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Cat does not like being picked up

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi,
This is my first official question for the group. It is in regards to my 2 year old British shorthair, Duncan. Ever since I first got him, he has never been a cat that enjoys being picked up. In fact, the first time he sat in my lap was just this past week. I couldn't believe it. I was just mesmerized that he actually sat in my lap for a whole 15 mins! He is so different from other cats that I have owned. I have had 2 Siamese (neutered males), an American Shorthair (neutered male) and two other cats of unknown origin..lol. The Siamese were very affectionate, always kneading my neck, sticking their little faces in my hair, etc. The American Shorthair was more sedate, a little like my Duncan...not wanting to be handled as much. My Hattie, a tuxedo cat, likes to be nuzzled and cuddled if all is quiet around. She loves it.

I don't want to present Duncan in a poor light, however. To the contrary! He is the most unique cat ever. He is almost dog-like. He chases me all over the house. Rubs up against me...loves to be rough-housed and scratched all over. Jumps up on the cupboard to see everything that I am doing. He just won't be a lap cat!!! I have heard that this is typical of the breed. He is so sweet and fuzzy...I just want to cuddle and hold him, but, he will not have any part of it. He will sit next to me, just not on me!!! Any way I can get this to change? Or is this just the way he is? My American Shorthair that I had (years ago) never really was a lap cat either. It never changed. Duncan will not tolerate being picked up too much either.

Duncan is however totally in love with my 11 year old daughter, Alida. She rough-houses him, picks him up, man-handles him and he loves it!!! Alida can do just about anything with Duncan that she wants to. Maybe this is because Alida is Duncan's favorite? He is wonderful with the kids and the dogs. Big, brave, courageous and just a total blast. He is playful as any cat I have ever seen.

I guess my only complaint? is that he isn't a lap cat and all I want to do is cuddle!!! lol! He might just be a lap cat for my daughter and that is that.

Any ideas from my fellow cat-lovers?
Cindy W.
post #2 of 20
One of my cats also doesn't like to be picked up much. But one trick we play with her is to take her round the house showing her things from my arms - things that she can't normally get at (pictures on the walls etc). Even the most skittish cats seem to enjoy being "shown" things.
post #3 of 20
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about a cat that does not want to get picked up, except accept the love he gives you on his terms. Let him come to your lap, and enjoy the times he does. Have treats in your pockets and when he comes and sits on your lap, after a few seconds, feed him a treat. Pet him gently and not continuously and don't rub his belly. Most cats dislike their bellies being rubbed and it is the quickest way to get bit. If Duncan is on your lap, make sure the room is quiet. The television or radio is turned down low and just enjoy the time with him. Don't make him into something he isn't. Just enjoy him for what he is, even if he isn't the type of cat that likes to be picked up.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
I will try some of the little tips/tricks you all have suggested and see if I can entice Duncan into a little more lap time. The one time he did sit on my lap, it was of his own volition, with no encouragement on my part. He certainly has a mind of his own!

My question is...
Are there certain breeds that are like this? Which breeds are noted to be cuddle-bugs and which ones are noted not to be?

Duncan is far from being aloof. He has to be next to his people all the time, following, chasing, being next to them. Again, just doesn't like to be ON them...lol. That's ok...I wouldn't trade him for the world. He is my pride and joy! Brits are awesome.

Thanks again for advice. Cindy W.
post #5 of 20
cats show affection in their own way. Some of those ways include:

1. Rubbing up and down your leg with thier head

2. Licking you

3. Wrapping his tail around your leg when you are standing still

4. Curling up on your lap

5. Placing his paw against you to reassure himself you are near.

6. Kneading you with his claws

7. Drooling when you pet him

8. Bringing you a present such as a dead bug

9. When he sees you his tail goes straight up, instead of staying tucked.

10. Rolling over and exposing his belly to you.

11. Licking your eyelids

12. Looking at you through half-closed eyes

13. Chirping at you

14. Arching his back when you touch him


Some breeds are more distant than others. I had always heard that Siamese were aloof and distant, but I have three feral Siamese Mixes that are the sweetest kitties in the world. I don't think you can really label a cat into a neat, cute category that fits you. I believe that you accept your cat for all he is, and learn to talk to him in a way that is non-threatening to him, by that I mean your actions with him shouldn't put him ill at ease.

