Although it may be easier to form an instant bond with a sprightly kitten, it is in no way impossible to do the same with an older cat. Adult cats need love too—it just may take more time and good old-fashioned TLC to solidify the connection.
Avoid thinking in terms of a set "time frame" when it comes to bonding with an adult cat. After all, each cat is different. Establishing a strong bond is a time-consuming process, although one with a rewarding goal. If the cat has a history of neglect or abuse, it will likely take even longer. Patience is of the essence in this situation, as it can take months or more.
"Trust" is the magic word when it comes to bonding with an adult cat. Once you have trust, the bond will come in no time. The importance lies in ensuring that your cat sees you as a source of comfort. You can give her a sense of security by speaking to her in a soft and relaxed voice, gently stroking and rubbing her head and back and engaging in regular playtime with her.
When it comes to bonding with your cat, it is crucial that you allow her to take control. Allow the progress to occur as she sees fit—no pressure. Avoid forceful behaviors. If she doesn't feel like playing or being petted at any time, give her some space.
Not only is it helpful for your cat to bond with you, but it is great when she gets along with—or at least tolerates—other people too. The more the merrier. Whether it is your immediate family, your best friend or the neighbor down the way, allowing your cat to be around other people can go a long way in encouraging her to be a happy, friendly, loving and well-adjusted feline, and what could possibly be better than that?