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He doesn't want to be held or snuggled

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
or even pet a lot. Rarely do I get a purr out of him, although he will remain close by. I feel bad because his older two housemates do not interact as much with him, probably because he will be a year old next month(he is neutered) and might be challenging their status. So now he is kinda isolated, won;t snuggle with me, doesn't hang with the boys. Any ideas? He is absolutely terrified of being picked up, or even pulled in my direction. He will not allow you to move his body. He will allow me to wrap a string around his belly because it hangs down and he chases it in a circle like a dog with a tail, but if I make one false move when I do that, like put my hand on his belly with a little pressure, he turns into a board. I really wanted a lap cat. Of course I shoulda figured he would be like this. When I was fostering him, he was the same, that's how I ended up keeping him, I knew he would freak out going up to petsmart and living in glass cage. I though he would come around, but it doesn't look like it. any suggestions?
post #2 of 23
Love him anyway?

He is what he is, and aside from just being there and not forcing things I don't know what else you can do.

Does he take food from your hand?
If yes, I would do that as much and as often as possible.
post #3 of 23
Well, I'm really a cat novice - but, I'd encourage you to keep lovin' on him as best as he'll let you - and just be patient, maybe he needs to believe he can trust you - like unconditional lovin' - you've done a good thing by keeping him - perhaps he'll just take more time than the others to feel like he's really Home.

post #4 of 23
When we got our two, Nedicks was an instant lap cat, but Nathan didn't feel comfortable snuggling up unless I was sleeping--that was the only time he would get close to me. Then one day about a year after we got them, I was sitting at the computer (on TCS as a matter of fact--I remember because I was so excited, I immediately posted about it) and Nathan just jumped up on my lap and settled in and let me pet him and give him scritches. Nathan still doesn't much like being picked up, but he will come and snuggle up all on his own, when he feels like it. All this to say, don't force it, let your kitty get comfortable with you. Maybe he'll never be lovey that way, but you never know, he could surprise you.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks, he does take food from my hand or my plate or my mouth I bet. He does lean against me in bed and on the couch. He just doesn't want his body moved by anybody but him, unless I am wrapping a string around him. go figure. I will wait.
post #6 of 23
Give him time - he is just a kitten. There are a lot of thing Loki did not do or let me do until he was older. He is now 6 and has mellowed with time.
We can't always have a lap cat or a cat that likes to be carried around like a baby but please love him !!
post #7 of 23
Your kitty is just a non lap cat ... My Kandie is that way she is a lap cat now at nearly 18 but not for the first 13... My Zoey was a feral and still doesnt understand holding is loving
post #8 of 23
My Cat Carona hates being pet or held unless it is on her terms, which is never. However, she is always within 6 ft. of me when I am home. I just let my cat choose to do what she wants. However, often I can tempt her by putting snacks next to me or on my lap.
post #9 of 23
It may chance once the kitten is fixed, unless he is already, I may have missed if you mentioned that.
post #10 of 23
I have 5 cats, 4 have been with me since they were born. The mother and 3 of her kitties have always been extremely affectionate, loving to be held. But one of the boys, since birth has just been a nervous kitty, nervously meowing, not wanting to be held. When I would walk into a room, I always held my hand out for him to smell and then I would pet him. After a year of doing this, he started to come out of his shell and would come to me more and more. He even started sleeping under the covers beside me at night. Now he is 3 and 1/2 and he has turned into the alpha cat who loves affection now, but on his terms. I never pick him up, I just let him come to me. He wont sit in my lap, but will snuggle close to me and give me little kisses. So just be patient with yours and let him feel comfortable and relaxed, he will come around, maybe not to be a lap cat, but all cats are so very different in their personalities. Providing him comfort for who he is, will bring out the best of who he is.
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Now that my little scardy cat (pansy) is getting older he is becoming more brave. He will allow me to pick him up, and he does purr when I give him lots of pets and scritches, so I feel that he will be a lover one of these days. I'm not sure why he is so timid, and of course he is a complete no show when someone he doesn't know comes in, but I imagine he will get over that some day too. I am so glad he is coming around, so anyone reading this thread because they have the ssme problem, take heart, they might change.
post #12 of 23
See I'm bad with this also.

