OK, you’re a pet parent to a fluffy friend who you want to cuddle with because she’s adorable? We’ve all been there. Who wouldn’t want to boop her little snoot when she’s sleeping on the floor? Who wouldn’t want to wrap her like a burrito and smother her with smooches?
What do you do, though, when your cat wants to scratch your eyes out the moment you approach her?
Cats are curious creatures, and they’re rumored to possess the biggest attitudes when they’re forced to do something they don’t want to do. They are known to refuse cuddles even when they’re obsessed with the human that’s begging for them.
Felines are creatures of consent and that’s pretty much everything you need to know to get your cat to cuddle you. When you try to force her by petting her when she’s napping or picking her up when she’s munching on something, you’re telling her that she can’t trust you.
When you wait for her to become comfortable, however, you’re telling her that you respect her wishes (and that she’s the boss, of course!).
Worry not, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow to get your cat to cuddle you without throwing punches and drawing blood. Read everything you need to know down below!
How to get your cat to cuddle?
1. Arrange a calming, comforting atmosphere
Right off the bat, cats that aren’t fans of snuggling aren’t fans of strange sounds, unexpected movements, and pretty much anything that’s guaranteed to scare them. When you’re planning on sneakily snuggling with your cat, make sure you arrange the right atmosphere beforehand.
What do we mean by that? Turn off the TV, for once. Play the type of music that won’t stress her out or make her anxious (something slow and calming). Turn off the big lights. When you’re done preparing the atmosphere, sit somewhere not too far away from her, work on your computer, or read a book – and, wait.
2. Avoid doing the “Hey kitty, kitty!” at her
We’re aware that there’s nothing harder than sitting next to your feline friend and not touching her. However, because your cat doesn’t appreciate unwanted attention, you’re better off waiting for her to make the move rather than scaring her away.
Before you “Hey kitty, kitty!” at her, give her the opportunity to get comfortable and get accustomed to the atmosphere you created. We’re giving you these directions with the assumption that your cat’s the embodiment of a scaredy cat, but you’re the one that needs to figure out whether or not that’s the case.
3. Observe her body language and her visual, vocal, and chemical cues to ensure she’s not planning on scratching your eyes out when you approach her
Oh, here’s the thing. Cats can communicate with you the same way humans do. Cats communicate through body language and visual, vocal, and chemical cues which means you need to observe them to understand what they’re telling you.
When you observe your cat and notice that her ears are flattened, eyes dilated, and back arched, for example, don’t even attempt to touch her because she’s angry, annoyed, or stressed out. When she’s rolling around, exposing her belly, and purring, proceed to pet her, rub her, and play with her because she’s happy.
4. Once you notice she’s comfortable, proceed to pat her, rub her head, and touch her
Now, when you’re 100% sure that she’s comfortable, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try to pat her on the back or rub her head.
Do these things while she’s sitting next to you without trying to get her to move closer to you or to sit on you. Depending on her mood, chances are she’s going to become even more comfortable once you start touching her. Once she starts purring, you’ll know that you’re doing the right thing.
5. Offer your embrace to her, and once she settles, proceed to massage or groom her
We’ve slowly, but surely, arrived at the tricky part. When she’s sitting next to you, she’s controlling the situation and she’s able to escape whenever she wants to. But, when she’s sitting on top of you, you’re the one that’s controlling her and that’s something that might scare her away.
What do you do, then? Don’t pick her up right away. Offer her your embrace, show her your hands, and show her that you want her to be closer to you. Allow her enough space to figure out whether that’s something she wants, and when she starts getting closer, that’s when you can embrace her.
6. Make the cuddle sessions more entertaining, enjoyable, and something she’s going to look forward to whenever she sees you approaching her
Cats are not as complicated as you might think.
When they’re presented with something entertaining, engaging, and enjoyable, they’re guaranteed to keep coming back for more – whether we’re referring to activities, toys, or even treats. When they’re happy with something, they’re going to want to do that more and more.
So, when you’re cuddling with your cat, make sure that’s the best cuddle she’s ever had and she’s going to want to cuddle with you every time she sees you.
7. Make the cuddle sessions an everyday occurrence, a routine, to ensure she gets used to them
We would cuddle with our fluffy friends every moment of the waking hour if we could – no doubt about it! But, we’re saddened by the fact that our fluffers don’t want to cuddle with us. Or, do they?
When you make a routine out of something, even the most stressed out, sheepish, and scared cats are going to get used to doing that every day.
Cats get used to napping at the same time, eating out of the same plate, and playing with the same toys. They aren’t afraid of doing these things because they’re familiar with them. Why wouldn’t your cat get used to cuddling with you after you follow these tricks, then? Good luck!