It’s a common perception that cats are aloof and simply tolerant of their human companions, interacting strictly on their own feline terms.Many cat owners would vehemently disagree with this, research shows cats do miss their owners when they are alone and they can form strong attachment to the people.
Some cats go even further and ask for attention from their owners, and some kittens even enjoy being picked up and carried away. In this article, we’ll explore why some cats like to be held by their owners and others don’t, what to look out for, and whether any breeds prefer this behavior over others.
Why do cats like high?
House cat(cat) yes part cat family family, which contains 37 recognized species, including lions, tigers, cheetahs and several species of wild cats – all of which are thought to have evolved from a common ancestor in Asia 10-12 million years ago. DNA samples from pet cats around the world have been shown to be nearly identical to human DNA. african wildcat (Felis sylvestris lybica), Still live today in Asia and North Africa.
The answer to why some cats love being held by their owners may lie in their instinctive desire to be as high as their feral relatives:
- Being condescending can prevent an ambush by predators or other felines.
- High allows more time to assess threats or potentially dangerous situations.
- The altitude makes it easier to see prey for the best hunting opportunities.
- Cats that are more dominant in a group tend to hang out at the top.
- In our home, being off the ground makes it easier for cats to stay away from other pets and people in the house (especially dogs and kids!).
Also read: Cats Love to Bite: 5 Reasons Why They Do and What to Do About It
Early socialization could mean your cat loves to be cuddled
While cats are individuals with unique personalities and preferences, there is a key socialization period During their development as kittens, this affects how they perceive situations and interact with people for the rest of their lives.
The socialization period for cats is between 2 and 7 weeks of age, and any events or encounters (positive or negative) that occur during this time can affect whether they find the same experiences as adult cats threatening.
In addition to being picked up by the mother cat in the early years, the kitten is gently picked up and picked up by people every day during this time, and it should be accepted as “normal” and safe when it grows up.
This doesn’t guarantee that all well-socialized cats will enjoy being held as they age, but it does explain why kittens or feral cats that have had little human contact during socialization are less likely to enjoy being held (if you try, may vehemently protest).
If you are getting a kitten, talk to the breeder, rescue center, or someone who cares for the kitten to find out how they interacted with people when they were young.
Also read: Do Mother Cats Discipline Their Kittens?veterinarian explained
Which cat breed is most likely to love being cuddled?
Some breeds are especially known for their friendliness, affectionategood at communication, like to be in close contact with people. Ragdoll Cats have a reputation as captive cats, and they often like to be held in their arms like babies; in fact, the name Ragdoll is thought to come from the relaxed “soft doll” appearance when people pick them up!
Studies have shown that some breeds seem seek human contact Examples include Devon Rex and Korat. Other breeds, such as Siamese cats, are known to be clingy, so it makes sense that they like to be held.
On the other hand, breeds like the very independent Bengal are less likely to enjoy the bondage of being held. It’s worth remembering that while there are always exceptions to every rule, other factors such as early socialization and individual personality also come into play.
Also read: Why is my cat not cute?
Why do some cats fall asleep when held?
As mentioned earlier, the genetic makeup of our domestic cats is very similar to their feral cat ancestors, and they have many instinctive behaviors. Feral cats are most vulnerable to other animals (rivals or predators) when they are resting, so our pet cats may choose to snooze our arms as a form of protection when they think they are most vulnerable.
Many people notice that their cats like to curl up in warm places like sunny windowsills or hot water pipes, so some cats may take advantage of the warmth of our bodies and decide that being in their owner’s arms provides safety and comfort sleep point.
Also read: Why do cats curl up into balls when they sleep?veterinarian explained
Is it safe to carry my cat as a baby?
It is usually advisable to hold your cat with both hands to fully support their legs so they feel safe. Place one hand under their chest to support their body, while the other hand and arm support their hips and hind legs.
However, if your cat seems to enjoy being held like a baby, enjoying belly strokes and purring, then by all means pamper them! Be careful though, as their claws (with needle-sharp claws) will come close to your face.
Cats are known for their mood swings, so if they suddenly decide they’re not happy with the situation, you could get scratched in the face. Watch their body language for the first signs that they’ve had enough and want to get down, such as tail twitching, meowing, or flat ears.
Older cats are more prone to painful joint disorders such as Osteoarthritis, which affects their legs and spine. These kittens may find it painful to be carried on their backs and are more likely to throw a tantrum at you. Always consult your veterinarian if you notice that your cat seems to be in pain or discomfort.
READ ALSO: 5 Reasons You Should Get a Second Cat (and 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t)
Why doesn’t my cat like being held?
As we’ve avoided throughout this article, some cats may don’t like being held or not at all, here are some possible reasons:
It’s not natural for cats to be picked up – friendly exchanges between cats often include head and body rubbing and bunting – not each other! Many cats also object to being restrained and not being able to get out of trouble easily.
- lack of socialization – If kittens are not gently handled and held during socialization, they are more likely to discover this fear and stress later in life.
- pain or fear – If the cat has been picked up without warning in the past and has experienced pain or fear, they will remember this and try to avoid being picked up again.
- Variety – As we have already discussed in this article, some breeds are more reluctant to be picked up and kept than others (e.g. Bengal tigers).
- character – Many perfectly happy and healthy cats just don’t like being picked up, you should always let your cat guide you on the types of interactions and affection they like.
If your cat used to love being picked up and is now protesting or avoiding it, they may be in pain, so arrange for a veterinarian to check it out.
Also read: 8 Ways to Help a Frightened Cat Become Confident
Cats love a warm place to snuggle, many cats enjoy being held, and some kittens even completely relax and take a nap in their owner’s arms. Cats instinctively prefer high places where they feel more secure, so they may take advantage of our height off the ground when they are held!
Kittens who have experienced being picked up during their socialization period (2-7 weeks old) may prefer to be picked up as adults. Some breeds are naturally more affectionate than others, exemplified by the Ragdolls, who get their name from the relaxed and floppy body position they often adopt when being picked up!
Also read: 13 of the cutest felines that love to cuddle
frequently asked questions
What should I do if my cat cries when I put it down?
As much as we all love our cats, there are obviously times when we have to put them down in order to continue our daily routine, or to leave the house!
If they’re wide awake, try distracting them with some snacks or games, or if they need a nap, cuddle them in a cozy warm bed and settle them down.If they are usually very clingy and urgent need of attention Make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss their behavior and get some help, they may have separation anxiety.
Some people find that using Strap cat cage It’s useful to have their cat close by, but still be able to juggle things around the house at the same time.
Can I hold my cat like a baby?
As long as your cat is happy and appears relaxed in this position, it’s okay to indulge them, but you should be cautious and watch for subtle changes in body language that show they’ve had enough.
Laying them on your back means their razor-sharp claws are very close to your face – so don’t ignore any warning signs that they want to get down, or you could get scratched.
My cat doesn’t like being picked up – what should I do?
Some cats (regardless of breed or early socialization) don’t seem to like being picked up – in general, you should respect this and interact on their own terms – sit near them and groom them and make a fuss instead Try to pick them up.
Over time, some cats may become receptive to the idea of being picked up—start with petting and petting them gently, and reward them with treats and toys to make it a pleasurable experience.
Once they’re relaxed and happy, try cradling them in your hands to fully support them and hold them close to your chest to make your cat feel safe. Increase the amount of time they enjoy being hugged slowly, using lots of positive reinforcement like praise, treats, and affection.
Driscall, CA, Menotti-Raymond, M. wait. (2007). Near Eastern origins of cat domestication. science 317(5837):519-523
Eriksson, M., Keeling, LJ, and Rehn, T. (2017). After longer periods of separation, there was more interaction between the cat and its owner. PLOS, 12(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185599
Vitale, KR, Behnke, AC, Udell, MAR (2019). The attachment relationship between domestic cats and humans. Current Biology, 29(18), PR864-R865. https://doi.org/10.1015/j.cub.2019.08.036
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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