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Can my cat learn to like cuddles more?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My tabby enjoys being patted while she sits or stands on her own feet but struggles if we pick her up to cuddle or pat her. I'm resigned that she's just not a cuddly cat, but wonder if there are any ways we could help her be more relaxed in our arms. Occasionally, she'll sit on a lap while we're watching TV, but we can't put her there-gets off straight away.

Grateful for your insights.

Jenny
www.great-pictures-of-cats.com
post #2 of 18
How long have you had her? How old is she?

You can try treats - bribing her in to getting on your lap or sitting close. But cats, just like people, have their own personalities. We pretty much just have to accept them as they are.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'll give that a try - particularly when the other cat isn't around - he doesn't need bribes to sit on my lap!

Jenny
www.great-pictures-of-cats.com
post #4 of 18
I bought treats for my cat and he doesn't even want to eat them.
post #5 of 18
i got chloe dec 5th and it was valentines day before she would even come near me so i think it just depends on the kitty. it took her almost 3 yrs before she would let anyone but me hold her. she still hides when ppl come over, etc. i discovered if you ignore them they want you more...kinda like boys only cuter and more fun
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by yiplong View Post
I bought treats for my cat and he doesn't even want to eat them.
sometimes it takes some trials. Pixel only likes Kitty Kaviar of the commercial 'cat treats' - her fave treat is chicken or turkey when i'm eating it...
Java is a big fan of Wildside Salmon... & people salmon, too!
Chip likes everything, as does Firefox, but Cable is a big fan of cheese flavored treats.
everybody except Pixel likes meat baby food.
post #7 of 18
I have found fewer cats who will flop down where you set them into complete relax mode, then those who are waiting till you let them go so they can run off...... Maia cracks me up when I am holding her or giving her some extra love (really for me)! She will curl up, give a low grumble, or become catatonic till I completely release her, then run off about 2 feet away from me, start cleaning all areas I may have ruffled while giving her some love, and eventually curl up next to me on the bed!
post #8 of 18
One thing when picking up your cat is to make sure you support her feet. Cats really don't like having their feet "dangle."

Cats are very variable in their desire for cuddling. Why? Who knows? Some experts think it has to do with how much they're handled during the time right around when their eyes are opening. Maybe.

I have seen feral, outdoor cats go from being terrified of people to be the cuddliest cats in the world, so that theory seems to be a little suspect.

However, one sure way to make your cat NOT like cuddling is to pick it up and force it to cuddle.

And some of this comes with age, I think. Age of the cat, not age of the owner!
post #9 of 18
Ling is the same way - she does not like restraint. She will come and sit on your lap, but don't try to cuddle her tight cause she will complain like crazy. She is weird as she seeks attention (she's a talker at times) and when you pick her up to hold her, she complains to get down.

We just deal with her on her terms - no sense in forcing her to cuddle if she doesn't like it.

Charlie loves cuddling but not for too long. Boys tend to be more "babies" and like cuddling then the girls do.


Handling is important when young; but I don't put a lot of truth in it either. My rex kittens (and Ling's bro/sis) were all handled from day one - and yet not all wanted to be cuddlers. Ling used to be first out of the box demanding to be picked up; which she was. But now she doesn't want that.
post #10 of 18
We force the boys to cuddle. But we started with them when they were little and they usually get a treat for their trouble. Sho will sigh and grunt, but won't struggle to get away. Tomas will stretch out and lay on me, usually tucking his head under my chin. They both get us back whenever we're trying to use a computer or sleep, we'll get cats walking over and laying on us.

Sho is always called the sweetest kitty ever when he's at the vet, he's that tolerant.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennyjac View Post
My tabby enjoys being patted while she sits or stands on her own feet but struggles if we pick her up to cuddle or pat her. I'm resigned that she's just not a cuddly cat, but wonder if there are any ways we could help her be more relaxed in our arms. Occasionally, she'll sit on a lap while we're watching TV, but we can't put her there-gets off straight away.
www.great-pictures-of-cats.com

Ramsay is exactly the same. We got him when he was 11 weeks old. He's 2 now and believe me we've tried in the last 2 years. He's still the same. We've resigned ourselves to working around his "rules". He'll sit on the couch with us, but usually at the other end. He'll sleep in the bed, but only on the bottom edge and only if he can lay right on the sheet. We can pet him and love him up but we can't pick him up. Once in a while he'll sit next to one of us, and we can pet him then, but if the odd chance that he sits on one of our laps we pretty much can't move at all or he's done. Either way I get really excited when he lay by me. Most of the time he sits by our feet on the floor, though. He does like to play with toys and, being a Siamese x, he likes to chat with us. We love him anyway, despite his weirdness. I wouldn't even call him antisocial, because he's not at all. He likes attention, and he likes to be near by to us, just not on us or to be held. I think he likes to be in control of the situation or something. Our other kitty is the polar opposite, he's attached to us on a permanent basis.
post #12 of 18
Pearl was 7 years old before she decided cuddles and other cats were good things. It just depends on the cat. She likes to be held firmly with her little feet supported. She tucks her head under my chin like she has been doing it all her life. She is still a little funny with the other cats, but seems to be attempting to bond with Scooter and Pepper. Her Highness Fluffy could care less, but the others are thrilled to play with her, rub noses, and touch paws. I even saw a little cuddle with Scooter. I was thrilled.
Just be patient, speak softly to her, and ignore her otherwise. She will most likely come around. Good luck with her, and please keep us posted on her progress.
post #13 of 18
Cats have different personalities and some are more "cuddly" than others, just like people. I've learned that with cats, you just have to go by their rules in some things. One of mine is only now, at age 10, becoming more interested in being petted; I still can't put her on my lap and expect her to stay, though. My other female is the snuggliest, most affectionate cat I have ever met, and has been from day one.
post #14 of 18
thats so true. patchy always has to be touching someone and likes to snuggle and put her arms across your lap or in your hand, whereas chloe just likes to be in the same room. howeverm chloe is so big that its kind of hard for her to be a lap kitty!
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your replies. The cooler weather is starting in Australia, so the cuddly cat wants to sit on my lap more. I love it!

I will be conscious of supporting Coco's feet in future when I pick her up.

Jenny
www.great-pictures-of-cats.com
post #16 of 18
One of my boys, Pierre, is anti-cuddly. I've only had him since Dec so I'm sure he's still trying to figure me out. I made a little progress in that I was able to pet him as I was giving him food or maybe get a couple scratches in while I'm playing with him. But now, the only time I can pet him is at night. And he stays on alert and will dart if he thinks I'm getting to close.

I ended up reversing any progress I was making with him because I had to pick him up a couple times. One, because he was having wet stools for a while that I needed to clean off his backside. Then another time I though there was something wrong with one of his eyes so I needed to grab him to investigate. As a result he's lost some of the trust I had gained.

But I give him his space and don't try to force anything in the hopes that he'll come around again eventually. My biggest worry right now is when it's time to take him to the vet for his rabies booster. I have until Aug but I'm already stressed about how I'm going to catch the little stinker.
post #17 of 18
My previous cat Kudos would bite, growl and swipe at you if you patted him more than 3 times and he wasnt in the mood, he would also claw if he didnt want to be cuddled but as he grew older he became a bit of a lap cat, specially in his last few months.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
I tried the suggestion of supporting Coco's feet when I hold her, and she's definitely more comfortable. Still wants to get down, but will at least stay for a few seconds! She is most happy to be patted while on her own feet, so we certainly get lots of affection from her.

Jenny
www.great-pictures-of-cats.com
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