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Older and more affectionate?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My mom's been wondering if it is normal for cats to get more affectionate as they get older. I know my older baby is very much a lap cat, but since I found him six months ago, I don't know whether he was always like that or not. My mom's kitty, Hannah, is 12 now, and she is practically driving my mom crazy with her need for attention. You can't sit down without having her on your lap, and she is constantly begging to be petted. When she was younger, she was much more aloof and only allowed you to pet her when *she* wanted to be petted.

Is this common in kitties as they age? In the past six months, my parents' other cat (who had lived with Hannah since they were kittens, though they rarely played together) and my parents' dog (her best friend) have passed on to the Rainbow Bridge. Is her need for attention more likely a sign of loneliness because her canine companion and feline housemate are gone?

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 7
My 16 yr old is so affectionate now not so much till about age 13
post #3 of 7
I would say there might be an element of grieving and loss involved with your Mom's cat, certainly. It's hard to lose companions, and we know that our fuzzbutts can - and do - grieve. So perhaps that's it as well. I will also mention that as my last group of cats aged, they became more affectionate, too...

If there is even the slightest chance Hannah is ill, it would be best to check her at the vets. And if not, then let Mom know she's finally being shown the love she's given Hannah her whole life.

post #4 of 7
Hannah is probably lonely. Maybe your mom can get another pet to keep her company. Kittens often piss off older cats, but a more mature one might make a great companion.

post #5 of 7
The loss of her other friends could very well could be causing her to be lonely. Which is causing her to want more attention. I know all my animals became really clingy, needy and depressed after they lose one of their buddies (humans or animals). They also become more affectionate when they know I'm upet.

One other possibility is that you Mom's cat could be getting sick. My Princess will turn into a lap cat when she doesn't feel well. That's usually the first sign something is wrong with her because normally she never sits still for more than a minute or to.
post #6 of 7
Joji was more aloof when she was younger. However, she did become a bit more affectionate after the death of her brother years ago. I would say it is a combination of both aging and loss of a favorite companion.
post #7 of 7
I have found mine to become quieter and more affectionate when they became 'aged' cats, even though they had been affectionate all of their lives. So, yes, that is certainly a possible factor with your Mom's cat. I also suspect that an even bigger part is that she is seeking reassurance from your Mom because she is mourning the loss of her two close companions in a very short time. This has completely changed her world and cats just don't deal very well with change, especially as they get older. She needs to know that everything is still alright in her world, that she is safe and loved, and is seeking reassurances from her human family. Just let your Mom know to give her lots of love and reassurances right now and while her 'neediness' should eventually ease, she will probably stay very affectionate now she has learned to appreciate it. I like the comment above that said, 'think of it as returning all of the love she has received up until now':-).

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