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My kitten doesn't like being picked up or touched and sleeps under my bed

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by anankee, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. anankee

    anankee Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    29
    17
    Mar 18, 2017
    Australia
    I have a 4 month old kitten and have had him for a month now.
    He does not seem affectionate at all most of the time. He will follow me everywhere and loves to play, and often will sit next to me on the couch to relax. However he doesn't really like being petted. Occasionally he will tolerate it for a very short time, but more often than not he will dodge my hand if I go to pet him. also despite my efforts to get him to sleep on my bed, he won't. He sleeps under it on floorboards. I have also tried giving him a cat bed under my bed so he is not on the floor but he ignores it. I have tried to coax him up with treats because he responds well to food. He will come up, eat and leave. Sometimes he will play on the bed with his toys and with me but come sleep time he is off.
    I should say he has had somewhat of a difficult start to life being that he got quite sick as a baby and nearly died, but the previous owner nursed him back to health. It really was a miracle. He has also had bad reactions to vaccines and worming tablets so I wonder if his many unpleasant vet trips have something to do with him not liking being picked up.
    The previous owner also mentioned he doesn't really like being picked up.
    I would really like to be able to give him cuddles and would love for him to sleep on my bed. Is this normal that he has never done any of this? And what can I do to change it? Any advice appreciated !!!
     

  2. foxden

    foxden TCS Member Super Cat

    965
    906
    Jan 29, 2017
    Delaware, USA
    @anankee
    Every cat is different. You can't push holding or snuggling on a cat, you need to wait for them to initiate the behavior. Treats work to encourage the behaviors you want him to do.

    One month is not a long time for a kitten who had a rough start. Give him the space he needs.

    If he follows you around, I think that is step 1. Have you tried getting him to play hard with a wand-type toy? When he gets really tired, he might be more willing to curl up next to you.

    Hope this helps
     

  3. anankee

    anankee Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    29
    17
    Mar 18, 2017
    Australia
    He has a couple of fishing pole type toys and he absolutely loves them. He will jump up and play on the bed until he is tired and will sometimes stay put for about 5 minutes and will then head back under the bad. I definitely don't force him because I don't want him to tag me as annoying, so I will usually use treats or toys to encourage him and let him leave when he wants to. I also try not to pet him too much.
    I guess I feel bad for him that he is sleeping on the hard floor which is why I tried popping a bed down there for him.
    I suppose I'm just a little needy too lol. I hope he comes around
     

  4. tabbytom

    tabbytom Happiness is being owned by a cat Staff Member Mentor

    9,643
    11,922
    May 12, 2016
    Garden City, Singapore
    Hello Anakee, welcome to TCS :wavey:

    Some cats don't like to be petted for a long time and some don't like to be carried. It all cats are the same.

    It is good that your kitty follows you around and play and sits next to you on the couch to relax.

    As your kitty goes, he does not like to be over stimulated. And also he might not like to be touched at certain places of the body.

    So just pet him for a short while and stop and while petting, say good boy to him. Once you notice if he feels irritated, stop petting him. Then try again later and keep repeating the process. But he might still dislike being petted for a longer time.

    Again some cats like to sleep with us and some don't. But at least he is sleeping in the same room as you. Maybe you can try putting his favorite pillow or blanket on your bed, something he feels comfortable with.

    Since when he was young and he had a difficult start and could have felt some pain in the body, that could be the reason why he don't like to be picked up.

    Try playing with him more and keep having conversations with him. Do things like nose bumps, chin rubs and get him up on the bed more often so that he'll get use to the bed and own the space.

    Let him be and you'll be expecting more changes in him as he is only 4 months old. He might just choose the bed as he grows older. Their sleep patterns and places to sleep always change. Enjoy him while he is still in his baby year. He'll be an adult when he reaches a year old.

    From now till he's seven months old, his baby teeth are changing to adult teeth. So expect more gnawing and chewing and get some soft toys for him to bite. You may even be able to find some of his baby teeth around.

    Feel free to ask questions and the friendly cats here will try to answer them. Do check out the many good reads in the Articles section and also many informative threads in the forums.

    Do introduce yourself and your kitty to the community in 'New Cats in the Block' under the General Forums and post more photos of your kitty ;)
     

  5. anankee

    anankee Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    29
    17
    Mar 18, 2017
    Australia
    The good news is that with time he is definitely coming around.

    He is not dodging petting as much and is happy to let me pet him anywhere including his tummy which I gather means he must trust me so I'm sure that's a good thing

    He still won't spend a night on the bed but he definitely hangs with us a lot longer. I noticed that if there is only one of us in bed he tends to sleep there so I'm guessing he doesn't feel comfortable . We are both somewhat restless sleepers too

    We have made a lot of progress over the last week and he is being really affectionate in his own way - Eskimo kisses and rubbing up against us lots.

    He is actually a really sweet little guy, he just goes about it in his own way 😻
     

  6. tabbytom

    tabbytom Happiness is being owned by a cat Staff Member Mentor

    9,643
    11,922
    May 12, 2016
    Garden City, Singapore
    Great to hear that but cats have their whims and fancies too.

    So let him be but try to get him to get use to what upyou want him to do but the final decision is still his ;)
     

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