Author Topic: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?  (Read 2782 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Aeris

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9638
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2013, 10:43:27 PM »
This is pretty solidly a cat personality trait rather than a trainable behavior. It would be sort of like saying you wanted to adopt a child who would be really into sports. You can try to *foster* that trait, but you can't create it out of nothing and ultimately you have little control over it. It's best to be pretty comfortable with the typical full range of cat personalities before committing to adopting.

There are some breeds that are more commonly lap cats though, so you could research those breeds and try to see if shelters have kittens that appear to be those breeds when you're adopting. But even then it's far from a guarantee.

Julian

  • I lost it between Thriller and Gangnam Style...
  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 794
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2013, 11:14:10 PM »
In my experience they're either snuggle-bugs or not, and nothing I've done with them has changed that.

Morty, one of the current batch, is Not A Lap Cat, hates being picked up, and only on exceedingly rare occasions will he get on a lap at all.  However, he loves rough love, nuggies, brushes (he'll stand on my lap drooling if I brush him, but won't sit down) and attention.  He will stand there demanding attention, complete with mournful howls, elbow licking and The Claw - one extended claw that he pokes with till he gets what he wants.  This, from a cat who never ever in his life intentionally scratched anyone, adult or child, and who as a tiny little kitten would gleefully claw the stuffing out of a toy but retract claws once a hand came near.  And he'll happily lie next to somebody with his head cushioned by their body.

Salem is a happy little lap cat, when it suits her.  In fact for most cats it's 'when it suits them'.  She's still young, not quite 2, and gets a bit excitable sometimes, so if something startles her, she'll jump off the lap, claws out, and flee. 

Previous cats I've been owned by have varied from the curl up and never move, immovable object type lap cat to the seriously psycho kitty I got landed with once when a neighbour moved and left her with me.  (Her offspring were just as ratty, so I suspect with her it was a genetic personality issue, certainly nothing I ever did caused her to be that way, and nothing I ever did improved her disposition, or her kittens'.  They all acted like ferals despite tons of attempted lovin'.)

I think PPs have it right when they suggest adopting an older/adult cat rather than a kitten, and see which of them comes to you for snuggles.  Even snugglebugs may take some time to warm to a stranger, but you can see the ones that want to - they'll frequently come close, close enough that you need to stretch to reach them, so with plenty of space if they want to make a quick getaway in case they feel threatened. 

Daffydilly

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2357
  • Live;) Laugh;( Pretend you're sane :-}
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2013, 01:51:55 AM »
If you go through a foster/rescue, they will have definite ideas about cats personalities. I have to admit, when I read the title, my first response was, "dip yourself in catnip and let em have it".

veryfluffy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2946
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2013, 04:35:24 AM »
Another vote for getting an adult cat with a proven lap-sitting certification! Kittens are uniquely adorable creatures, but you never can tell what their dispositions will be like.

If you do opt for a kitten, only get one if you can actually sit and interact with the litter for a good hour or so. Once they have got used to you, don't take the biggest, bravest, most sociable one. See if any of them will stay put on your lap and relax and enjoys being snoogled rather than attacking your hand. If a kitten likes to be picked up and held, it is more likely to grow up into a snuggly cat.
   

atirial

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2644
  • just 'plane mad
    • Tirial & Errror blog
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2013, 05:00:06 AM »
If you go through a foster/rescue, they will have definite ideas about cats personalities. I have to admit, when I read the title, my first response was, "dip yourself in catnip and let em have it".
Argh! Have you seen a cat with a catnip mouse? I'd rather remain uneaten.

Regarding the OP, you're better off getting an adult cat. Even if they are snuggly, there's no guarantee who in the house they will 'adopt', if not everyone, so it might work better if you take your son along to meet the cat and confirm they get along before you get it.

merryns

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 822
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2013, 05:00:47 AM »
I wouldn't rule out getting a kitten, as long as you choose carefully and don't expect to be able to shift its basic nature. I've adopted seven cats as kittens over my adult years. All had the same personalities the day we got them as when they grew up. You can choose a kitten with the personality you want. Spend some time making your choice, and the staff should be able to advise as well. The RSPCA (Australian national animal welfare charity) gives a basic personality description of all the kittens on their website.

jaxsue

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10229
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2013, 07:48:49 AM »
I have had several cats in my lifetime. I've learned from them that the snuggle factor is built in; they love to snuggle or they don't. That's why I choose them carefully. The kitten that squirms away from me is not a candidate. The one that falls asleep in my arms, purring, is a keeper.

