let Them Be.   Cats do value their independence, and sometimes, just want to be left alone.  Allow them to dictate when they want attention.

Click HERE to check out the cute video.

Hope these helpful tips will give you a greater bond with your feline companion.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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