Is there a better feeling than having your cat cuddle up next to you in bed or on the couch? Since cats have a reputation for being independent and aloof, it can feel like you’ve hit the lottery when they choose to snuggle up to you. But have you ever wondered, “Why do cats cuddle?” Is it because they love us, or are they tricking us into letting our guard down so they can finally take over the world? Read on to find the answers to your most burning questions about cuddly cat behavior.
Why Is My Cat So Cuddly?
Cats enjoy cuddles for many of the same reasons humans do. Here are some of those reasons:
Why Won’t My Cat Cuddle?
If you’re reading this blog with a slight twinge of jealousy because your pet doesn’t do cat snuggles, know that you’re not alone. Not all cats enjoy snuggling, and those falling into this category may find you trying to force them into cuddles threatening and uncomfortable.
You need to understand that your kitty likely isn’t resisting your cuddle advances because they dislike you. They may be resistant to snuggles for a variety of reasons, including improper socialization, mistrust of humans, or just a personality hardwired not to enjoy cuddle time. There are plenty of other ways your pet will show their affection for you, however, including:
You can show your affection for your kitty in a number of ways, including offering treats, giving pets, and playing with them.
How Can I Get My Cat to Cuddle Me?
As a cat owner, you probably know as well as anybody that you can’t force your cat to do anything. If you’re upset that your kitty isn’t as cuddly as the ones you see on TikTok, know that it probably has nothing to do with you. It’s just the way they were born!
While we don’t recommend forcing a cat with an aversion to cuddles to snuggle you, there are some things you can do to encourage them to explore their cuddly side a little more.
Why Are Some Cats Cuddlier Than Others?
There are two main reasons why some cats may be cuddlier than others: genetics and socialization.
Though feline genetics is still an evolving field, there does appear to be some genetic component when it comes to cuddliness. Some breeds are naturally more likely to be cuddlers than others.
While genetics do play a role in a cat’s personality, how your pet was raised can also be a huge determining factor in their likes and dislikes.
Your pet’s earliest months are considered a critical part in their social development. Every experience they have during kittenhood will play a role in what their personality will be like as an adult. For example, cats that are held often and given plenty of positive reinforcement will be more likely to have sociability and confidence as adults. In contracts, cats exposed to traumatic experiences may be more likely to develop anxiety and aggression.
Why Do Cats Cuddle Each Other?
Is there anything as sweet as seeing your cats or kittens snuggling one another? We think not. As sweet and social media-worthy as it may be to witness your pets tangled up in one another, it’s important for us to understand why they cuddle with other cats in the first place.
Reinforcement of Social Structures
Cats are highly social creatures with complex social structures. It’s important to consider these structures as we look at why cats cuddle one another.
Cats have a social hierarchy based on numerous factors, including their age, gender, personality, and size. When you see cats cuddling each other, you may not realize it, but you’re witnessing their social position to one another. The dominant kitty will put their paw around the subordinate one, or the latter will sleep with their head on the former’s paw. These displays of submission and dominance help your pets maintain the essential social structure they’ve built within their group.
This is also why you’ll sometimes see cats grooming one another. This behavior isn’t just to help get each other clean, but it also strengthens their bond and further establishes the hierarchy in their group.
Oxytocin is a type of hormone that promotes positive feelings. In humans, it has an essential role in behaviors like sexual arousal, trust, and romantic attachment. Studies show that cats also release oxytocin when they communicate with one another, suggesting that the hormone also plays an important part in how they bond.
When cats snuggle, they may experience a rush of oxytocin, helping to strengthen their bonds with each other and providing them with a sense of security in their relationship and social structure.
Cats cuddle for many different reasons, depending on who they’re cuddling with. If your pet is snuggling up to you, they may be seeking warmth, security, attention, or some one-on-one bonding time with you. If you witness your cats cuddling one another, they may be reinforcing their social hierarchy or just bonding with each other in the most adorable way ever.
Featured Image Credit: Simone Hogan, Shutterstock