If Duncan does not like to picked up, then simply don't pick him up. I have 4 cats that if I try to pick them up when they don't want me to, I am going to get scratched or bit. Does that mean they don't love me? Nope, it means they are prey animals and picking them up makes them feel very vulnerable and susceptible to attack. So I leave them alone and show them by interactive playtime, and feeding them good food and talking to them that I love em.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
I certainly did not mean to imply that I was trying to label my cat into a cute, neat category or that I would intentionally put my cat ill at ease. If that is what my post sounded like, that was not what I meant at all.

I love Duncan very much and would never do anything that I know he wouldn't like. That is why I was asking for some hints to see if I could encourage him to be a little more cuddly.

The list of ways a cat shows affection was very helpful, thanks for those

Cindy W.
post #7 of 20
Cindy- I didn't mean "you" as in pointing a finger at you- I meant it figuratively- sorry for the confusion.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
No problem Just didn't want anyone to get the impression that I was trying to change Duncan into something he isn't. I love that pretty boy to pieces...I just would love to love him up a bit more, like I do with my other cat, Hattie. He won't hear of it though...lol. Oh well...I'm still going to try the treat thing, though! You never know, the one time he did sit on my lap, he did all on his own...maybe he will try it again...I think he did like it (I know I did).

I've been reading a lot of posts here. What a great site. So organized and well done I'll be visiting here often. From what I can see, I will be sure to learn a lot more about my cats!
Cindy W.
post #9 of 20
MY cat does not like to be picked up to.
post #10 of 20
I love it when Peedoodle licks my eyelids, now I know why. He does it all the time. Hissy that is a good list to have, now I know when Peedoodle is being affectionate
post #11 of 20
I enjoyed the list also. Thanks.
Denise
post #12 of 20
My little girl Ophelia sounds like Duncan. She hates being picked up, does not do much lap time. Daddy can pick her up, but she freaks out if I do. She loves us on her terms, and I have just come to accept that. As much as I WANT to cuddle her like I do Trent, give her endless pets and hold her close, she will have nothing of it. *sigh* She gives us lots of affection in her own, precious Ophelia way.
post #13 of 20
Hi Cindy,

I also had a British Blue years ago who did't like to be a lap cat. He'd let me pick him up, but only for a short time then would want to get down. I read an article not long ago about the BSH and it said one of the reasons it's not a lap cat is that they are so large and get hot very easily so laying in a warm lap is a bit uncomfortable for them. The article also said that because of their size they usually don't jump on top of things either.

Good luck---it sounds like Duncan is a keeper! Great breed of cat!

"Mupcat"
post #14 of 20
I like to tell people that there's really no guarantee on the personality of a cat. They are all pretty individual like people.
I can say this though...only because I am in the Cat Fancy and have exeperience with several breeds and breeders. There are certain breeds or breeders who's cats generally display certain behaviors or traits on a regular basis. It can depend on the breed in the respect that some are known to be attached to one particular owner, some are VERY active 90% of the time, but love attention when relaxing, or some that would die without the human bond. It can also depend on the breeder of the cat. If the breeder takes the time, the cats can be very in your face and loving. If they are left alone most of the time, even the most predictable cat can be aloof.
post #15 of 20
Hi Cindy,

One of my 2, Joey, sounds a lot like Duncan. He HATES to be picked up and is not a lap cat at all. Yet, he has little fear of anything new and must follow anyone new around the house, including repairmen and the like. Only very recently (after 3 years) does he sit on my lap at all, and I have to be sitting with my legs stretched out (like on the sofa). Then he will come up and sit, but always facing the other way! I love him to pieces anyway.
post #16 of 20
Our little Bo gets very nervous when you hold him any way EXCEPT when you hold him facing OUT and walk around the house holding him up to things he normally cannot see. Today he got really jazzed about a nail hole, he scratched at it, smelled it, and licked it, he also loves to see the Betta fish we have on the wine rack, or watching the cars race by outside. The only time he ever snugs is in the morning before 10 and after 10 at night when we are going to bed. Otherwise, forget it, sat on my lap a few times since we got him, he's 17 weeks old now. Try our trick. Of course Bo is only about 5 pounds, I can't imagine how this will work when he's full grown. -Jess
post #17 of 20
My Ivo also hates to be picked up. Rarely will she let me do it, and only after I've been giving her loving and she is really relaxed. Even then, I can only hold her for a minute or two. She's also not a lap cat, and doesn't sleep with me. But she shows me in lots of little ways that she does love me. Now, our cuddling consists of her sitting at my feet (when I'm on the couch) and letting me massage her. She'll purr, drool, stretch and flop over. Recently, she's taken to sitting on the couch next to me, occasionally touching me with her paw. I still have hope that she'll become a cuddler, but I realize that she may never get there. That's OK with me, however.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi,
I'm glad that I asked my question about Duncan not liking to be picked up. I didn't realize that there were so many cats like Duncan. I was raised with two extremely affectioniate Siamese cats all my childhood years. Those two cats kneaded in my hair, were licking my eyes, had their face in mine all the time. They weren't content unless they were on me, on my lap etc. I always thought most cats would be more like them than Duncan. Again...I'm glad I asked. It is interesting to me to hear about other cats personalities and behavior quirks! I was also wondering if I had maybe done something wrong with Duncan when I was raising him. I am feeling more confidant now knowing that a large part of it for him is probably just his unique personality and not anything I did. Cindy W
post #19 of 20
Cindy, I don't think you did anything wrong when raising Duncan. I have 2 persians, one of which is the sweetest little purrbug in town. BUT she won't stand for being cuddled or picked up too much. She never scratches, hisses or bites, but she just pushes herself away.

The other persian, my baby boy is not a lap cat either. However, he like to be close by, he'll roll around and let me rub his tummy. He used to sleep on my head and knead my hair, but now he's content to just staying very close by. We have a strong bond, and although he's not a lap-sitter, he is my special little boy.

My ex-stray (who I think is either part or whole BSH) is a huge black tough-guy bruiser. This little hardnut will spend all day and every day either sitting on my lap or lying on me when I'm in bed.

The upshot is, that each cat is different. I think the cuddle or no-cuddle factor is genetically imprinted, and in my personal experience, you can't train them to do something they'd rather not.

But there's no harm in trying. Let us know how you get on!!
post #20 of 20
Hi This is my first post. My name is Anita. I have a cat 3 yrs old and a kitten of 4 months. I only got the 3 yr old one in october. She is a very scared cat and still is. I have tried a lot of things to get her over her agression. One succesful thing I tried was to get her to associate being picked up as a positive thing by picking her up and bringing her to the kitchen and giving her the wet food she loves (she won't touch any treats). I repeated this many times, and now she does not run when I pick her up or go near her. In fact she know she is suppose to get food after being picked up, so she runs to the kitchen once I put her down and if I don't follow her she will come and get me. It's pretty funny! But now I can pick her up withouth her growling and hissing at me, no fussing either. I also pet her and talk to her while I hold her to the kitchen! Try this with your cat, and I bet soon he won't mind being picked up or (on your lap if you give the treat after you pick him up and put him on your lap. I have yet to see my cat on my lap, since she won't eat treats! Sounds like your cat is great, but I thought posting this may help get you the hugging you desire, since I too have the same desire!
I am praying for the day when my cat turns around and jumps on my lap! If anyone else has any other ideas on how to get a cat tobe more affectionate please let me know!
LL
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