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​​Why Is My Cat Cuddling Me Less?

If your cat is cuddling with you less you may be concerned and wondering what could be causing this… 

Why is my cat cuddling with me less?

Just as humans have moods, cats may undergo brief or extended behavioral changes that result in less cuddling and more ‘independent prowling’. It doesn’t mean that you cat loves you less, though if there have been some environmental changes then your cat may feel uneasy or might briefly be upset with you.

So, now you know. But, do all cats like cuddling? Could my cat have just lost interest in me? How can I get it to cuddle me more? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

Do all cats like cuddling?

A cat being carried by person.

A cat being carried by person.

Some cats love cuddling and some prefer to show their affection in other ways. The best test of affection is to see if your cat is rubbing against you. If so, then your cat definitely loves you, as they are marking you with their scents, and this is an enormous indicator of trust.

Not all cats are going to like cuddling.

Could my cat have lost interest in me?

More likely something has their attention. There may be another cat in the neighborhood, for instance, that you don’t hear, or a new sound in the house from a leaky pipe or something else which has got their attention. Due to this, your cat is on the alert, and cuddling interferes with their ability to be vigilant and ready at all times.

It can also be an actual behavioral change, such as a move to be more independent, but give it some time. Likely it is temporary and your cat will get back to its regular, cuddly self soon.

How can I get my cat to cuddle me more?

The bonding process can be slow sometimes, but this is not something that you want to rush. Give your cat some space, but try to set up a daily ritual with them. Despite seeming mysterious, cats are actually creatures of habit, so if set aside the same time every day to spend time with them then they will LOVE this.

During this time, play with your cat, pet them, and a treat or two would also be well-received. Just be sure that you are sitting down somewhere comfortable so that when your cat tires of the play then they will be tempted to just sit down next to you and relax. Just be patient with the process – your cat will come around!

Do cats get less cuddly?

While some cats do get less cuddly when they are older, if you have a cat that is under 18 months old then they may be just showing off their ‘teenage’ side. While cats are technically considered adults at 1 year of age, up until 18 months they still have a lot of energy and ‘kitten mentality’ that makes them want to explore and be more independent.

Don’t worry, however, as most cats tend to settle down quite a bit after that 18-month mark. Give it a little time and your cat should relax a bit and you will likely see some of those old snuggling habits again.

Are male cats more affectionate?

Most cat owners agree that non-neutered males tend to be the most affectionate, although this can change if a cat in heat is nearby. During this time, such males tend to be much more aggressive and are much less interested in cuddling. It may be that non-neutered males, being quite aggressive by nature, are simply not afraid to come and ask for affection.

That said, it really depends on your cat. These animals have very independent personalities and so it’s not always a clear-cut case.

Is it bad to force your cat to cuddle?

While some cats will allow this, you should not force your cat to cuddle when they do not want to. Cats can get stressed from being forced to be close and this is not good for the bond which you are trying to build. It is better to lure them close with treats or the promise of a little play and to bond in this manner.

You can coax them close sometimes by simply holding out your hand so that they are tempted to rub against it. If your cat does this, then each time they do so they are marking you, as they have scent glands in many parts of their bodies and the face is included.

Encourage this behavior, as the more you smell like your cat, the more comfortable they will be when they are close to you. Just don’t try to force it – let your cat come to you.

How to get your cat to cuddle with you at night

A cat sleeping.

A cat sleeping.

The best thing that you can do is to tempt them close and set up an environment that they will want to spend some time in. For example, you might lay out a nice comforter or a really soft blanket on the bed and then sprinkle a little catnip there.

Show this to your kitty, and once the catnip is gone then they might decide to stay if the surface of the bed is very soft and comfortable. If they do not, then don’t force it. Some cats have a very short attention span. That said, more often than not, this little trick can lure a cat in for an occasional nap!

Why does my cat want to sit near me but not cuddle?

Some cats like to cuddle and other cats just prefer to sit close. Sometimes it can be scent-related, such as a new perfume or simply the smell of your office has come home with you, but other times your cat simply doesn’t feel like cuddling.

Keep in mind that as adorable as they are, cats are tiny predators which have the reflexes to spring into the air from the middle of deep sleep. Some cats feel fettered when they are being held and thus unable to be in full control of their bodies. The good news is, however, that if your cat is sitting close to you then they definitely love and trust you.

Why does my cat switch from cuddly to not wanting cuddles?

This can happen quite often in the first 18 months of your cat’s life. During this time, they are still much like teenagers, checking out their surroundings and asserting their independence. Keep in mind that there might also be other factors.

A new environment, for instance, can take awhile for your cat to get used to.

A large part of it is going to be about scents, so if you notice that your cat is more affectionate on weekends, rather than weekdays, then your cat is probably smelling your office on you and it makes them less comfortable. Alternately, if you shower as soon as you get in, then this takes away the scents that your cat has marked you with.

Try scheduling a little time at the same time every day for play and a little petting. Cats are creatures of habit and if they know that you’ll be spending the same time every day together, then your cat may relax and be a bit more cuddly with you.

Why is my kitten becoming less affectionate?

For the first year and a half, your kitten is still ‘finding themselves’ and a part of this is often going to be less cuddling and more exploring. During this time, your cat is familiar with both you and their surroundings, and so they feel comfortable exploring independently.

Over time, your cat will relax, but right now they have a lot of energy and curiosity and the drive to use it. Just be patient with your cat and before you know it, they’ll be back to spending more quality time together with you.

Lindsey Browlingdon