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When I first went to visit my cat, Marnie, at the shelter I fell in love with her right away. She was snuggly and all she wanted was to be held, and be in my arms. The shelter had a rule that you had to visit multiple times before adopting your pet, and she had not been spayed yet so I had to wait for that to be done to. I visited her almost every day for the two weeks she had to be kept there. Each time all she wanted was to be held, cuddled, and brushed. After I brought her home, every time I picked her up and put her in my lap she would try to run away or growl..even nip at me on occasion. At first I thought she was still uncomfortable because of her surgery and was scared because she was in an entirely new place, but it has been two months and she does the same thing. She will sit near me and likes to be around me but as soon as I pick her up or put her in my arms the growling and nipping begins. Any ideas on what I could do to make her feel more comfortable with me or for her to enjoy being pet and held?
 

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It does seem strange that she was so friendly and wanted to be held, cuddled and brushed at the shelter and now wants none of it. Cats' demeanor can change when moved to a new place. If she had been at the shelter for a long time, it was "home" to her and she felt comfortable there. I recently moved and it has taken my Devons two months to really feel comfortable, start to play with each other, and for a while they were a little standoffish to me which was not like them at all. They were just upset with all the changes. They're coming around like they were before but I was surprised it took this long. You may have to do some bribing to get her out of her funk. Rub some catnip in your lap, give her treats while brushing her just a little. Not forcing yourself on her, but encouraging her to come and play with you with a teaser toy or fishing-pole toy, and more treats. When she's comfortable playing with them at a little distance, sit on the floor and drag them across your lap, or lie on the floor and drag them over your body. Hopefully this will change her mind that you're the loving fun person and not someone to run away from.
 

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Cats go through phases. My twins have been snuggly, standoffish, Mommy's girls, independent little suckers, must-not-leave-Mommy's-side, etc., etc.
 

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i hope marnie comes around again. if she's a young 'un you can probably expect even more changes to come, though! kids go through so many changes vs adults who are more settled in their own skin and know what they want.

but yeah, if the treats and toys don't work as well as you'd like, you may even want to try playing a little hard to get yourself to entice her to want to cuddle more. cats always seem to want to do things on THEIR terms, so as long as you don't force the love on her, she might be more willing to come to you. i admit there are times i pick up Angel and BRING her to bed with me because i want her company. sometimes she stays, but other times she gets up immediately and goes back to the living room - kinda like a "!#%@! you, Mom. I didn't want to come to bed yet." kids! i mean, cats! ha ha.

also, i wonder if our cats sometimes think WE are the needy ones and they get tired of comforting us. i imagine Angel thinking to herself, "OMG. these humans are so high maintenance. i can't do ANYTHING on my own without them screaming for attention. Agh!"

good luck with Marnie!
 

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Cats go through phases. My twins have been snuggly, standoffish, Mommy's girls, independent little suckers, must-not-leave-Mommy's-side, etc., etc.
This. So true.

Let me tell you a story. My first cat, Don Gatito, was rescued from a parking lot. He was the most grateful cuddliest loving kitty ever. Then, we adopted a sweet Siamese girl that we called Sun, and she died after 6 months. Gatito, who was totally in love with her, became this bitter, sad cat, started to bite, didn't want to be held anymore, we were so sad, he was so sad, ugly times...I think he was angry at us because in his mind we were responsible of Sun suddenly disappearing from his life...

That lasted almost a year. Now Gatito, a 2 and a half year old cat, has become the most loving cat ever. He goes all over me and sleeps on top of my head, literally. He purrs and kneads and does the most hysterical headbutts. Sometimes he still bites hands (just warning nips) and he never cuddled with another cat as he used to do with Sun (3 more cats in our family besides him), but hey, we thought we would have to share our lives with a bitter cat that hated us for the rest of his/our lives...and that made us so sad...

My point is, 1.- cats go through phases as Marie said, and 2.- I'm sure no matter what's going on with your cat, with love and patience, lots of it, she will be back to her cuddly self.

Good luck!

PS: Don't wanna state the obvious, but are you sure there are no health issues going on? That could be the/a reason for her discomfort when you touch her.
 

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I would echo what has already been said but it might also be worth making sure that there is nothing causing her pain or discomfort.
 

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Not all cats love being picked up and held! A lot of them really don't, in fact. And cats at shelters often behave VERY differently than they will in a home environment. If I were you I would stop picking her up unless absolutely necessary and instead interact with her in ways that she chooses. This will build her trust in you. If she wants to sit near you and be petted, just enjoy her that way! Praise her a lot when she is near you and being petted. Maybe offer some really good treats.

Eventually she may go back to how she was, but OTOH she may have just been desperate and scared at the shelter and hence, behaving uncharacteristically. You will learn to love her for who she is, either way. :)
 
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