So far, it's worked, because both my cats are lap cats. You sit down, and within a few minutes you have one snoozing in your lap.  :)

MindsEye

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1136
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2013, 08:37:16 AM »
I second everyone who recommended adopting an older cat, or letting the rescue workers know that you are looking for a snuggly lap cat so that they can match you up with cats who have that kind of personality.

If you are not averse to looking at purebreeds, there are breeds that are known for having particularly snuggly qualities... the Ragdoll for example.  You can try checking out rescue groups for those breeds.

Kiara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2583
    • My dragons!
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2013, 09:34:35 AM »
I'd look for a 6 month old or older.  Personalities tend to come out around then.  The rescue workers should also know who's a snuggler.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6556
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2013, 09:48:58 AM »
Thinking about this last night, my experience with cats has been the male cats have been more demanding of attention.  My female cats have all been personable, but were more likely to want attention for shorter periods of time.  Where the male cats, especially the one we have now, seem to view me more as a member off his pride who he expects will feed, entertain, and groom him continually. But he is not a traditional lap cat. Instead he wants to mbe held while you are standing or wants to sit on nthe back of your chair rom sofa with him butt resting on your shoulder. His sister will come sit in our lap or lay beside us in the evening only. The rest of the day she's too busy tomsitbstill for more than a little attention.

I agree with others about adopting a 6 month old or so.

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7088
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2013, 09:55:14 AM »
I don't know what your timetable is for adopting a cat, but if you can wait a few months there is a super-adoption event in April in the NY area. Lots of groups will be bringing their pets so you will have the advantage of being able to talk to a few different agencies at the same time:

http://www.bestfriends.org/What-we-do/Events/Pet-Super-Adoptions/

AlephReish

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 215
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2013, 11:49:06 AM »
I second (third? zillionth?) what others have said - it's a pretty in-born personality trait. As my two cats have gotten older, they've gotten more into laps, but it's not constant.

When you go to the shelter to pick out a cat, spend as much time as you can there. If it's a free-range place, sit down somewhere accessible and see who comes to you and what they want. The first cats to approach will be the bold, playful, curious ones. After a little while, you'll get the more cautious kitties, and at some point, you'll look down and realize someone has snuck into your lap and fallen asleep there. You may even get a line waiting for your lap. (That happens every time I go in and volunteer at my shelter. Seriously - a line for the lap and a line for the brushing.)

Ginger G

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 358
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2013, 01:19:34 PM »
Yes, it's just odd how some are such lap lover and some are not....

I have two brothers, Charlie and Clyde.  I started fostering them when they were about 6 weeks old, and ended up keeping them.  Clyde has always been extremely friendly to everybody and loves to be petted and picked up and cuddled.  He gets highly jealous when another cat is being petted and will try to insert himself between you and the other cat in order to keep all of the attention for himself.  However, he never ever sits on our laps or sleeps in the bed with us unless you're in the guest bedroom.   For some weird reason, he loves it when people sleep in there.  He's also the only cat that I've ever had that never, ever kneads.  Charlie on the other hand is a very shy kitty but loves to cuddle on your lap and sleeps right next to me every night.

My black kitty, Bix, is a very affectionate lap kitty, but doesn't like to sleep in the bed with us at all.

My female Ginger is the oddest one of the group.  When I got her, she was about 5 or 6 months old, and wasn't affectionate at all, she didn't like being petted and never purred.  She was a stray and was "semi-feral" I guess.  After much work and patience on my part, she now loves being petted and will harass you until she gets enough head rubs.  She never sits on my lap on the sofa, but when I get in bed she wants to sit right on my chest with her butt in my face.

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28640
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2013, 02:40:52 PM »
Purchase a bamboo-viscose housecoat.

Worked for my mom, she can't get the cat off her when she wears it.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Reader

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 642
Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2013, 02:58:52 PM »
I agree.  Snuggling is a character trait, not trainable.  But the easy way to find a cuddler is to visit local shelters, especially places that have cat rooms (cats allowed to free roam with no cages), the ones that are snugglers will have no problem crawling right up in your lap for pets and purring, with no intention of leaving.   :)  I wish I could take you to this wonderful no kill shelter in my town.  They allow volunteers to cuddle with all their kitties, old and young.  So I have ended up in the kitten room with 6 or more kitten/teenage range cats in my lap all trying to fit.  It's a hilarious sight.  ;D