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Making a cat cuddly...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
ok, my sister's cat is the most cussdliest cat ever! When you pick her up, she stays with you and purrs, or crawls up on your shoulders and lies down acorss your shoulders behind your head, kind of like a scarf, with her tail hanging down. I want my new kitten that I am getting tomorrow to be like that too. What are some suggestions to make her really affectionate and want to cuddle all the time? I think Peaches is like that because when she was a little kitten my sister always held her and brought her places...like the mall, and when she ran away from home she put her in her bookbag (a little bit open) so she was always held. Could this be the trick to teaching a cat to be affectionate?

Another thing I forgot to mention is that she loves being held! She used to jump up on your back when you were turned the other way, like for example if I was at the stove, and i was cooking, facing the stove, away from her. She would scare the crap out of me by jumping high on my back, and climb her way up, and lie on my shoulders, or she would climb up my leg until she got to the top. She doesnt do it anymore, I dont know why. Maybe she realized it hurt when she dug her claws into us, and because we didnt like it sometimes.
post #2 of 16
handle her as much as possible.
post #3 of 16
You can try handling her if she wants to be handled, but I truly believe you can't make a cat do anything it doesn't want to do. Some cats are super cuddly, others just don't like to be held much and some not at all. Carolcat's Tia wants to be cuddled and held all the time, Mika only when SHE feels like it - they are full sisters and were raised in the same household, in the same way from birth to 12 weeks. Bijou is also a full brother to them both and he loves to cuddle at night with me but during the day he has "places to go and things to do".
post #4 of 16
I have to agree that cats have different personalities just like humans do, and to some degree it depends on how a cat was socialized, but even then there can be differences.

My oldest and youngest girls, Thisbe and Marnie, are both far more affectionate to me than their "middle sister," Cushie. Oddly enough, Cushie is the only one of the three who has never been a stray -- at least as far as I know. Perhaps it's something about having to forage for food that warms you up toward to person who provides it ... LOL ... but even then, I think Cushie is just a reserved cat. She *will* come up and sit near me if there's a clear place, but she stays completely clear of sitting on my lap or letting me pick her up. She just doesn't like it, and that's that.

The other two are cuddle whores. LOL Is it okay for me to use that word? I mean, sometimes I think if they could, they would climb right up into my sinuses. They like to be RIGHT THERE.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
You can try handling her if she wants to be handled, but I truly believe you can't make a cat do anything it doesn't want to do.
post #6 of 16
Raising her well will help quite a bit, but things like that are up to the cat. Mine are weird, they change with the weather. When it is warm they love being held, but when it is cold (like now) they only put up with it for a minute or so.
post #7 of 16
If you go into a kitten adoption with this type of expectation, you might be disappointed. Unless you adopt a Ragdoll or one of the more mellower breeds, you will just get a kitten. The kitten may be scared, it could scratch, it could bite, or it could lay on your head and purr in your ear. But you never know. Adopt a kitten because you want to share your life with an animal that will bring you love and companionship, and don't try to make this kitten into something you seem to need. It hardly ever works.
post #8 of 16
There is really no way to guarantee that your cat will be a cuddler, they all have different personalities. I never thought my boy would be anything less than a fuzzy demon with a grudge. He has turned into the biggest cuddlebug ever. He is always in my lap or on my shoulder or just following me around. My girl is very sweet in her own way. She doesn't cuddle much at all. She will hop in my lap and nurse on my hand, but if you take away the hand she takes off. They are both very people friendly and well socialized. I wish I knew how that happened, it's nice to have company over and not have my cats disappear. But I would never adopt a cat with the expectation that they would turn out this way. Gaining their trust and showing a lot of affection will help, but there are no guarantees with cats anymore than there are with people.
post #9 of 16
All of my cats are super cuddly, but a lot of them don't like to be picked up. I always just start as a kitten by holding them in my lap quietly and talking in a low soft voice, or sing softly to them (crazy cat lady I may be, but cats DO like when you sing to them, especially if you take a song, like "lullabye and goodnight" and sing it using meows instead of words, and substitue their name for names in songs...um, did I just say that out loud?). And rub and scratch their chins and heads. All my cats will sit for hours if I let them when I treat them like that. I've won over a few feral cats (Timmy and Elessar and some of our fosters) with this method.
post #10 of 16
I agree with what everyone has said: a lot depends on the cat's personality (and sometimes season of the year -- I've had a couple of cats who definitely become more cuddly when it starts to get cold out!). This is especially true when it comes to being picked up. I've lived with a few cats who just live for being picked up, a lot more that agreeably tolerate it for short periods, and some who never like it.