We have 2 cats. Tessy is a total mush. She met my MIL this weekend, and was on her lap in 10 minutes. Zekie is 9 months old and just has no interest in people. She plays with Tessy, and she'll approach my husband on her terms only very very rarely, but I like to hug and cuddle, and I'm sure I've scared her, because everytime I'm near her she backs up thinking that I'm going to grab her.

I'm a cuddly human, and it kills me she doesn't like to cuddle like Tessy does. Ugh. So I'm trying very very hard to just let her be, give her a hand to sniff, and give her her space.

Good luck
post #13 of 23
I had the same trouble with Oscar, he never fancied being cooped up, quite cocky and aloof. I believe the key is acceptance. I have come to learn that each cat is an individual with diverse personalities. The more pressure I put on Oscar on what I thought was a "cattitude", the more he gets stressed and distant.

Now, he's still not that cuddly as cats of my other cat lover friends, but I love and validate his individuality, I give him the space he wants, I don't force him out of his hiding space, I don't take him more than what he likes, and soon he himself approached me

Too bad, Oscar still never sits on my lap, quite the attitude, he is a challenge, but I love him anyway, so he's happy. I hope you figure out what your kitty defines as affection, good luck

post #14 of 23
When I volunteered at the animal shelter, we had the hard task of getting stray cats and dogs used to human contact. Some would hide in the corner cowardly and others were aggressive. From working with the animals, it seemed the best thing was giving them treats and playing with them. But then again, some cats are just loners. It almost sounds like your kitty feels left out (by the other cats) and he's accepted it. But it doesn't have to be this way!!! Try playing with all of them at the same time! Using a laser pointer or something like that where they all interact together. The hand feeding and treats will strengthen the bond between you and kitty (I think). Good luck
post #15 of 23
My last cat was Pixel's complete opposite. Whereas Pix is very affectionate, my last cat was beautiful and high strung. She could take maybe one pet down her back. After that she would start to freak.

I learned that with these types of cats, they have their own way of showing affection. Her being in the same room with us, was her way of hanging out. That was the best her nervous system could handle.
post #16 of 23
I agree, give it time. My girl kitty (Emmagan) moggie, has always been a little distant. She came to live with me after someone threw her from the
2nd story landing of an apartment building at 4-5 weeks old. You can imagine she has been more than a little hesitant with me. She is a year old now and has made vast improvements. I can now pick her up for 10-20 seconds, kiss her forehead, and give her hugs occasionally. I doubt she will ever be as cuddly as my boy (Lucivar, the cuddle bunny), but I honestly couldn't do without her. Just go at his pace and one of these days he may surprise you
post #17 of 23
We have 3 females, and each has a separate & distinct personallity:
Tsuki- the eldest at 5 hates to be picked up, but howls loudly if, when sitting next to me on the couch, I stop petting her. She's also the one who will carry her 'babies' (small chenille teddy bears) around, crying as she does so.
Gabby- the youngest at 3 is the most affectionate, constantly rolls on the floor, showing her belly, wanted to be rubbed, loves being carried around, will not leave us alone when we are working on the desk or at a computer--totally curious about everything and eveyone. Follows anyone who comes in the door, looking for petting.
Mishi- our 'problem' middle child, afraid of everyone and everything. Only will let us pet her when she's curled up on top of a chair. Extremely skitish and wary. But she the only one who loves people food -- specificially fresh shrimp, lobster and cold cuts, and will come to us whenever she smells that kind of food, and will eat from our hands.
The 3 get along with each other, and will roll around and groom one another. But when it comes to us they each have their own ways about themselves. We adopted all of them from shelters when they were young, and they are indoor cats, so not exposed to others aside from us. I figure, like people, cats have their own personalities, sometimes, with age they change, sometimes they don't. We just live with them and love them for themselves.
post #18 of 23
There have been so many cats in my family for as long as I can remember. Each was/is unique and loved for his or her own traits. One stray came to us as an adult and it was very evident he'd had no people experience at all. It took over two years before he would come to sit on a lap of his own accord. And he never did acclimate to being picked up. When we'd try, he'd stick his legs straight out in every direction and his expression told us that his loss of contact with the ground scared him. Aside from this, he was extremely loveable! We currently have two non-lap cats. One is part feral and we've had her for almost 10 years. It's only been in the past year that she comes looking for affection and she will allow me (but no one else) to hold her for 30 seconds max. That's her fill of attention and if you try to give her more than she's requested, she'll give you a such a swat! Our newest cat is just a year old and spent most of her early life in a shelter. She too seems to have trouble with having her feet off the ground. She rubs a lot and loves to be petted, but she's yet to climb into a lap or allow herself to be picked up.

The main thing is, you cannot really choose the personality of your cat (barring certain breed quirks). Like children, they are who they are and you love them just for that. Earning the cuddle after many years is quite a reward.
post #19 of 23

I think its instinctual survival trait.  In the wild, before man domesticated them, they were little creatures that were food for bigger predators.  So they always want that escape route if they were caught.  When confined I think some cats feel the need to break free.  Just like when rubbing their bellies, they really have to fight the instinct to scratch and bite you.  They always look around under the covers before crawling in as if they are expecting to find another creature in there and once they figure out it's only me, they feel safe and go in. They hiss at strangers because they are trying to sound like a poisonous snake to scare them off.  They flatten their ears and even look sort of like a snake. This is just my opinion and I haven't read this anywhere even though it's probably written somewhere out there. 

post #20 of 23

They are all individuals and you just have to live with the differences. I have a few that love pets and scratches but will shred you in a nanosecond if you try to pick them up or hold them. I also have two that think they should be sitting on me 24/7 although I don't agree and they mostly learned not to be huge pests. There is also one that will sometimes sit quietly beside me and allow petting and when outside will actively beg for attention; he was a shy kitten and still is shy now although he does come in the house now. And then there is Da Lip - he is an oddity at best and some days he is a velcro kitty and other days I am only here to yowl at when it is feeding time. FWIW, all the cats, save for Da Lip, are related so even genetics proves nothing for some behaviour.

post #21 of 23

I have two with distinct personalities.


My boy is a mush! Always on my lap, purring non-stop, always wants to be petted, always plops himself down around me.  Just incredible, the most amazing, relaxed, mushy cat I ever owned.  Just the same with visitors.


My girl, and his blood sister from same litter, is more reserved.  She will purr and cuddle, but only when I lie down in bed under covers, then she jumps on me and will headbutt me, purr and absolutely go nuts.   But during the day and around the house, she's a little nerveuos, takes sleeping spots in same room, but away from me. 


A lot I think depends on the rank of cats in a household.  Here, my boy is king.  He's the ruler.  He's also 18lb and huge, where she's only 10, and very slender for those 10. 


I like to think of the boy as my pet, and the girl as his pet.   They are inseparable.  Sleep together, snuggle together, always looking for each other.


... interesting, as one other poster mentioned, my girl has a favorite toy, it's just a bow-tie made of blanket material, that she carries around and cries LOUDLY when at it.  I wonder why they do it?



post #22 of 23

Buttercup hated being picked up, and you could only do it by providing a platform for her back feet and letting her rest her front legs on your shoulder.    I was told that she couldn't purr, and should not expect a lapcat but that Wesley was super snuggable.


Well, Buttercup is beyond a lapcat to the point of annoying me as I can't even take my online exams or play on the computer without her jumping on me and she's gotten into the habit of waking me at times by trying to push her head into my neck or gets butt fur in my face flopping right by me.   Purring is also very loud now, and guess what... Wesley isn't as affectionate as he used to be and mostly just snuggles when he wants something (to play/food).  


So I'd stay optimistic as its definitely not set in stone.    I have noticed that the more I could care less about holding her or paying attention to her, the more desperate she is about schmoozeling.  Some kind of reverse psychology going on there, so don't force it, heh! 

post #23 of 23

You guys do know this post is 5 years old, right?

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