Ask any cat owner what kind of cat they would like to have and the usual answers will be one that is affectionate, loves to cuddle, has a thing for belly rubs and enjoys hugs and kisses.
Then ask them what their current cat is like and it is usually one that dislikes being cuddled, freaks out when getting a belly rub and prefers to sleep on its own.
So why is there such a big divide between what cat owners would like to have vs what our cats prefer?
Do our cats prefer to be near us but not touched?
Pet parents have to realize that all cats have unique personalities. Some like being a lap cat more than others. If your cat likes being near you but not touched it could mean that it doesn’t trust you enough yet or the cat just prefers it that way. There are some ways that you can use to get your cat more comfortable with you.
In this article, we will be looking at why your cat doesn’t really like to be touched and what you can do about it.
Your Cat Is Picky About Being Cuddled
Our cats are totally different as compared to dogs. With dogs, you can basically manhandle them with affection and they will still come back for more.
With cats, cuddle them the wrong way and you risk your cat hating you for the rest of your life.
Ok, maybe not that long. Just for the rest of your cat’s life.
When your cat is following you around, don’t just grab your cat out of the blue with force and smother it with hugs and kisses.
Cats hate being caught in a scenario where they feel cornered and unable to escape. Trapped cats will struggle with all their might to escape. The approach that you want to have is to tease your cat with affection.
Take note of the areas that your cat likes to be touched. These places are usually behind the ears, under the chin and strokes along its back.
Cats have their own preferences when it comes to being cuddled and it is your job to figure that out.
Your Cat Is Still New To You
How long have you had your cat for? If it is less than a year, don’t expect your cat to get all lovey-dovey with you right off the bat.
Cats need some time to warm up to their new family and surroundings. They do this by slowly marking their scent on the people and their environment.
When I first brought my cat home, he basically regarded me as his greatest enemy for the first few months. He wasn’t happy when I tried to give him affection and his standard mode of operation was to hide and observe my action.
Once he started getting comfortable with his new home and marked also every inch of my house with his smell, my cat’s behavior also grew in confidence.
He was more receptive towards my affection and even made it a point to be close to me as much as possible.
Your Cat Was Traumatized
Do you know that it is also possible for cats to have post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD?
We humans can suffer from PTSD too and it usually happens when a person or animal has gone through an experience that has left a mark emotionally or mentally.
There are a few reasons that can cause PTSD in cats:
- Having ex-abusive owners
- Being abandoned
- Attacked by another animal
- Involved in a serious accident
Cats are very sensitive creatures and don’t handle stress and anxiety well. Don’t be surprised that even the smallest things can cause your cat to get stressed out.
If you notice that your cat likes following you around the house but gets weirded out when you try to touch it, your feline friend might be having PTSD.
The probability is greater if your cat is a rescue cat or was only adopted as an adult with its past unknown.
There are other symptoms that you need to look out for besides being adverse to touch.
- Easily startled
- Excessive vocalization
- Separation anxiety
- Loss in appetite
- Improper use of litter box
It would be best to speak to your vet if you suspect that your dear little kitty has PTSD. It can be better managed with behavioral therapy.
But if your cat’s PTSD symptoms are rather severe, the vet might prescribe some medication to help your cat relax better.
Your Cat Just Doesn’t Like Being Cuddled
Here’s the unfortunate truth.
Some cats just don’t like being cuddled. They will fight tooth and nail if they feel human contact coming.
Don’t take it personally.
It isn’t due to your dragon breath or bad body odor but believe it or not, there are some cats that are averse to most types of human contact.
Professor Daniel Mills from Lincoln University has observed that no cats like constant touching but some are able to tolerate it.
There is actually a good explanation for this.
Cats are predominantly solitary creatures that spend most of their lives alone. Once they are old enough to leave their nest, it is pretty much every cat for itself.
The only time a cat would seek out another cat is during mating season.
It is more different for dogs who are always so open to human affection. They are pack animals at heart and are totally fine living together with fellow dogs.
This is why you have dog parks and not cat parks. Expecting cats to gather and play with other cats is a recipe for disaster.
Why Does My Cat Suddenly Not Want To Be Touched?
It is more worrisome if you have a cat who is usually a cuddle bug go cold towards your suddenly.
It could be that your cat is feeling unwell or is in some type of discomfort. Many cats that are sick usually tend to hide and avoid contact with their humans.
When my cat was suffering from a urinary tract infection, I could never find him at his usual sleeping spots. He will be hiding behind the door, burrowed under my blanket or somewhere out of sight.
Another tell-tale sign if the lack of appetite which is what I always look out for if I suspect that my cat isn’t in the best of health.
It would be best to take your cat to the vet for a checkup to see what is wrong.
Why Does My Cat Sit Next To Me And Stare?
As funny as this sounds, it does happen to me on a frequent basis. Cats do these to us when they are in need of something or trying to figure out what we are doing.
Your cat could be trying to get your attention because it is already 3 minutes past his mealtime. My cat does this a lot when I’m on the phone or busy typing on my laptop.
My cat sits right in front of my line of sight, which means on my keyboard, and gives me “What’chu doing?” stare.
Some car owners have also told me that their cats like to sit and stare at them while they eat. There must be something on the plate that is tickling the cat’s appetite.
Why Does My Cat Act Like It Doesn’t Know Me?
There are times when we can find out cats totally ignoring us on some days. We can be in the same room as our feline friends and behave like strangers.
Believe it or not, our cats can have their ‘off’ days too. You know, those days when you wake up feeling like screaming at the entire planet.
When this happens to me, I will usually give my cat some time to shake off whatever bad vibes he is feeling.
More often than not, he will come looking for me once he is ready for some loving. Don’t try to force affection on your cat on such days as it can only make things worse.
Can I Make My Cat More Affectionate?
To some extent, yes. My cat is pretty much living proof of that. He definitely was not an affection furball when I first got him. It was only after years of conditioning and socialization that he started to yearn for physical interaction with me.
Here are some tactics that you can use to try and get your cat more used to your affection.
Take It Slow
Never rush the process of bonding with your cat. Always go at the pace that your cat is comfortable with.
If your cat only likes being stroked for a few seconds, do not go beyond that. In fact, stop before your cat pulls away or acts up.
This is to let your cat know that you are happy to work on his terms and your cat will start to open up to you more.
Have More Playtime
Cats love to play, especially younger ones and playing with your cat is also a great way to build a bond and share affection.
When playing with your cat, do not use your hands and feet as toys. Otherwise your cat wills tart to associate your body parts as things they can bite.
Use things like a feather wand or a ball.
Touch your cat often while playing and also after playtime when they are too tired to resist your cuddles.
(Cue in evil laughter)
Don’t Raise Your Voice At Your Cat
Our cats are like kids and can get on our nerves at times. My cat knows that I really hate it when he lies on my pillow after taking a dump but still does it.
I know it can be tough at times but please so not shout or raise your voice at your cat.
I’m ashamed to admit that I have done it a couple of times and that really scared my cat. He avoided me for a few days and I had to really work to gain his trust back.
Use Baby Talk
Your cat’s sense of hearing is incredible and they can tune in to some really high-frequency sounds.
Using a high-pitched voice when talking to your cat works best as they tend to respond better to such sounds.
Cats like baby talk not because they understand what we are trying to say the high pitch sounds less intimidating than a low-pitched growl.
Get An Affectionate Breed
Not all breeds are made equal when it comes to being affectionate. They are some breeds that are really sticky and love being close and cuddled by their owners the whole day.
These cat breeds are:
- Maine Coons
- Scottish folds
If you want really affectionate cats, it is easier to get one that is already predisposed to be affectionate.
But be careful for what you wish for.
Having an affectionate cat means that you too need to have the time and commitment to spend a lot of time with your cat. Otherwise, it can start to get depressed and develop behavioral problems.
Cats Have Different Ways Of Showing Affection
At the end of the day, don’t forget that our cats are like humans too. They each have their own unique personalities and idiosyncrasies.
Having a cat that is less affectionate or doesn’t really like to be cuddled doesn’t that it loves you any less compared to a cuddle bug cat.
It might feel that way because that is how we humans express our affection for each other.
You need to learn to see it from your cat’s point of view to know that you are your cat’s universe and it loves you to bits.