9-week old kitten doesn't like to be petted or cuddled?

We just adopted two kittens-- brother and sister. We got the brother at 7-weeks and the sister at 8-weeks. The brother is super cuddly and affectionate, he loves to be held and petted. The sister, on the other hand, cannot stand to be picked up (she mews and wriggles until you set her free) and when I go to pet her, she'll often get annoyed and move just out of my reach. She also plays more like a lion or tiger than a kitten-- she pounces and bites and carries around her little toy mouse while growling if anyone gets too close to her.

However, she seems to have a strong bond with her brother-- they play and wrestle and lick/groom each other before sleeping.

Why the difference in personality? Is it because the brother cat had time alone with us before we took in the sister cat? Is it just a difference in personality? And is there anything to do to make her be more friendly?

Asked by Member 1034431 on May 20th 2011 in Behavior & Training
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Izadore (Izzie)

The female seems to have an "alpha" or "leader of the pack" personality. It's difficult to change that. She may stop being so aggressive once she is spayed, but she may always be aloof and superior to all she sees. Continue to play with her brother. Since she is so close to him, when she sses him getting a lot of attention because he is so cooperative with his humans, she may decded that she likes all of you. Do not force her to become more social. Don't pick her upand force her to be held. She must decided how she is going to be on her own terms. She may just need to be accepted as a shy cat. Give her all the opportunites you can for her to join in ith playtimes and cuddle times, but don't force her to join in at any time. If she does, accept it without a lot of fanfare. This is just her personality and she can't change it any more than you can. Good luck and keep us updated!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 5/20/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Like Izzie said, give her time and space, and don't force too much contact. Just talk to her sweetly, but keep your distance. Dote on her brother. She'll figure out on her own whether and how much space she wants from you.

Gracie wasn't very fond of being picked up or held. It changed later on, mostly because we didn't force her to be held if uncomfortable. Three years later, she will be picked up and held. She doesn't like it as much as our other kitty, but she allows it if she is seeking attention. The key here is that she has to seek you out, and not the other way around.

Gracie answered on 5/26/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer