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April 20, 2021 |0 min read

How to Raise a Cuddly Kitten: Advice From Our Experts

Written by

Sharilyn Vera

Any cat owner will tell you their favorite cat activity is cuddling their little furballs. But sometimes it can be tricky if your cat isn’t as fur-endly as others. Below are some tricks and tips on how to raise your furbaby to be less of a grumpy cat and more of a hellooo kitty!

Tip One: Baby Your Kitty

The first 8 weeks of a kitten’s life ideally is spent with their siblings while being nurtured by their mother. If you have a kitten younger than 8 weeks, then you’ll have to continually care for them throughout the day. Here are some tips to calm your kitten to hopefully make them more cuddly. The younger the kitten, the more care they’ll need.

  • Ways to Baby Your Kitty
  • Constantly keep your cat warm and cuddled as if they’re surrounded by their mom and siblings. Kittens have difficulty regulating their own body temperatures and the more physical touch, the stronger the bonding will be. 
  • Keep them clean, groomed, and away from other animals. Their immune system will need time to adjust and strengthen.

Tip Two: Be Gentle 

The best way for your kitten to learn affection is to always treat them with affection. Makes sense, right? So even if you weren’t there for their first 8 weeks, you’re here meow, so the more you pet and cuddle them, the more they’ll be inclined to treat you and others with the same affection. Recipurrocity! 

  • Gentle activities include:
  • Keeping them warm and safe. Try giving them a super cozy corner of your home
  • Petting them often and gently
  • Saying their name frequently and in a soft voice 
  • Grooming them. Help them get used to brushing and cleaning. 
  • Caring for them. Provide your kittens with clean water and nutritious food so they get what they need to feel their best. Also, ensure that you are cleaning the litter box once a day. 
  • Playing with them often. Kittens get more energetic the older they get!

Tip Three: Confidence is Key

Having a confident kitten is key to having a cuddly kitten! Try these techniques to stimulate confidence and friendliness!

  • Let them explore your home and give them spaces they can “own”, like window perches, cat trees, and towers! 
  • Get her a scratching post to give her an outlet when she’s overstimulated (plus, it’ll save your furniture from scratches…most of the time).
  • Bring around other humans! Whether that’s family, roommates, or just other friends, the more human interaction, the more confident and at ease she’ll be around people. But be mindful of your cat’s comfort levels. Some humans just won’t make the cut right away! And that’s ok. 
  • Playing music, cooking, and doing other common “loud” routines at an early age will accustom them to those sounds and help them develop into a cool, confident cat. 

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Tip Four: Feeding Time is Bonding Time

One of the best ways to bond with your cat is when they are eating! Try gently petting them while they are eating from the bowl. Doing this with every meal will help your cat associate the positive feeling they get from eating to your petting as well.

Tip Five: The Purr-wer of Rewards

Try saying that five times fast! But seriously, rewarding your cat can foster a close bond between you two, and they’ll be more inclined to enjoy being picked up and cuddled. 

Some ways to reward your cat are:

  • Playing with toys. A feather wand toys or cuddly kitten plush toy are great interactive toys to stimulate socialization
  • Giving her treats. The positive feelings from the treats are linked to your touch and loving pets
  • Catnip! It acts as a natural mood enhancer! You can read more about the effects of catnip, here

Tip Six: The “Slow-Blink”

How do you say “I love you” to your kitty? Other than saying it out loud, the “slow-blink” is a nonverbal way of communicating love to your furry pet. Instead of staring directly at your cat (which might cause them to feel intimidated), slowly blink at them and it will show your cat that they are in loving and caring hands.

Tip Seven: A Tale of Chilly Kitties

A little birdy told us that cats are more likely to cuddle their humans if they’re on the chilly side. 

If treats or other rewards don’t seem to purr-suade them into being more affectionate, try taking advantage of the winter season! And don’t forget to provide your cat with a warm, comfy place to sleep at night for when you’re not around.

Remember each cat has their own very unique personality, so while some are naturally cuddly, others are more independent. Some might like to cuddle on your lap, but there are those that are not cuddly kittens. As a cat lover, enjoy how special and unique your cat is and make sure they know how loved they are by cuddling and loving on them best as you can!

Sources:

1. https://khpet.com/blogs/cats/how-to-raise-a-kitten-to-be-cuddly

2. https://animalpath.org/how-to-raise-a-kitten-to-be-affectionate/

3. https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/new-baby-cat-safety#1

Written by

Sharilyn Vera

Sharilyn is a proud cat owner, long time storyteller and researcher. Her work spans beloved podcasts, television shows, media outlets, and independent documentaries. She likes to strike a balance between education and comedy, which you can hopefully tell when you read her articles!

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