Author Topic: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?  (Read 3015 times)

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TootsNYC

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can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« on: February 07, 2013, 05:00:35 PM »
We want to get a cat in a few weeks' time, and we're wondering whether to get a kitten or a young cat.

The 2 cats I've owned as a grownup came to me as kittens, and they neither one of them were much for lap sitting or snuggle sleeping.

My son would like to have the kind of cat that likes laps and sleeps on your head.

An older cat will have expressed its personality, so finding one that likes to be snuggly might be more guaranteed.

But can you influence a kitten to be that way?

magicdomino

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 05:11:30 PM »
Not really, at least in my experience.  Cuddlekitties seem to be born, not made.  Magic, despite being extremely timid, loves to be on top of me.  Her brother, Domino the Neurotic can barely stand to get his ears scratched.  Nani doesn't like casual petting, and hates being picked up, but will snuggle next to me if I'm sitting down.  Koa will snuggle for about 15 minutes, then leaves.

Domino and Magic were 7 or 8 months old when I got them.  Even then, Domino kept his distance, while Magic would immediately crawl into my lap as soon as I sat down.  So, your best way of getting a cuddlekitty is to sit on the floor, and see who comes and sits on you.

katycoo

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 05:14:18 PM »
Nope.  We'd LOVE our cats to be lap cats but they're just not interested.  The closest they come is occasionally, OCCASIONALLY, if I'm laying on the sofa with a doona over me, one might come sit on the doona.  I'm convinced its because they're too stupid to realise my lap is underneath.
One does sleep on our bed, but only around our legs, and he never even sits with us on the couch when we're awake.

If snuggly is a must, get a grown up kitty.  I'm for adopting a grown up kitty anyway - they're much less desired and so lovely.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 06:35:39 PM by katycoo »

dawbs

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 05:15:52 PM »
I'm going with 'nope' too.
Some cats have the cuddle gene, some don't.

My crazy/evil/destruct-o-kitty cuddles,...but only on his own terms.  The other kitty was sitting in my lap purring the first day she came home and that's the way she's been ever since.

Amara

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 05:17:05 PM »
I agree with getting a grown-up cat. The shelter people can tell you which ones are snuggle-buns. And they also know their personalities. While kittens are adorable, the adults come "pre-categorized" (so to speak) plus they don't get adopted quite as often so your "adoption points" go way up when you get one.  ;)

Sebastienne

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 05:24:58 PM »
I think snuggling can be drawn out of them, if it's inherent but they don't know it yet. We rescued one of our cats from the mean streets of Chicago when he was maybe two years old (it was winter, we thought he was pregnant, we were very wrong), and he was so wary of us for the first few months that we couldn't even touch him. Ten years later, he's the biggest cuddler in the history of cuddling; he sleeps in my arms like a teddy bear. But we're pretty sure that instinct was there all along; he just didn't know it was a thing.

jpcher

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 05:48:44 PM »
I got my snuggle kitty when she was first weaned, so 4 weeks? I would carry her around with me, pick her up whenever I sat/laid down, gave her lots of hugs and attention. I don't know if she was born with the snuggle gene, or if she was "trained" to snuggle so early on, but she sure was snuggly all of her life. (Boy, do I miss her. :'()


My now kitty is a snuggler only when she feels like it, which isn't often. I got her when she was 7-8 months old and have no clue as to her prior life. No matter how the DDs or I tried to "train" her to be a snuggler the answer is always "Nope. Noway, nohow. I don't live by your rules." But we love her anyway and thoroughly enjoy the times when she deems us worthy of her snuggles. ::)


I guess the important thing is to tell your son that cats are like people. Everybody's different. Just because the cat doesn't enjoy snuggles doesn't mean it's a bad cat.

As a side note, DD#2 is a snuggler. Always has been ever since she was a baby. She still hold my hand when we're out in public. DD#1 is not big on hugs and stuff, even with her BF. So maybe there is something to the cuddle-gene theory, be it a cat or a human.




MerryCat

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 06:02:03 PM »
I thought kittens would be moldable too. That's why I was so excited when we got Mitten as a tiiny little month-ish old kitten. I figured I could train her to be snuggly, lovable, laid back, etc.

