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How to Get Your Cat to Cuddle: 5 Tips for Better Bonding

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat on womans lap

How to Get Your Cat to Cuddle: 5 Tips for Better Bonding

It’s most cat owners’ dreams to have a cute and cuddly cat that sits on their laps and curls up with them in bed, but this isn’t always the case. Like humans, cats have unique personalities, and while some cats are cuddly and affectionate, others are aggressive and reclusive. If the latter describes yours, you are not alone.

While most cats learn traits from their mothers, you can still teach yours to be social with a little bit of effort. This social malleability is greater in kittens but wanes as the cats grow older. However, teaching your cat to be cuddly is still possible, regardless of their age. Here are some tips for getting your cat to cuddle in a couple of weeks.

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The 5 Tips on Getting Your Cat to Cuddle

1. Be Calm and Gentle With Your Movements

Cats get startled easily, and your abrupt movements and aggressive actions can become threatening, even if you mean no harm. Being calmer and moving more gently can get the cat more accustomed to your presence.

This is especially true if you recently adopted it. You’ll start noticing your cat getting more comfortable around you. While it may not be enough to make it a completely cuddly feline, it’s a great start.

cat asking for cuddles
Photo Credit: 99mimimi, Pixabay

2. Don’t Stare at Them Too Much

Just like humans, cats also find staring uncomfortable. Avoid staring at your cat for too long, even if you’re enthralled by their cuteness. Do this for too long, and they will walk away.

Instead, you can try a sort of slow blink, then look away almost immediately. When your cat slowly blinks at you, it means they trust you and are comfortable staying around you. Talk to them in their language, and they’ll grow closer to you.


3. Pet Your Cat (the Right Way)

Even the most aggressive of cats can’t resist a good petting. However, it’s important to pet your cat correctly; otherwise, it’ll have the opposite effect. Scratch under their chins, stroke their eyes, or rub their backs. Avoid rubbing their stomachs, whiskers, and paws because they are extremely sensitive.

a woman's hand petting a cat
Image Credit: Yerlin Matu, Unsplash

4. Shower Your Cat With Treats

You can bribe a cat into cuddling with you by giving them treats. Every time your cat snuggles with you, reward them with something they love. Alternatively, you can use treats to lure them in and use the same treats to get them to stay. Over time, this builds a positive association and encourages your feline to cuddle.

Once you have them in your lap, it’s important to pet them correctly and avoid sudden movements. One wrong move, and your cat will scamper away to safety. Also, go slow on the treats to avoid overfeeding.


5. Ramp Up the Grooming

Grooming sessions are a great way for you and your cat to bond. Cats enjoy it when you brush them gently, as long as you don’t overdo it.

Use a soft brush to gently brush your cat in a rhythmic motion while talking to it in a soothing voice. Pay attention to their body language to know whether you’re doing it right. There’s always the possibility of brushing them too hard, which can be unpleasant.

When the cat has had enough, they’ll start fidgeting, or you’ll see their tail twitching. This is a sign that you should stop and let them be. Schedule regular grooming, and your cat will grow closer to you and naturally want to cuddle with you.

woman brushing the Persian cat
Image By: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

cat paw dividerAre Some Cats Impossible to Make Cuddly?

Yes, some cats are genetically predisposed to being mean and reclusive. This is inherent to their nature, and there’s not much you can do about it. Some cats are naturally cautious and scared of humans. Felines like these are hard to make cuddly, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Kind treatments, treats, and a little patience will go a long way toward making a reclusive and fearful cat a lot more social. If your pet doesn’t get any friendlier, you might want to consult a professional. Cat trainers and feline behavioral experts can transform a lonesome cat into a more social one.

cat sleeping on a woman's lap_Shutterstock_Alena Ozerova
Image By: Alena Ozerova, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

It’s every cat owner’s right to have a fuzzy, cuddly buddy to snuggle with and keep warm at night. With persistence and consistency, you can make your cat cuddly in no time. However, don’t try to force cuddling or even forcefully pet your cat. This will only strain the relationship between you and your animal.


Featured Image Credit: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

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