Getting cat to be more friendly - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2015, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Getting cat to be more friendly

After JessicaMac's post, maybe it's okay. Neither of the kittens are very affectionate. Where did I go wrong? I spent hours playing with them as babies in the 'safe room.' Sigh. They're 10.5 months and 8 months now.

Lily will occasionally come sit on my lap for awhile, maybe once a weekish. She used to let me pick her up and pet her a bit but now she just tries to get away. She tolerates nail clipping and brushing. Lucy hates being picked up at all. She'll never get on our laps. She does act like she wants to be petted sometimes. She hates brushing. She's indifferent to treats lately.

Any cat psychology for me?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 11:14 AM
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Get rid of your brushes. If your cats are longhair get a comb to groom them. One that is polished steel and rounded tips that don't scratch the skin, like often brushes do. Here's a type that works very well. The polished steel slides through the hair easily without pulling. If there is a mat, gently tease it apart....do it a little at a time and stop if there is resistance....you'll eventually get it all out.




Always make grooming sessions pleasurable.....just do the parts that the cat likes in the beginning.....head and cheeks, back, do slightly ticklish tummy area or inside back legs until cat is enjoying the grooming more. Speak softly in a sing song voice (what a p-r-e-t-t-y girl!) and reward with treats at the end of every grooming session. Comb once a day and you will have little hair drop all over. Soon your cat will be begging to be groomed if she sees you with the comb.
You can also reward your cat for sitting on your lap ....up the ante with a very yummy treat, like a small bit of cheese, or roast chicken. Sometimes you can bribe them into liking something.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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I use the fulminator. Lily likes it. Lucy hates it but I think it's mainly because it requires her to stand there. She also has more medium length hair. I can definitely try another brush for her.

Yes, I never thought to try real food treats. I'll do that. Thanks.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 01:27 PM
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Some kittens show affection from the word go, other kittens take a little longer. Patience is key. What kind of environment did they come from?

Both Robin, my current cat, and my orange boy Percy took some time to come around. Percy became REALLY affectionate, Robin doesn't love being picked up, but he loves petting and the occasional snuggle. keep giving em lovin and give it some time.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-08-2015, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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As little kittens they seemed snuggly, liked to be held, etc. Lily came from a breeder at 12 weeks, Lucy came from a rescue but was born in captivity lol! The mom was rescued from somewhere. She was also about 10 weeks I think.

I sometimes wonder if we should just leave them alone and quit trying to hold them/pet them etc and just let them come to us when they want it, or would that be bad too?

We play with them every day but lately it's just Lily, Lucy has been tending to mostly watch. It's weird. It used to be the other way around. Lucy was play play play and Lily would watch.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 12:51 PM
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I don't think you have done anything wrong, and sounds like you did all the right things, playing with them when they were younger, etc. Around the age your cats are now is the equivalent of having teenagers, who want to exert their independence and do their own things. Most kitty's go through this phase, and yes decide they don't want to be picked up. I would just continue playing with them and showing affection, especially on their terms, but not exclusively either. If they're in a wiggly state when you pick them up, walk around with them a bit and go to a window to look out....better yet if there are birds, squirrels or people walking by. Cats can learn by name what squirrels or birdies are. One of those cat videos that have birds and squirrels on them are good at teaching them the names if you watch with them and name them. It you chat to one while carrying her to the window...say, "let's see if there are birdies?" cat will forget about being wiggly and concentrate on looking out the window. When she's starting to lose interest, put her down before she gets wiggly, then lavish praise on her. Most cats get snugglier as they get older, so don't give up on them. I especially think Lily will turn around as she likely had better socialization to people and more handling from her breeder than Lucy did, who may have missed out on that, and may turn out to be what I call a "cat's cat"....likes other cats better than people. All the best.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-09-2015, 03:34 PM
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You can train them to come when you call. Once you've got that down, lure them onto your lap and treat them for being there.

Turkey baby food works wonders. Positively reinforcing the behaviors you want might make all the difference.

That said, I agree with catlover...they are teenagers. They might not turn out to be lap cats or pick me up cats. Kitten personality almost never matches adult personality. Sometimes the snuggliest kitten because the most standoffish adult (it's like they wake up one day and say...I've had enough cuddles, I'm off to explore now) and vice versa...some crazy kittens will calm down at 1 years old and suddenly become the sweetest lap cat.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-10-2015, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks both of you for the encouragement. Of course we won't give up on them no matter their personality. I had forgotten they are teenagers now. They both used to come when called, but we kind of stopped that. Will have to go back to that. I'll try the baby food meat and some real meat too as someone else suggested. It is impossible to put Lucy down before the struggling starts, as it is instantaneous.

Last edited by marie73; 01-15-2015 at 01:53 PM.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 12:05 AM
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Our boys are about 9-10 months. Panther has never been overly cuddly while Happy is the biggest baby! We started fussing over Panther a bit more, and giving him scratches til we found his favourite spots (under the chin and near his tail). He came to realise it wasn't a bad deal, and seems used to being pet now. He still doesn't like head pats or being picked up, but he can be quite sooky, still only on his terms though, and loves curling up with us at bed time. Happy always climbs in to our laps, demands pats and lets us pick him up and hold him, but doesn't like sleeping with us.

I think the main thing for them has been working with their personalities, finding what they like/will tolerate, and gradually going from there. I do think talking to them in the cute-sy voice works though. Panther always chirps back now and comes to us to see what we are going on about!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-11-2015, 02:37 PM
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No worries..cats are cats..they 'like' who they like.

Our new kitten follows my wife around the house....wants NOTHING to do with me.
And Im the 'cat' lover. She doesmt even really like cats too much..figure that out......
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