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stevenb's avatar

How can I get my 1 year old kitty (male) to be more loving?

Asked by stevenb (3836points) January 2nd, 2011 from iPhone

He is a sweet cat, but NEVER purrs unless he is sucking and kneading on his blanket. He doesn’t like to be held, snuggled, etc. He is playfull, but also a bit skittish. He wasn’t ever beaten when he was little, and never abused. Is there any way to get him to be more affectionate, or is it just not in him? I haven’t had a male cat in thirty years, but my first one was very lovey.
He is a very touchy cat, using his paws to touch everything, and playing alot. He almost always just sleeps in a random spot on the floor, not in any comfy/cozy spots. He loves the lazer.

I know I am projecting my desired personality traits on him, but he is so cute, and sweet, that my wife and I would like to be able to get him to sit in our laps and purr to sleep. Any ideas? Am I just out of luck? Thank you!

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8 Answers

faye's avatar

I would try having snacks in my lap like Temptations my cat acts like the commercial and pet him while he’s there. Might take a dozen bags!

Seelix's avatar

I don’t know if you can make him snugglier, but if you find a way, let me know! Although Magrat is a big Mommy’s baby, Archer hates snuggling with me – he’ll only snug with his dad.

tinyfaery's avatar

Cats pretty much form their kittynalities in kittenhood, but that does not mean you cannot retrain. Treats are the best way to go. Offer an irresistible treat and get him to come to you. When he does, hold the treat to his nose in one hand and then stroke him with the other hand. (Some cats do not like to be touched in certain places, so try his head, back and above the tail until you find the sweet spot.) If he runs from you, keep offering the treat until he returns to you. Eventually he should let you touch him for a least a second, when he does, give the treat. Each time try to pet him a little longer. Soon he should be rubbing up against you for a treat, and then he won’t need a treat. Good luck. It could take some time. He is still young though.

If he is not neutered, do it now.

jaytkay's avatar

One time I read there is critical period, at maybe six weeks (my memory is vague on this, that time frame could be wrong) where handling a kitten turns it into a cuddler and leaving it alone makes it aloof.

Maybe someone else can confirm or refute that theory.

Coloma's avatar

I have a 10 mos. male that is similar in behavior as you describe.

He rarely seeks out affection, but can be very loving and purr a lot, mostly if you pet him when he is in a relaxed and/or sleeping state.

He does NOT like to be held or cuddled either, and, he also has a very agressive streak and will bite and scratch when irritated.

He does enjoy ( and purrs ) when I drag up to my pillow in the middle of the night and he likes to lie near me.

He has been neutered for 3 months now and has mellowed some, but, I am hoping some of his independent behavior is rebellious teenage cat mode and that he will mellow more as he ages.

Cats do change a lot as they get older and, in my vast cat ownership experiences over the last 30 years, males tend to become much more loving and homebodies around middle-age, 10 years or so.

Kinda like the human male. lol

gondwanalon's avatar

I think that the best thing to do in your situation is to accept your cat the way he is. Don’t try to force the issue. He may become more affectionate over time on his own. Our 10 year old female was very hyper and squirrelly when she was a small kitten. Slowly over the years and on her own terms she now shows much more affection. She will sometimes sit on my lap or on my chest and purr. But she still doesn’t like to be picked up and held. I accept the way she is and she accepts me in a kind of mutual respect.

BarnacleBill's avatar

One of my cats hates to be touched. However, she sits on the table next to me when I’m on the computer. Often she rests her head on my hand. Let me try to pet her, and she kicks up a major fuss. Forget about picking her up or having her sit on my lap. One of the male cats likes to suck on my clothes, but won’t sit in my lap or next to me. The other cat waits until I’m asleep and then parks himself on my chest, hip or back, depending on which direction I’m facing.

jerv's avatar

Cats are what they are, but they can change over time… if they want.

The cat I have now was a 4–5 year old stray female from a shelter. During the first month that we had her, she ran away twice, but came back on her own both times within a couple of hours. Since then, she stays where the people who give her the salmon treats are.

She was skittish and seemed to hate people. She still doesn’t like being held or picked up, but she will sleep on your chest, and occasionallly throw herself onto her back and demand a belly-rub.

She is still affectionate on her own terms, but at least she is affectionate after a year and a half in a house with nice people who play with her and spoil her. She hasn’t even thought of running off again either; she likes her ear-scrithes and fishy-noms too much.

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