My Cat Is Not Affectionate Anymore! (What Can I Do?)

Ask most cat owners what are their greatest fears when it comes to their cats? Most of the time it will be their cats falling sick and when their cats are no longer affectionate anymore.

As a cat owner myself, I can feel my goosebumps as I typed those words.

To a certain extent, we can influence our cat’s health by giving them a good quality of life. But when it comes to being affectionate, some cats can just switch it off like a tap.

But why do some cats not be affectionate anymore?

There are times when cats are less affectionate than usual. This can be due to the cat going through a stressful phase or battling an illness. Most of the time, these cats will revert back to their usual behavior once they start to feel better.

Let us take a closer look at the possible reasons that can dampen your cat’s affectionate behavior and what you can do about it.

Stay with me.

My Cat Is Suddenly Avoiding Me

Like humans, cats have their mood swings too. I’m pretty sure there are many times in your own life when you don’t feel very huggy and kissy with your loved ones.

We can expect the same reaction from our cats too as they are creatures with emotions. More importantly, we as pet owners, need to understand what might be causing our cats to distance themselves from us.

It can be a hard one to swallow if your cat has been so obsessed with you prior to this happening.

Some of these reasons can be treated while others just need more time.

Your Cat Had A Bad Experience With You

Cats don’t hold grudges (maybe they do) but you and your feline friend might have gone through a bad experience at home that has altered your cat’s affection level.

Cats are sensitive creatures and can be spooked by many things. Sometimes it is even due to things not triggered by you.

It could be your cat was sleeping behind the door and you startled your cat when you opened the door and hit your cat’s paws.

Maybe your cat was taking a nap on your lap when your mobile phone rang and it scared him. Or you might have accidentally stepped on your cat in the middle of the night.

I can go on and on about my own experiences.

Your cat might be avoiding you after these incidents as it’s associating the bad experience with you.

The same thing happens when cats have a urinary tract infection and start peeing all over the house. They associate the discomfort when peeing with the litter box and avoid using it.

A Change In Your Cat’s Schedule

Cats are creatures of habits and aren’t very adaptable when it comes to change. If there have been changes in your cat’s usual schedule, your cat might not want to cuddle anymore until it has settled in.

This can happen if you have recently renovated your home or shifted to another house. Such changes are big for cats and can throw them off guard.

Most cats are territorial creatures and need to mark their scent around their environment to feel safe.

When there is new furniture at home or your cat is put in an environment that is totally new to your kitty, the last thing on its mind is to be affectionate.

Your cat will be on a mission to explore, investigate and mark its scent on what is new until it is satisfied.

Sometimes it can also be due to the smallest things. You might have recently removed your cat’s favorite window bed because your cat was scratching and pawing at your window.

Why won’t your cat cuddle anymore could even be due to this reason.

You Have A New Pet

Unlike dogs who are packed animals, cats are more solitary creatures and prefer being on their own.

If you have recently adopted a new pet, expect your cat to withdraw and be less affectionate for a period of time.

It also depends on what pet you have brought home. If your new pet is a dog that is a lot bigger than your cat, it will be your cat’s natural instinct to hide and be fearful.

Even if your new pet is another cat, don’t expect your two cats to be best buddies off the bat. Most cats are wary of other cats encroaching on their territory and won’t be afraid to be aggressive to defend their turf.

Your Cat Isn’t Feeling Well

A cat is not affectionate when it isn’t feeling in the best of health. It doesn’t have to be a serious medical condition for it to be behaving this way.

Sometimes it could just be due to your cat having an upset tummy or having an ‘off’ day.

Your cat not being affectionate shouldn’t be the only telltale sign that it is sick. You should also look out for other symptoms like:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea / Constipation
  • Lack of energy
  • Hiding a lot more than usual
  • Change in litter box behavior

These symptoms would usually mean that something isn’t too right with your cat. If the cat’s condition persists for more than 1-2 days, please bring it to the doctor for veterinary advice.

You would want to make sure your cat’s lack of affection is due to a serious underlying medical condition.

A New Family Member

Not only do cats get affected by a new pet or cat in the house, but a new family member like a baby or spouse can also make them behave differently.

The new human smell can spook your cat and make it more cautious at home.

Sometimes it depends on your cat. Cats have their own personalities and the ones that are more open and friendly will be cool with the new family member.

If your cat is more skittish and cowardly, it will take longer for your cat to get used to the person.

Do Cats Become Less Affectionate With Age?

This was something that I’ve experienced first-hand with my cat and I’m sure many of your cat owners did as well.

