HomeCat Behaviorcat personalityLoving Your Cat The Way He Likes It

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Loving Your Cat The Way He Likes It — 6 Comments

  1. Hi all. Just catching up. I agree totally with premise of article. I’d like to offer one small counter example, from my experience with rescue cat Tootsie.

    Online adoption ad said “does not like to be picked up”. Certainly not a make or break for adoption, but having had so much experience with cats I figured I could change this. (Human failing). And, I like the cat-in-arms closeness.

    So, I would pick her up, maybe once every two days, but let her go, gently released to the ground the moment she started to struggle. Usually after about two seconds. I gradually discovered there was a certain way to hold her so that she would stick about for a few more seconds. Enough time to scritch her chin. Oh, of course, never picked her up except when she was calm, awake, and just hanging out.

    Then out of the blue, maybe three years after I adopted her, I picked her up and she started purring, and loving it. Loved having her chin and ears “scritched”. Wow! After about 5 minutes she’d had enough of it, so I gently let her down. It’s rare that she will “get into it” for 5 minutes, but when she’s in the mood, she really really does seem to enjoy picked up.

    I think it’s a matter of “trust established”. In that she “knows” that her choice to stay for whatever amount of time she chooses, and that I won’t force myself on her to keep her in my arms a second longer than she wants to stay.

  2. Even in a human relationship love requires respect – if you really love a person then you must know when to give them space and furthermore you should want to give them space if thats what they need. The first thing that goes down the drain when ‘love’ comes into the picture with humans is ‘respect’ – it just goes out the window and doesnt come back. That can not last a long time and it doesn’t. Respect yourself and others and don’t break that rule in the name of love.

  3. Molly is very particular about how and when you approach her and how and when she wants cuddles. I always give her too much space and let her ask me when its time that she wants some affection. She has habits of wanting cuddles when i get up in the night – she comes running all ready to roll on the floor for belly rubs and so on but if you just walk to her another time of day and try to pick her up she will claw her way out and run away and not go near you. I have a feeling something happened to her before she came to live with me because its very unusual. Gigi her almost sister has total trust and lets you stroke her or cuddle her but i never do it if i sense she is busy or not in the mood – even though she will let me. She likes kisses and cuddles though and expects them when I get home and at certain times. It takes a while to get used to each cat and their particular nature and rhythm but I believe you give them too much space and let them come to you. Sometimes you dont even look them in the eye if they are new to you or nervous. I always get affection from cats I meet simply because i make sure never to invade their space and if I do something by accident – like a loud noise – i apologize and just calmly back away. They always end up coming over and headbutting me in the end, even cats I meet in the street 🙂 Cats need space and no loud noises or abrubt movement. Some cats would rather you pet them when they are up high or under a bed and thats fine too. They need to feel safe form the giants. Molly is really coming out of her shell now and almost never gets spooked but I am very careful and talk to her quietly if I need to walk past her. I am very angry about the fact that she seems to have had a bad experience before coming to me. Somebody must have got pissed off or done something bad to her because her behaviour does not come from nowhere. They mentioned she pooped on the floor once inside – i have a feeling she got yelled at or pushed or something. Lilly want cuddles all the time so its never an issue to pick her up or snuggle with her. But I agree – often people just annoy and push them aaway by constantly wanting to touch them. Don’t touch unless you are touched and most things will work themselvesout after that. This is the first lesson and key to connecting with your cat – and playing with them is too.

    • An instructional comment that adds first hand experience to the post. The word “space” comes up. This is an important word and on its own almost summarizes what we need to give a cat as well as plenty of TLC.

  4. Another brilliant article Michael, which shows you have not only love but deep rescpect for cats.
    You know them well!
    Yes some cats, like some people, enjoy a lot of affection but it’s not right to smother them with love and cuddles if they don’t want it, some may tolerate a lot but some may just as easily give out a swipe when they’ve had enough.
    We have to learn the signs, our Jozef loves his tummy nuzzled and giving lots of head butts back but we respect his right to stop when he wants to, we know the look in his eyes that says OK that’s enough. Walter is harder to read, he has a shorter tolerance for love sessions, he likes little and often lol he likes to sit on the arm of the chair to be peacefully close.
    Yes parents need to teach their kids that cats are not toys, they don’t like being carried about or dressed up, they may tolerate it for a while but shouldn’t be blamed if the child won’t let them go when they want to and the cat lashes out.
    Your words ‘love should be delivered on the cat’s terms’ say it all.

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