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unaffectionate kitten

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to find information online about this and I'm having a hard time, so I figured I'd try asking for advice here.

Mamie is a little over 6 months old. I got her from a shelter at 8 weeks. When I first brought her home, she was super affectionate--she always wanted to be lying on me or near me. She has always been extremely energetic and playful, though--she's kind of a hellion.

Lately, however, she's been aloof. She always wants to play, and she's always talking to me. She makes noises like she's annoyed or frustrated, but I can't figure out what's wrong. She doesn't like to be touched or picked up except when in the morning, for about ten minutes. She has moved from sleeping on my pillow to sleeping at my feet, and sometimes she doesn't sleep in the bed with me at all. It makes me so sad!

I adore this little precious kitten but I wonder if I've given her too much attention and made her hate me. Also, I play the chase game with her, where we chase each other around my apartment, and I wonder if that's taught her to run from me.

Also, she has no health problems--she's in great shape. Shiny, soft coat, bright eyes, clean bill of health from the vet, etc.
post #2 of 16
I can't give you definite answers. Sounds like she's healthy and has a clean bill of health from what you say. That is always the first thing to make sure of. What I can offer is that I totally know the situation. That is the way my Marcellus was and is. We got him a 8 weeks old at the Humane Society. He was a sweet kitten but as he matured he changed, aloof, cautious, hating to be held. Do you know the kitten's background? I know Marcellus was born of a feral mother and was raised in a garage for those first few weeks so I think that is why he is like he is. I don't think he was handled much as a kitten. He is good kitty but we've had to accept him on his terms....He is sweet in his own way but after almost 2 years he has never sat on our lap, or cuddled in our arms, since he was a very wee kitten. He abhors being picked up. I have 3 cats and none of them sleeps by my pillow, yet all are affectionate in there own special ways. Only one is a cuddler. I'm not trying to discourage you but if all else checks out it could be your kitty's personality. Just keep loving her on her terms. Keep playing and having fun. And let her come to you, find out what she likes. Give and receive affection on the cats terms. If we constantly come at them that does sometimes backfire. Find out your cats special ways. My Marcellus hates to be picked up but oh, how he loves a good chin scratch and kisses on top of his head. Head butts, a special scratching spot, a rub on the face...etc. Also, is she spayed yet? Hormones could be kicking in too. Has she been like this for awhile or has this been a gradual thing. My answer to my frustration was to get two more cats.... They are each unique and I know who to go to for different kinds of kitty lovin'. I do know how you feel though, I was so sad he would never cuddle or sit on our laps. Lewis was a lap cat from day one, they really are different. When I got Marcellus I thought I could make him into this affectionate lap cat if I just gave him enough loving....not quite the way it works with cats.
post #3 of 16
One of the things we tell people who come into the shelter where I volunteer, is that if you adopt and adult, you know exactly what you're getting. A kitten can develope any type of personality, and there's no way to know until it's grown.

Of course, she could be going through that "kitty teen" phase, where they suddenly realize they're not dependant on you, and just want to be left alone. L.S.'s lasted for about three months. It could pass as she gets older, or she could stay this way. I don't know if there's any way to change that.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grapegal45
Do you know the kitten's background?
She was born to a feral mother as well, and raised outside for the first few weeks of her life. I'm not sure how much she was held or touched once she went into the shelter, but the woman who runs it is fiercely devoted to cats and I imagine she took good care of Mamie and her brothers and sisters.

Quote:
Also, is she spayed yet? Hormones could be kicking in too. Has she been like this for awhile or has this been a gradual thing.
She was spayed a couple of weeks ago. She was very affectionate when we first got her, and we were all over her because she was so cute! It's only been over the past month or so that she's become more distant. She always wants to be in the same room as me or Greg, though.

Quote:
My answer to my frustration was to get two more cats....
Sounds like a good idea to me!!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Of course, she could be going through that "kitty teen" phase, where they suddenly realize they're not dependant on you, and just want to be left alone.
That's what I was hoping. She's definitely into testing the rules. Last night when I got home I ignored her completely, and she came over and sat on me twice. That was a good sign!
post #6 of 16
As hard as it is, just ignore her. If she has been to the vet recently and you know she is healthy and she is eating, drinking and not having litter pan accidents. Then flat ignore her. Put yourself on a schedule with her and keep to it, food at certain times every day in the same place, use the same bowl. Scoop her litter pans out at the same time every day, don't deviate. But other than that I would just ignore her. Once you take the pressure off of her to perform (so to speak) she will want nothing else but to be next to you.
post #7 of 16
I am so very happy she came and sat on your lap twice! That's a very good sign! Perhaps that quote about cats owning us rather than us owning them is really what it's all about. Cats rule I do believe, or at least they think they have to rule.
post #8 of 16
sounds like a tough situation

our first cat was like this - as kittens they're all cuddly, it's when they're adults that counts most. she was born to a feral mom, and kittens were not handled until they were given away at about 4 months. Toma was always half-feral, her sister, who was adopted by our friend, was exactly the same way --- and i swore i will NEVER get a cat like this again.

About two year ago i decided i wanted a cat again (this was 6 years after toma passed on) and this time i went with a breeder. her kittens are handled at birth and she gets out of them the last hatered for humans, leaving only love.

Marsh is now about a year and a half, and he's the most outgoing, confident, lovable, huggable boy he's simply precious he sleeps with me every night, on a pillow next to me and loves everyone. just a pleasure to be around.

i can't resist, here's a teaser
post #9 of 16
Every cat is different and even if they were handled young, they can simply become more independent. My Koko is the perfect example - born to a feral mom but orphaned and bottle raised since she was 10 days old (now almost 2 years old). She has to be in the same room as us but lets out a mad meowl whenever you try to pick her up. Her brother is my love bug and they've had the same handling from me their entire lives.

The one thing that I've learned from cats is that each has its own personality, and they sometimes change their behaviors when you least expect it for no apparent reason. Aloof one day and in your face the next.

Also, if she was just spayed, she may still be recovering from her surgery - feeling a little off and not wanting as much cuddle time with you right now.

She sounds like a sweetie pie!!
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by RarePuss
he sleeps with me every night, on a pillow next to me and loves everyone. just a pleasure to be around.

i can't resist, here's a teaser

What? There is no cat in that bed!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany
Also, if she was just spayed, she may still be recovering from her surgery - feeling a little off and not wanting as much cuddle time with you right now.

She sounds like a sweetie pie!!
I was wondering the same thing about her being recently spayed.

She's hard to understand, because she has to be in the same room as Greg or me, she BEGS for attention--she does anything she can to get us to talk to her, either by sticking her nose in my water glass, batting at shoelaces, chirping and meowing--and she is always flopping down and showing me her belly. but as soon as you reach out a hand---brrrrt! and she's off.

She IS a sweetie pie. The cutest. But so fickle!
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
so cute!
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
As hard as it is, just ignore her. If she has been to the vet recently and you know she is healthy and she is eating, drinking and not having litter pan accidents. Then flat ignore her. Put yourself on a schedule with her and keep to it, food at certain times every day in the same place, use the same bowl. Scoop her litter pans out at the same time every day, don't deviate. But other than that I would just ignore her. Once you take the pressure off of her to perform (so to speak) she will want nothing else but to be next to you.
But doesn't she need playtime? I feel like I'm neglecting her---she's still a kitten. I know you're right, but I'm also concerned about her need to be active. What do you mean by "pressure to perform"?

Thank you SO much for your feedback!!
post #14 of 16
She is a kitten they make their own entertainment! By pressure to perform, I meant that some people will take a kitten and pick it up and if it struggles, they keep holding on to the kitten petting it to "calm it down." Or they hold them down while they pet them as they are on the floor. If you ignore her, it will drive her batty and she will start coming to you. But if she knows you expect her to sit on your lap and let you pet her, she will dive under the bed to hide-

She is a beauty!
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
thank you again. she's a real darling. i love her.
post #16 of 16
I think Hissy's exactly right. Cats are CATS. They like things on their own terms. If you will just be patient and let her come to you, she will. That way it's her decision.

I wonder about your "chase" game, too. Cats are predators and like to hunt. They don't like to be hunted. Giving HER something to chase (ball, mouse, toilet roll, paper, hair scrunchie, laser pointer, etc.) is a better way to play with her.

I know it's frustrating not to speak cat! One of mine just stares at me intently when she meows as if she's employing all her powers to make me understand. (Usually this means her mouse is stuck under the couch.)

She obviously loves you and wants to be with you. Hooray! Just let her show it on her own terms.

Enjoy your sweet kitty!
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