When I first brought my cat home from the shelter, he was just an itsy bitsy tiny kitten. I was my cat’s world and he would follow me all around the house, be a lap cat and sleep on my pillow at night.

Fast forward a few years, I’m lucky if he gives me a couple of head bunts every now and then.

Older cats get and feel more self-sufficient and are less dependent on their owners for attention. Even though they might not be as affectionate as they once were, rest assured that your cat still loves you in its own special way.

How To Get My Cat To Be More Affectionate?

Trying to get a cat to do anything that it doesn’t want to can feel like a next to impossible task.

But it can be done with enough time and patience.

Trying to get your cat to feel affectionate again isn’t something that you can rush. If there have been some trust issues, take time to build it back.

Here are some ways that you can try to make your cat behave more affectionately again.

Spend More Time With Your Cat

pros and cons of owning a cat

Even though cats are naturally solitary animals, they still do desire attention and love from their owners.

If you have been working late or going out a lot more than usual, it might have caused the bond between you and your cat to erode a little.

Set aside some time every day to spend time with your cat.

It can just be time spent grooming your cat, having fun together with the cat toys, giving it more belly rubs or just chilling on the sofa and watching TV together.

Many cats enjoy spending time with their owners and will reciprocate by being more affectionate.

Socialize Your Cat The Right Way

For cat owners that have a new baby or spouse on the way, the best time to start socializing your cat with the new family member is before they become a permanent fixture.

Let your cat hang out in the baby’s new room to let it have a sense of what is going on. Some cats can even sense when a woman is pregnant.

Your cat just wants to be part of the commotion so please don’t make it feel left out.

If your partner or spouse will be moving in with you, get him or her to come around more often to bond with your cat.

Let your cat have one of your partner’s old t-shirt so that it can start to grow more accustomed to the scent and not be surprised when it has to smell it every day.

But what if it is a new pet?

When it comes to socializing your cat with another pet, you will have to do it very slowly. Don’t just leave your cat and the new pet in the same room on the very first day.

Separate them into different rooms and let them get used to each other’s scent.

If they don’t show any sign of aggression, have them meet through a fence or closed door until you are sure they are both feeling comfortable.

The final phase will be allowing them to physically meet and smell each other. Always be around to supervise to make sure it doesn’t escalate into a fight.

The less time your cat spends trying to get used to another pet at home, the more time it can spend cuddling up with you.

Bring Your Cat To The Vet

If your cat is not affectionate because it isn’t feeling well, don’t wait any longer to seek medical advice.

Your cat could be in great discomfort or pain and has been hiding or being less sociable at home. The earlier you bring your cat to the vet, the faster it can be treated and revert back to its usual affectionate self.

Your Cat Breed Plays A Part

All cats show similar feline traits that make them special and cute but it can vary in degree amongst the cat breeds.

Although you can train your cat to be affectionate with good socialization, it has been shown that different cat breeds exhibit different levels of affection with their owners.

Cats breeds that are known to be more affectionate are Maine Coons, Siberians, Ragdolls, Devon/Cornish Rex, Sphynx, Scottish Folds, etc.

Is It Bad To Force Cuddle Your Cat?

Yes, it is very bad to force cuddle your cat or force it to do anything against its will (unless it is a vet visit).

Cats are independent creatures and do not seek out human affection as much as dogs. They prefer affection in small doses on their terms.

Dogs were bred and domesticated to please their owners while for cats it was more of a mutual relationship where food and shelter were offered in exchange for the cat’s hunting skills.

Forcing your cat to cuddle or be more affectionate with you will only anger and irritate your cat more than ever.

Your cat might lash out at you by scratching or biting. Forcing your cat when it isn’t ready will only make your cat more cautious and destroy all the progress that you have made thus far.

Why Is My Cat Only Affectionate At Night?

Many cats tend to be affectionate at night when it is close to their bedtime. Even though cats have different body clocks than humans, they do observe our sleeping hours and try to be in sync with us.

Mainly because we only feed them in the morning when we wake up for work or school and not at some ungodly hour.

Your cat is starting to settle down for the night and wants some tender loving care before its beauty sleep.

It will come to you for pets and lie next to your for some good old human body heat.

Conclusion

It can be nerve-racking for any cat owner when their cat suddenly ain’t as affectionate as before. If you are experiencing the same situation, go through the above list and see if any of the mentioned points coincide with what is happening at your own home.

The thing is, don’t be upset with your cat or try to force affection if it has not been too affectionate with your recently.

Let your cat come around at its own time and pace and you’ll be back to cuddling together in no time.

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