Your Pet Question:
What can I do to encourage my cat to be more affectionate and cuddly?
Mitzi, British Columbia
The Expert Says:
Some cats are more gregarious by nature than others. Others may require some training to increase their tolerance to being held. I recommend using a high value food reward that your cat can’t resist and pair it with social contact. I would start by rewarding the cat for sitting or lying beside me first and gradually move to holding and touching. I find my cats each seem to have a time they prefer to interact or perhaps they have just agreed to take turns. I have also used spoon feeding my new kittens while holding them and touching to increase their tolerance and desire for social contact. Also, having something soft and cuddly on your lap will encourage them to remain there longer! But remember, cats prefer to be affectionate on their own terms, forcing them to stay where they do not want to be will make it harder to establish a mutually comfortable and rewarding connection.
Cheryl Smith is the owner of Urika Animal Behaviour Consultants in Perth, Ontario.