Cat Forum banner

Kittens don't rub their heads against me :-(

7755 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  amelia100
Hi all - hoping for advice. I recently adopted two 4-month-old kittens. I had wanted very affectionate kittens since my previous cats "spoiled" me - always rubbing their heads against me, laying in my lap, gazing at me adoringly. (I miss them so much - Emmie died of kidney disease last February, and her sister Charlee died from cancer the previous June.)

Anyway, the new kittens Rudy & Henry are confusing me. They are very friendly, love to receive pets and scritches, love to be held, even love having their tummies scratched... they put on their blissful kitty faces and purr away! But they are the first kittens I've ever met who don't rub against me. If I put my hand in front of them, they might sniff it once or twice (or they might not), but they never rub their faces or bodies against it. They don't rub their bodies against my legs. They never come to me to actually seek out affection - they just accept it (happily) if I bring it to them.

I admit I am a very needy person when it comes to my cats... so this is very upsetting to me. I was blessed with affectionate cats before, and I was hoping for affectionate cats again. If not as lap cats, then at least to rub against me and show that they want me to pet them. I've had them here for almost two weeks. They have not been neutered yet - that's happening in another week.

Is the head/body rubbing behavior something that might still develop over time? Or are the kittens who they are?

Thank you for reading this and for any comments or advice you might have...

And Happy New Year!
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

I'm so sorry about Emmie and Charlee. :(

Your kittens will change so much over the next few years, they'll go through phases, and sometimes it may seem that they're just not that into you.

There are so many wonderful things about adopting bonded kittens, the only down side is that they have each other and they may be a bit more independent than a single kitty would be. That said, my twinz (the bratz) still cuddle and wrestle and groom each other, every day (four years later), but they also want to be with me and it's all I can do to keep Charlee off my lap when I'm on the computer. They literally sleep ON ME at night and snuggle with me while I watch t.v.

Any pictures of Rudy and Henry you can share with us?
Welcome and Marie is right. Your kittens will change a LOT as they age. Have patience.
I've learned that cats like people are different from one another and if we put expectations in our relationships we will often be disappointed when they are not met.
My Meme was the most polite cat I've ever known, she'd meow for permission before coming to my lap, she'd sit there happily for hours while I watched TV and gentle petted her but as soon as I stirred to get up she'd jump down and when I returned to my chair the process would be repeated.
When she died I was devastated, I knew I wanted another cat and I adopted Samantha,
In the 15 1/2 years Samantha and I spent together she never sat in my lap, she'd sit on the arm of the chair and that was as close as she'd get.
At first I was disappointed but I came to accept her for who she was not who I wanted her to be.
She had different qualities then Meme, she was very playful and athletic and we spent hours every evening playing fetch and other games.
I came to love her as deeply as I had loved Meme because she was a wonderful friend in her own way.
No one can say for certain if your kittens will ever become lap cats but you should except them the way they are and love and cherish them.
See less See more
They are very friendly, love to receive pets and scritches, love to be held, even love having their tummies scratched... they put on their blissful kitty faces and purr away!
You're very lucky - there are so many people here who would love all these things with their own cats! Cleo doesn't like any of those things and Cinderella didn't, either. Even the bratz don't exactly love to be held.
As others have said, they will change over the next little bit, they are just on the edge of their teenage years, get ready for the hyperness for the next 4-5 months, then you will see them start to lay back a bit more. My own Gypsy is just turning 9 months in a few weeks and is only now starting to sit on me for long pets. She is coming to me regularly for petting when i type and is now sleeping ON me instead of somewhere nearby.

