While cats are stereotyped as sassy and solitary, many can be affectionate and cuddly, too. It’s on how you raise the kitty, aside from its natural breed traits. Knowing how to raise a kitten to be cuddly isn’t easy, but there are things you can do to make your feline more affectionate. Early socialization, regular handling, and grooming your kitten regularly will help so that it will gravitate toward you even more.
Why is my kitten not very cuddly?
You have to know that each cat has a unique personality. There can be two cats of the same breed but with different levels of affection. Also, it might depend on what you consider ‘affectionate’. Physical affection like rubbing its body on you, cuddling, and purring are just some of the ways a cat shows its love for its owner.
However, some kittens are more reserved in showing their affection. Some will give you a slow blink, which experts say is a sign that your cat trusts you and is at peace in your presence.
Also, it’s possible that your cat didn’t receive proper socialization and handling during its first weeks of life. A kitten must be socialized as early as eight weeks so you can raise it as a cuddly and affectionate feline. This time window is crucial because it’s also the same period when a kitten will develop its fight or flight instinct. While socializing an older cat is possible, it may not grow as cuddly as you want it to be.
Lastly, cuddling may not be natural to your cat’s breed. The likes of Sphynx, Egyptian Mau, and Bengal are not the cuddliest. Some have strong wild instincts, while others prefer being left alone.
How to raise a kitten to be more affectionate
If you want to raise your kitten as a cuddly and affectionate cat, the following tips will help. Just remember that to get your feline’s affection, you should be patient and never force them to do things.
- Handle the kitten frequently
One of the most important parts of raising a kitten is to handle it frequently. This will train your kitten to get used to being taken for grooming purposes. Aside from that, handling your cat helps in forming a bond between the two of you. This will also make your kitten see you as its mother.
It would be best if you handled the kitten as early as eight weeks, but be careful as your kitty has a small body. At the start, the kitten will appear aloof and skittish. Still, don’t back off and continue petting the kitten gently and slowly. Just beware because a kitten less than eight weeks can’t retract its claws yet.
When handling a very young kitten, avoid bringing it on a vast space. Kittens can get overwhelmed easily and may get stressed. With this, your kitten will associate your petting to something negative.
- Use the ‘slow blink’ method
Experts suggest that cats slow blink as a sign of trust and affection toward a person. So even if your kitten is not as cuddly as you want it to be, it can still say ‘I love you’ through its eyes. You can also slow blink back to your kitten to let it know that you feel the same.
A slow blink may not turn your kitten into a cuddle buddy right away, but it will help a lot. This convinces not everyone, but there’s nothing to lose if you’re going to try.
However, you should know how to differentiate a regular cat blink from a slow blink. Usually, a slow blink from a kitten will occur when the kitty is relaxed and calm.
- Don’t chase it
If you want to raise your kitten as a cuddly pet, never chase after it. Chasing as a form of play is only suitable for dogs. If you do this on your kitten, it will feel scared and threatened. Instead of making it cuddly or affectionate, chasing will make your pet aloof.
If you want your cat to come back, lure it with a toy or a tasty treat. Never punish or yell at your kitten because it will only run away even more.
- Use some treats
Treats are every cat’s weakness. Make sure that you reward your cat every time it will show affection. This will make the kitten realize that being cuddly and affectionate is a good thing. In just a few months, your kitten will be cuddling and cozying with you.
However, the tricky part here is the amount of treats you’re going to give. Of course, you shouldn’t give a treat every single time your cat cuddles with you. If you do so, it will become obese or demanding. I suggest randomly switching treats with affection so you can ditch the food reward later on.
- Don’t shout or use violence
No matter what your pet is, violence is never the answer. Violence never results in a cat being cuddly. Worse, it only sends your kitten away. If you practice this, don’t be surprised if your kitten will soon run away and never go home.
If you want to stop a malicious behavior, say a firm ‘No!’ and remove your kitten from its spot. Always be gentle and patient, so your kitten will still like you despite the disciplinary action.
Remember that animal cruelty is unlawful, and it can land you in jail.
- Be generous with playtime
Another way to raise your kitten as a cuddly cat is to give lots of playtime. It’s an excellent way to bond with your pet and make it used to be handled.
\With kittens, you should only practice gentle play because of their small bodies. Kittens have a lot of energy, and it can overwhelm them if there’s no one to play with.
Engaging your kitten in playtime with help drain its extra energy. After a long playtime session, your kitten will be sleepy and willing to cuddle with you. Make this a habit, and you’ll have a cuddly kitten in no time.
- Socialize your kitten
Socialization is crucial in every cat’s life. This will ensure that your kitten will be raised as a friendly and accepting feline. Cats that are not socialized and handled early on its life will resist cuddling. It may also become aggressive as a way to escape your arms.
Once you bring the kitten home, start introducing it to other people and pets. Take the process slowly so your new kitten will not be overwhelmed. Also, let the kitten approach other people on its terms instead of passing it on by hand.
Aside from that, it would be best if you also desensitized your kitten to different sounds. This will prevent your kitty from being anxious when it hears something loud like fireworks, talking crowd, and blaring music.
- Make your lap available
Lastly, make your lap available for your kitten. It would be best if you let your kitten decide when or where it wants to cuddle. Forcing it will only make your kitten loathsome of your efforts.
If your kitten has a favorite toy or a piece of your clothing it likes to knead on, put it on your lap to encourage your kitty to climb. Also, try coaxing your kitten into your lap with a reward. When it sits on your lap, reward it with a treat.
Remember that for you to get the kitten’s affection, you must show it to them first. However, avoid being too pushy or imposing on your actions. Stay patient and let the bond between you and your kitten blossom over time.
If you want to know how to raise a kitten to be cuddly, you must show it to the feline first. Be gentle, caring, and affectionate, so your kitty will do the same. Still, don’t be afraid to call out malicious behavior and rough play using non-violent methods. Also, give the kitten time in building its trust and love for you.