But I do think cats can be encouraged to be cuddly lap cats. I agree with Touro79 that kittens should be handled a lot. Otherwise, they have a tendency to be more cat-oriented than people-oriented, especially if there are other cats in the house. To help socialize your kitten towards people, I would pick him up a lot, greet and pet him whenever he walks by or you walk by him, put him in your lap a lot, and, if you want, put him on your bed at night when you are ready for bed. (And, yes, the use of male pronouns is not arbitrary -- I've lived with several wonderful female cats, but I believe that as a general rule, neutered males are much more likely to be easy-going and cuddly. And certain breeds, as well, such as "Tuxedo Cats," Russian Blues, and Exotic Short Hairs)

IMHO, however, the cardinal rule is to never hold cats against their wishes (other than for their safety or to give them medical attention, of course). Like you, I always wanted cuddly cats, and when I was growing up, I had to learn to overcome my impulse to hold on to a cat in an effort to "prove" to it that I only wanted to pet it. I remember when I was seven or eight trying to cajole my new kitten by telling her, "Just stay for a minute, and you'll see that you like it!" I believe that for many cats, before they can become trusting enough to be cuddly (if they are inclined to, but I think most are), they have to be sure that they are free to go whenever they want; that they are not going to be held "prisoner."

And it can sometimes take them a while to learn this -- months, even -- where they will immediately jump out of your lap or struggle to get down. Then, suddenly, one day, they just start getting in your lap on their own and letting you put them there. Over the years, I've learned that the more I respect their "independence," the more likely a cat is to become a huge mush ball -- a constant and loving companion that is deeply bonded with me. I've also seen the flip side with acquaintances whose cats are very aloof and even hostile, in large part, I think, because their owners, though loving, just won't leave them alone when they want to be left alone.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Bijou is also a full brother to them both and he loves to cuddle at night with me but during the day he has "places to go and things to do".
I totally agree, Harley is usually really cuddly, but when he's not....watch out, apparantly he has places to go and things to do as well...
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockreno
IMHO, however, the cardinal rule is to never hold cats against their wishes (other than for their safety or to give them medical attention, of course). Like you, I always wanted cuddly cats, and when I was growing up, I had to learn to overcome my impulse to hold on to a cat in an effort to "prove" to it that I only wanted to pet it. I remember when I was seven or eight trying to cajole my new kitten by telling her, "Just stay for a minute, and you'll see that you like it!" I believe that for many cats, before they can become trusting enough to be cuddly (if they are inclined to, but I think most are), they have to be sure that they are free to go whenever they want; that they are not going to be held "prisoner."
Amen.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockreno
IMHO, however, the cardinal rule is to never hold cats against their wishes (other than for their safety or to give them medical attention, of course). Like you, I always wanted cuddly cats, and when I was growing up, I had to learn to overcome my impulse to hold on to a cat in an effort to "prove" to it that I only wanted to pet it. I remember when I was seven or eight trying to cajole my new kitten by telling her, "Just stay for a minute, and you'll see that you like it!" I believe that for many cats, before they can become trusting enough to be cuddly (if they are inclined to, but I think most are), they have to be sure that they are free to go whenever they want; that they are not going to be held "prisoner."
I didn't mean to hold them prisoner on the lap, but if they're willing to sit there, hold them nicely....
post #14 of 16
MenagerieMama . . . I didn't mean to suggest that you were doing anything wrong . . . Actually, it sounded to me like you have the magic touch, and I agreed with everything you said. With ferals, especially, its a long road, as they have usually encountered so much abuse from strangers that trust of humans is hard to come by!!! A while back, we lived in a house with a small fenced yard. A feral mama took to having her litters in our yard because we would put out a blanketed box for her, feed her and her babies, socialize the babies, and then take the babies when they were old enough and get them adopted. She somewhow learned that we would take care of them. But she never let us get near her, only her kittens.
post #15 of 16
We're cool, Rockreno.. I love taming ferals, there's something so rewarding about it. I did actually have to drag Timmy out of his hiding spot and wrap him in a towel all snuggly, put him in my lap and then do the low voice crooning thing and scratch his head until he came around. I almost cried the day he finally purred for me. It worked for him, although what's good for the goose isn't always good for the gander....generally speaking I don't think holding them against their will is a good idea either.
post #16 of 16
I don't think you make a cat do anything either. Kitty is extremely loving, but doesn't really like to be picked up and held. She'll lay by me, follow me everywhere, sleep with me, rub up against me, head butt me (if I'm not paying her enough attention), paw at my hand if she wants attention, but she doesn't want anything to do with being picked up.
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