Author Topic: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?  (Read 2792 times)

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EMuir

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2013, 03:20:18 PM »
It is hard to tell at shelters, if you are choosing a cat you need to spend enough time with it to tire it out and then see what it does.  However, many shelter cats may be desperate for attention.  I fostered a cat who was an absolute snugglebug, but now that she's no longer desperate she's not much of a lap cat.

I used a technique from the Way of Cats blog to convince our one cat to spend more time with us.  Find your cat wherever it is and greet it, pet it a few times, talk to it, DO NOT PICK IT UP, and then leave.  Make a point of finding your cat and showing it you like spending time with it.  It may start seeking you out too.  Then it's just a matter of making an appealing lap (treats?  Warm blanket?) and hoping. :)

Jocelyn

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2013, 01:40:09 PM »
It's possible for a cat to have learned that snuggling isn't safe, and to unlearn that lesson. Gentry was a greeter- he would come running out to me, stroke up against my ankles, but when I brought him indoors and had him neutered so he could stay, it triggered anxiety from whatever had happened that made such a friendly, well-socialized cat into a stray. Took a long time before he would approach me (at least partially because he was low cat on the totem pole) and any time I put an arm around him, he'd scoot. Being held in place was scary for him. Then he went through a stage where he wanted to sleep next to me, if I had my arm lying out at a right angle to my body. Now, he likes to snuggle against the small of my back, or sleep against my shoulder, and he snuggles with the other kitties. He's still not thrilled about being held, but it's more of a grumpy acceptance rather than a panicked need to run. I've had other rescue kitties who became much more snuggly as they learned to trust.

Shoo

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2013, 01:47:00 PM »
We adopted 2 feral kittens a couple of months ago, and while they're both sweet and loving, one is an extreme snuggler and the other is only a moderate snuggler.

Be careful what you wish for!  My extreme snuggler drives me bonkers sometimes.  He is so demanding of attention, that I have to make sure he's locked out of my bedroom at night.  The other one is perfect.  She wants to lay NEAR me, even touching up against me, but not ON me, like her brother.  He'd lay across my face if I let him.


CrochetFanatic

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2013, 01:58:11 PM »
Nope.  Cats do what they feel like doing.  You can train a cat to do tricks (sit up, give a kiss, shake paws; they're very smart) if there's something in it for them, but it still pretty much depends on whether or not they want to.

On the other hand, if a cat is a cuddler or an attention hog, good luck reading a book or a newspaper without having to do it over kitty's back.  ;D

We've got three; one who won't take no for an answer when it comes to cuddling, one who can take it or leave it, and one who will do it on her terms and give you a good hiss if you try to force her.  And we wouldn't trade them for anything.  8)

Bijou

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2013, 03:28:17 PM »
I don't know if you can.  I think you have to approach the cat carefully so as not to infringe on it's wishes.  I've had cats that loved to lap sit and cuddle and cats who were not particularly fond of being handled and petted.  I think you have to let them lead the way and not force it on them.
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MamaMootz

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2013, 03:39:15 PM »
I POD what everyone else said. Either they are snugglers or they aren't.

I have two cats. Both are shelter kitties. We adopted Princess as a kitten and she doesn't want any part of anyone except my husband. But she still won't snuggle up on his lap.
Blackjack, on the other hand, is our "dog cat". Even though when we adopted him from the shelter he was already an adult male cat, and he was abused by humans and is missing his top teeth because of those monsters, he will come up to anyone - even total strangers, and jump right on their lap and start purring.

It's definitely a personality trait, but I also like to think it might be breed specific as well. I had a Russian Blue that I adopted from a shelter that was the most affectionate cat to me, ever. He would sleep on my head, on my stomach, on my lap. But only with me. Anyone who came near me got hissed at, as did anyone that came near him. But that was probably his personality, too  ;D

Good on you for adopting an adult shelter animal - most people want the kittens. Adults have a lot of advantages: they are already litter trained, and they don't get into as much mischief. I agree with the poster who suggested that you spend a lot of time in the shelter with the kitties, if you can.
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Bijou

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2013, 11:52:35 PM »
Something I have noticed with shelter animals is that the staff seems to know something about their personalities and whether they are affectionate, like to be left alone and stuff like that. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Starr

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #37 on: February 10, 2013, 12:10:44 AM »
In my experience, snuggling is luck of the draw.  My older cat came to me as an adult stray, and he refused to cuddle for YEARS, but recently has become quite the laid back snuggle bug.  He's lying next to me as I type.

Cat number two was just past kittenhood when we adopted him (found him abandoned in a parking lot) and he loved to snuggle when he first came home.  Actually, he loved for me to hold him like a baby, rock him in our recliner, and sing the "Soft Kitty" song from Big Bang Theory  ;D.  Now, he's extremely active and won't stand cuddling for more than a minute or so.

In other words, I don't think cats can be trained to receive affection/cuddles.

furrcats

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #38 on: February 10, 2013, 12:24:30 AM »
I got my cat at 3 mouths old the day I got him he got in my lap and never got off.  ;)

jaxsue

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Re: can you train a cat to be a snuggle bug?
« Reply #39 on: February 10, 2013, 11:10:26 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.

I agree. 6 months old is a good time to see a cat's personality.