Some cat breeds are more affectionate than others. If you are looking to bring an affectionate cat into your home, consider one of these breeds:
What breeds are considered the least affectionate is a highly debated topic. Many people have cats of the breeds on this list and report they are very affectionate. However, in general, many people consider these breeds less affectionate than the average cat. The list includes:
Like humans, signs of affection vary from cat to cat. Some cats might swat at or nip at you to show affection, while others do this to warn you to back away or let you know they are overstimulated.
In general, the following signs indicate your cat wants to be affectionate with you and loves you:
If your cat is licking you, it might be a sign he or she considers you part of the family and wants to groom you.
Don’t assume that biting is meant as a sign of aggression, although it might be. In some cases, though, cats gently nip at you or play-bite to show affection. Biting is something kittens and cats do when playing with their feline friends. As long as you aren’t getting hurt and the bite isn’t hard, it’s probably okay to allow some biting.
Cats tend to avoid eye contact unless they are comfortable with you. If your cat is willing to look into your eyes for any length of time, it’s a good sign. And if she gives you a slow blink, it means she’s content and trusts you. Try returning the slow blink and see how she responds.
Cats like to rub up against you to mark you as their territory. They head-butt you to spread their scent onto you.
As unappealing as it might be to receive a mouse pet, hunting for you is a sign they love you. Hopefully, your cat can keep the gifts to the toy variety.
Pay attention to your cat’s tail when he approaches you. If his tail is held high with a slight flip of the tips, it means they’re friendly and they feel you are too.
It might be tough to interpret a cat’s meow, but most of the time, if you’re getting a gentle meow that doesn’t sound panicked or angry, it’s a sign you’re liked.
Kittens learn to knead to stimulate their mother’s milk and they continue to practice this behavior once they are grown. If your pet likes to knead on you, it means they are comfortable and secure around you.
A lot of time, a good round of kneading is followed by your cat settling in and sleeping on you. If this happens, you’ve reached cat affection nirvana. Your cat loves you and trusts you and you’ll have a friend for life.
Keep in mind, if your cat stops doing these things, it doesn’t mean they’ve stopped loving you. It could just be a change of habit or adjustment to something that has changed in their environment. However, a change in usual behavior could also indicate your cat has a health issue. It’s best to take your cat for a veterinarian exam if you notice a behavior change.
If you have an unaffectionate cat, there might be ways to get him or her to be more affectionate. In some cases, it just takes time. If your cat is new to your home, wait a few weeks, relax, and be non-demanding around your cat, and see how your relationship evolves.
If you and your cat have been living together for some time and the affection level isn’t where you want it to be, try the following:
Also, keep in mind that some breeds are more affectionate than others. If your cat is of mixed breed, it could be that some of its lineage comes from a less affectionate breed.
The two main reasons your cat might not like to be affectionate with you include it’s just their personality or breed or they haven’t bonded with you.
No matter the breed, kittens tend to be affectionate with new owners, but adult cats usually take some time to warm up. On the other hand, some cats are always distant and independent. There might be nothing you can do to change your cat’s natural disposition.
In some cases, cats that are bonded with you and relatively attached to you might act as if they don’t want affection. There could be a few reasons for this. For example, your cat might be:
You can do several things if you’d like to form a stronger bond with your cat. For example:
All breeds of cats are creatures of habit and love having rituals with their human companions. If you do something with your cat that “works,” keep doing it. For instance, if your cat lets you pet her coat or pat her on the head for a minute every day before giving her breakfast, stick to that routine.
Playing with your cat is one of the best ways to bond, especially when your cat is younger. Cats love chasing strings and retrieving items. About 30 minutes a day is recommended for play with your cat. This gets them active and gives the two of you a chance to interact.
No matter how affectionate your cat might eventually become, they’ll still want space at times depending on their personality. Cats have moods just like humans. Make sure your cat has space to which to retreat that is comfortable, quiet, and alone. Some cats like to go behind or under furniture. If your cat retreats, allow them to do so, as long as they are still coming out to eat and use the litter box.
It’s also important to understand the warning signs of when to back off. Cats almost always let you know before they’ve had enough and it’s important to respect these cues. Leave your cat alone if you notice:
Cats appreciate predictability. They are creatures of habit and prefer familiar environments where they know the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. If you must make a transition, do so slowly and be understanding. This helps your cat learn to trust you and increases the odds he or she will be affectionate with you.
If you aren’t having much luck moving to the next stage of bonding, let your cat take the lead. Signs that your cat is comfortable with you include purring, head-butting, kneading, and sitting on or near you. Appreciate the process of bonding with your cat, even if it seems excruciatingly slow.
When your cat shows you affection, offer a reward. In addition to responding affectionately, give your cat a treat when they sit on your lap or accept your advances. Just don’t be surprised if your cat expects the reward every time they perform the behavior!
Avoid discipline as often as possible. There might be times you need to alert your cat to something dangerous or help them learn the lesson of the house, but negative reinforcement drives you further apart. As much as possible, especially if your cat is reluctant to bond, avoid punishing your cat. Never be physically violent with your cat and try not to startle them when you must use discipline.
“Demystifying Feline Behavior.” Penn Today, https://www.penntoday.upenn.edu/news/demystifying-feline-behavior.
“Understanding Cats | Indoor Pet Initiative.” Indoorpet.osu.edu, https://www.indoorpet.osu.edu/cats/understanding-cats.