It will come most likely since they already enjoy being picked up, right now they are more into the "explore the environment" mode.
Mia was such a cuddler when I picked her out at the shelter. She was like that until she was about 3 months old. Then she suddenly didnt want to be held or cuddled but she always followed me wherever I went and slept up close at my side at night. She has switched back gradually over the last couple months to being my cuddler again ( she's 7 months now) but on her terms. I can approach her and kiss her and she nuzzles my nose but anything else has to be when she wants to do it.
At 4 months, kitties that age are usually too much being busy bodies playing or chasing they may not come and cuddle, but just collapse and sleep when tiredness comes upon them. They may cuddle later near a year old when they're mature, but it will be whatever it is. Sometimes tho if cats are picked up and cuddled a lot they develop almost an aversion to it, and really want to come and cuddle only on their own terms. Our boy Zuba loves to be picked up by my hubby and demands cuddles especially if he sees my hubby getting ready to leave the house. On the other hand he doesn't like me picking him up so much, as I'm the one who "does things to him" such as cleaning his ears or eyes, clipping his claws. Our girl Alkee is cuddly mostly on her own terms, but sometimes will jump up in my lap from a hand signal patting my thigh. She especially likes to snuggle if I'm reading or on the computer, but often gives a noise of complaint when picked up. I swear under that white coat of hers she is masking tortie (her father was a red tabby her mom was white, so it's possible).
See less See more
Thank you everyone for your replies! Marie, you have a kitty named Charlee too! Is her real name Charlotte? Mine was also a calico (was was her sister Emily).

Sigh. They are such sweet kittens (when they're not killing each other, or when Rudy isn't humping Henry - can't wait for him to get fixed next week!). But I really wonder if I shouldn't have gotten adult cats this time instead so I would know what their personalities are going to be, particularly with respect to affectionateness. All the talk of kitties snuggling on people's laps while they're watching tv... Ahhhh! Heaven. I can't even get mine to rub their faces against my hand.

I know they're such wonderful kitties in other ways. I know the fact that they let me do anything to them including flopping them over to scritch their tummies is amazing - I really do appreciate that! They even love using their scratching posts - they came "pre-trained" from the foster home! And they have their funny little quirks - different toys they like to play with; Henry always wants to eat from Rudy's dish.

But if they're not so affectionate with me now, and they turn out not to be affectionate later... I don't want to always be disappointed with this. I'm actually thinking that maybe I should give them back to the rescue group (they're still within the "probation period") and adopt an adult cat who is known to be an extremely affectionate lap cat instead. The boys could get adopted into a home where their personalities fit better (maybe a home with kids since they were great with my friend's 8-year-old niece); and I could have the cuddling and affection I long for...

I don't know for sure that I want to do this. The boys are such good kittens and I am fond of them. I knew it would be hard to bond with them since it was hard for me to bond with my girls after my first kitty died. But I'm afraid that if the boys don't turn out to be affectionate, I will always be disappointed in them, and that wouldn't be good for them or for me.

I hope it doesn't make me a horrible person to even be thinking like this. It's just that they're going to be my kitties for the next 16+ years and that's a long time to be longing for affection. :-(
See less See more
I recently adopted two kittens to join my other (1.5 year old) cat. All are neutered / spayed. My oldest is a love bug, one kitten is a lover, but the second kitten is terribly shy. Just have patience. All three are very different personalities and all offer something love in their own ways. Just having one next to me makes me happy...
Charlee is Charlee because she's the tomboy, the toy hog, the kibble hog, the attention hog and my little daredevil. I like girls' names that are also boys' names.

Right now everything is new to your little boys. Except each other. They are each others' safe places, while you're the huge giant they don't know yet in this mysterious land. A lot of people here believe boys are more affectionate and loving towards their person, and I would hope that your boys will love you and snuggle with you and even rub up against you given time. But you need to do what you feel is right. And yes, they would get adopted again right away, being kittens, hopefully together. And maybe you could give a wonderful life to an adult kitty that would otherwise not be adopted so quickly.

Listen to your own heart and do what you feel is best. Maybe you could wait until a day before the probation period is up, just to be sure.
dawww, they may change, like people said. I have two. I picked them out as kitties from the shelter because i fell for the tabby immediately, he was soooo snuggly and affectionate. He still is, will sleep right next to me as if i was his brother who he literally sleeps ON. The other kitty was more reserved and independent. Indi follows me everywhere and doesnt like when i leave. They are both quite different, and yours may change, or they're just lovely as they are. Dont fret. :)
My first cat was very detached. All I wanted was a snugly cat, and so for me, its the other way around, i went from a non snugly cat to a little over-attached baby of a kitty. LOL.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.