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from smoochy to indifferent - what have I done?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Greetings from Brisbane, Australia!
We adopted Bella, now 8 months old, from a shelter about 2 months ago. Part of our attraction to her was that she was very relaxed and snuggly, and we were hoping for a "cuddle kitty". For the first month, Bella was very smoochy and couldn't get enough lap time. The last few weeks, though, she is no longer keen to be stroked or cuddled. It's been an almost overnight change. She's occasionally affectionate to my husband, but with me (her main feeder, waterer, cleaner of the litter tray and outside escort)she squirms or immediately jumps off my lap. We love Bella very much and are wondering if there is anything we could be doing, or if it's just a case of Bella growing up?
Any thoughts or advice are greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 14
She could be more comfortable with her home and doesn't need the reassurance she got from cuddling.

It could be she is feeling that you are wanting to cuddle more than she does.

Has she been desexed?
post #3 of 14
Has anything changed recently? Anything at all.. I dunno just grasping here. Is she pooping/eating and everything else normal?
post #4 of 14
Originally posted by DragonLady
Has she been desexed?
Good question!
post #5 of 14
If everything else is normal, litter pan habits, eating and drinking, then I wouldn't worry to much. Cats sometimes go in stages and if you start ignoring her except for her basic needs- and if you are sure she isn't sick, she will come around. If not spayed, get her spayed and that will help as well.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Wow, replies already!
Bella was desexed by the shelter, so that's not a problem. Health-wise, she did have a couple of problems during her first month with us (cat flu and some diarrhea due to what the vet concluded was a food sensitivity), but the last 4 weeks she's been fine - full of beans, drinking and pooping well, and eating like a piglet!
DragonLady, I tend to agree with you. We did think that Bella was more confident in her environment so may no longer need a lot of reassuring - but it's nice to hear it from someone else!
Also, I'll try giving her some space and doing what hissy suggested.
Thank you so much for your helpful suggestions and thoughts.
post #7 of 14
Max goes through stages. One month he's not all that cuddley and the next month he can't get enough. I noticed in this hot weather he does not want to be petted and cuddled as much. He seems to want to sit in my lap late at night though. I agree with MA, cats go in through phases.
post #8 of 14
It could also be your kitten's natural personality coming through. when Tiger was a little kitten, he was *MY* cuddlebut and Jorin was Mike's. Now it's the other way around. Jorin adores me, calls me "mama" and Tiger will only come around cuddling to me when he's not getting enough attention from Mike.
post #9 of 14
I tend to agree with DragonLady, here. Her not feeling well when you first adopted her could have played a role in her being super affectionate, as well. Both of my kittens went through some problems with diarrhea and Cindy had a mild viral illness with eye discharge. Their illnesses could have even been a reaction to their vaccinations, but both kittens became sleepier than usual and climbed onto my lap to sleep together. In the evening, they would go through an active period followed by a sleepy time, when one of the kittens would curl up on my lap. Now I notice that the kittens are extremely active and their new past time, no longer climbing onto my lap, is lying by the patio screen door to feel the cooling outdoor breezes and watch the activity outside.
post #10 of 14
Jarama and Urraco have these moods too. Nothing else changes behaviorly but... they'll have stretches of a week or two where they are just not interested in people. Then, out of the blue, back to the kittens I originally brought home... all up on you, licking you all over, snuggling... laying across your neck to take a nap :P

Jarama wouldn't have anything to do with me for about 2 months... and then one day I came home from work and he was a total make-out kitty. He has his phases I guess :P Urraco is developing more of a make-out kitty personality now too... won't freakin stop licking me !!
post #11 of 14
but sometimes cat react that way when they don't feel well to . She may has a infection , just a guess . I would watch her a little more for some signs . Just to make sure Yes cats can be for a while snuggles and then want to be left alone for a while , and then change again .
post #12 of 14
Yes, all cats go through phases -- sometimes I can never sit down without a cat on my lap and a dog across my feet. Other times -- and especially in hot weather -- none of us (and that includes mel) want to come into hot skin contact. Most cats and dogs both know enough to find a cooler place than a lap in hot weather.

But the bottom line is that cats are very highly individualistic. I have cats who sometimes exhibit so-called stereotypical behavior, but then I know some people who are stereotypical humans. But most cat lovers especially love their cats because they are NOT just like every other cat. And as soon as cats feel safe in their environment, and feel they can trust you, their own personalities and characters will emerge. You never know who exactly you are getting when you bring a cat into your life -- just as you never know with human beings. All of my presently 21 cats have different personalities, and personally I find that very stimulating. They constantly surprise me.

My tact is always to let the cat inform me of his/her mood. If they give body language for "I am not in the mood for having my hair mussed," then I acknowledge their presence by talking to them, maybe only a few words to make them understand that I feel a bond of friendship. But when they are ready to be scatched, petted, hugged, or otherwise cuddled, I try to be always there for them, even when I am busy. Cats, like humans, appreciate being reassured about love.

post #13 of 14
Welcome back! It is so good to see you again. I hope all is well with you and your animals.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your helpfulness. I'm still reacquainting myself with the wonderful world of pusscats, so it's been great to hear your views.

I've made a real effort to give Bella plenty of space, and always wait for her to make the first move (this requires lots of self-discipline, 'cause she's sooooo cute!). Last night I was tucked up on the sofa under a blanket (it's winter down here in Oz) and Bella decided she'd join me for a few minutes of lap time and head scratching, and this morning she ran over to me for some more tickles. Naturally, I obliged...

We love "Bellycat" dearly, regardless of her level of smoochiness. I think that two months is still in the "getting-to-know-you" stage of the kitty-human relationship, and we're just trying to make sure we're doing all we can to keep our little furry one contented and safe.

Thank you again!
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