Right from the first day Mitten had her own plans. She cuddled when she wanted to cuddle, and when she was done she was done. With lots of patience she's finally starting to come around at a year and half old. She'll still only snuggle on her own terms, but it's happening more often these days :)

Piratelvr1121

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2013, 06:29:35 PM »
Bailey was not a lap kitty for the first couple of years that we had her but once I became pregnant with Piratebabe she started sitting in my lap (or what there was of it. ;) ) Now anytime I'm sitting down in a quiet place like in my room, she'll hop up and insist on being petted, but she won't do it in the living room.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

LadyL

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 07:16:49 PM »
My cat is not a huge snuggler but I did train him to sit in my lap by rewarding him with brushing when he does it. He will do it anywhere from  1-3 times a week. He will also cuddle if someone is using one of his favorite blankets with the fluffy texture. But he will not come sit in my lap just for the fun of it, he's too independent and will only do it if there's something extra in it for him (he's also very smart).

MorgnsGrl

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2013, 07:21:55 PM »
In my experience, you can't really train a cat to be a snuggle bug. If that's what you'd really like in a cat, I'd suggest planning to adopt an adult cat, and telling shelter staff that that's what you're looking for. I can almost guarantee that there will be one or more kitties who will be perfect for you! Remember that if that's the most important thing to you, you will in the long run value the cat's personality more than a pretty face.

Nikko-chan

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 07:27:03 PM »

My son would like to have the kind of cat that likes laps and sleeps on your head.


Maybe just the lap. There is a chance that if kitty also loves sleeping above someone's head.... kitty will also like to "groom" the person she is sleeping above. Said person will not like it when kitty gets into grooming and wraps paws around the person's head, claws and all. Just a thought.

Auntie Mame

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 07:29:40 PM »
They're born with it.  They are snuggly lap kitties or not.  My BF have polar opposite cats.  His cat hates, hates, HATES being picked up and won't get on a lap to save her life.  Whereas my cat believes "all the laps belongz to ME!".  They were both raised with tons of love and affection, it's just how their personalities are.

If you adopt a slightly older cat (1 to 4 years or so) you can get a much better feel for how snuggly they are.
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Onyx_TKD

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2013, 09:07:07 PM »
My family's two cats were adopted as young kittens. So young that the female wasn't even weaned yet, and we had to get kitten formula for her--the shelter thought both kittens were eating solid food, but really the male was the only one eating it. Despite being held and snuggled as kittens, neither of them ever became a lap kitty or liked being held (they weren't allowed on the beds, so no idea how cuddly they would have been there).

However, not liking laps didn't make them not cuddly--they adored being petted and would happily cuddle up with us on other terms, like hopping up on the piano bench to cuddle with whoever was playing.* There was just something about sitting directly on people's laps that freaked them out. Hold a cardboard box on your lap and they would curl up purring for ages. One of them liked to crawl in some cloth mesh bags we had and would happily allow us to carry her around the house practically upside down in the bottom of a bag (with no possibility of getting her feet under her if she was dropped), but wouldn't tolerate being held in someone's arms for more than a few seconds. Occasionally we could set her down on our laps while she was inside the mesh bag, and she'd be perfectly happy until she caught on that she was sitting on a lap and she'd immediately try to get away. I think cats are just weird and if you'd like a particular variety of cuddlyness, trying to adopt an adult cat is probably best. Otherwise, you'll probably have to adjust to the kitten and figure out if there is some type of cuddling that it likes, even if it means you end up needing to keep cat-size shoeboxes throughout the house for when you want a lap cat.

*It's a bit challenging to play the piano while a cat takes advantage of you sitting still to affectionately headbutt you in the armpit, especially if you're ticklish, like me and my brother...

Piratelvr1121

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2013, 10:22:04 PM »
My Bailey is a groomer.  I think it was on Saturday she woke DH up by licking his hand and she's been known to lick my face, hands, any exposed skin.  I really don't mind unless I'm trying to do something...like sleep in. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata