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Old 06-13-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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Default What to do about an unaffectionate kitty?

I have two cats. My older cat is a very affectionate boy. He loves to sleep in my bed at night, he frequently curls up next to me on the couch, and I'm always enthusiastically greeted with a purr. He's about 4 years old. My younger cat is the polar opposite. If I bring him to bed or set him next to me on the couch, he leaves immediately. He very rarely seeks out my attention, and he never purrs. As a kitten, he was perfectly loving, but now he seems to have zero interest in me, unless it's feeding time. He's a little over a year and half old now.

I get that different animals have different personalities, but it's still disappointing. Does anyone have any suggestions for inspiring affection in an aloof kitty? (He doesn't like catnip - I've tried!)
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:56 AM
 
Location: midwest suburbia
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Probably the less you try to force interaction, the better you'll do. Let him call the shots for awhile. If you notice certain things he initiates doing on his own, for play, etc., stick with those. Pretty much you have to accept him as he is, but the less you try to make him do things the more relaxed he'll be.
My older cat isn't nearly as affectionate as she was as a kitten. I've noticed she seems to feel much more lovey-dovey on waking up from a nap.
This is a great reason to adopt adult cats, if you're looking for a certain personality. It's very hard to tell with kittens how they'll be as adults.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:10 AM
Status: "Never have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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The older cat may have let the baby know "This is my human" and now he is hesitant to show affection.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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Could be a phase. He is neutered?

I agree, don't force yourself on him, let him be who he is. There are things you can do to facilitate bonding, however.

Cats thrive on routine. So involve him in certain 'rituals' at the same time every day.

Play interactive Games with him every day at the same time.

Have grooming sessions at the same time every day.

Have a little treat ritual, where you hand feed, and then toss some (for Chase The Kibble Game)

When you come in at the end of the day, put your things down, and before you do anything else, sit on the floor and have a greeting session. Then get up and go about your evening chores, and proceed later with usual routine stuff such as meal times, play times, grooming sessions and so on.

If he chooses to get on your lap or settle next to you, resist the urge to pet him. Just let him be close to you without interference.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:20 AM
 
Location: in a nut house
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One of my cats, a 6yr. old, was affectionate somewhat as a kitten. But now the only time she wants me to touch her is on her terms. When she's ready for lovin' she approaches me and let's me pet, rub her. She let's me do this until she's had enough. This occurs maybe once a week. It's frustrating, but she's my "don't touch me, I'm a star" cat. I haven't been able to pick her up in years. I can get her half way up and then she bolts. Oh well. I know she loves me anyway.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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My cat was mostly like that for years. She doesn't always seek out affection. Now that she's gotten a lot older (15 now) she actually seeks it somewhat more than she did in the middle years.

One thing she'll almost never do is stay put after you pick her up and place her somewhere. Some cats will do that, but I wouldn't think it too common.

So you just have to do things on his terms. Don't force it. Interact in other ways, treats sometimes, interactive play with a toy, etc. He may be more aloof than some cats but I'm sure he'll show some affection, just on his own terms.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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This is a good topic. We hear a lot about affectionate kitties, but not so much about those aloof ones. I think the advice given here is good. You can't force things, especially with cats. Kudzu mentioned that the older cat may have claimed you, thus shutting out the younger cat. That makes sense.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:38 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
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I'll echo the sentiments expressed here about letting him call the shots...the more you try to force contact/interaction with an aloof-type cat, the more they seem to rebel. I liked Catsmom's idea about playing interactive games, this is a great way to bond and lets him know you're available without being pushy. My cats' all-time favorite cat toy is called the "Cat Dancer" (available for $2 on Amazon), it's a really simple toy (a long piece of wire with some cardboard-looking thingies on both ends), but the way it moves really excites them and they have a blast with it!

Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:50 AM
Status: "Never have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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My Ragdolls are just the opposite. Oscar is downright obnoxious with stretching up my leg if I am
standing still, wants in my lap when I'm sitting and right now he is tapping on the keyboard reaching out to me for pets. I even keep a spray bottle by my computer so I can get some work done without harassment. I can't even imagine an aloof cat. But I do remember some way in the past.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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I would try pointedly ignoring the unaffectionate kitty (of course still feeding him, etc.) and see what happens. He may seek you out. My cats have always hated it when I pretended not to care about interacting. In any case, let him find his own path.
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