Do Cats Like a Cuddle?
Do Cats Like a Cuddle?
Cats have a reputation for being aloof and independent, but some cats really enjoy a good cuddle. Learn more about why they do this and what it means for their mental health.
The answer depends on many factors. However, a lot of it has to do with your kitten's socialization early on in life.
1. They want to feel safe
Cats learned to cuddle when they were kittens as a way to feel safe and protected. That's why a cuddle may be the most natural thing for them to do, according to veterinarian and pet behaviorist Sally Delgado.
When your cat stretches out beside you and rolls onto their belly, it's a sign that they are feeling affectionate. However, be careful not to stroke their tummy as they're not comfortable with this touch, says WebMD.
This is a sign of trust, and your cat may even roll on their back and allow you to rub them on their tummy! But be wary of this, as cats can turn violent on a moment's notice.
2. They want to feel warm
While some cats enjoy snuggling up next to their humans, others might not. This is often due to a variety of factors, including the cat's age and breed.
In some cases, your kitty's aversion to cuddling may be rooted in their early socialization. Kittens that are properly socialized as young kittens between the ages of two-to-seven weeks, for example, are more likely to like human contact than those who aren't.
In addition, felines who are prone to stress, such as older cats with medical ailments, might be less receptive to cuddling. In these situations, it's best to wait until your pet is in a better frame of mind before attempting to cuddle them. They might also become defensive of their human's touch if they think they are being treated too roughly or harshly.
3. They want to feel loved
Cats are social animals, so they naturally enjoy being touched by their human companions. They also feel safe and secure when they’re cuddled, which makes them want to be petted by their humans.
They may also be anxious when their humans are around, so they look for affectionate interactions to ease their anxiety and make them feel loved.
The best way to tell if your cat is looking for a cuddle is by watching their body language. For example, if they’re tipped up in an attentive posture and their ears point directly at you, that’s a sign that they trust you.
However, if they’re not tipped up and their ears are pointing in an offset position, that might be a sign that they’re feeling uncertain about you.
4. They want to feel secure
Cats are social creatures and cuddles are a big part of their bonding ritual. This is because they release oxytocin, a chemical that helps you and your cat feel safe, loved, and secure.
When you cuddle a cat, they also send you some of the most important signals, including eye contact and purring, which is an indication that they're feeling the love. In fact, a recent study found that the most secure cats were also those who got the most attention from their owners, so be sure to give them plenty of snuggles and tickles as well! Aside from a hefty dose of oxytocin, there are many other benefits to cuddling with your cat. It's one of the best ways to keep your pet happy and healthy, and it can even be a great bonding experience for you both!
5. They want to feel secure with you
Cats can have a lot of different opinions about cuddling, and they may not enjoy it at all.
But it is important to keep in mind that some cats are very affectionate. They will let you know if they are interested in a cuddle with their body language, such as letting you lean into them to give them a little hug or purring loudly.
They can also show you that they trust you by rolling over to expose their vulnerable belly to you. It is an extremely loving gesture that shows you that they are completely comfortable with you.
But if they aren’t interested in a cuddle, you shouldn’t force them to be in your arms, as this could be hurting their feelings. Instead, try petting them or scratching them behind their ears if they aren’t comfortable with a full-on kitty hug.