Cuddling up with a cute little kitten is one of life’s great joys. Appreciate them when they are small because kittens grow up fast!
And when your kitten matures, you may be worried that they’ll be less cuddly.
Do kittens get less affectionate with age?
Kittens and cats can get less affectionate with age for assorted reasons. Kittens are small and relatively helpless, so they are more sociable than adult cats, which are solitary animals by nature. While all cats are different, you can expect them to be more affectionate when they are young and become less so with age.
Like humans and other animals, each kitten and cat will have their own unique personality.
Some kittens or cats will be the life of the party that likes to play and be engaging with their owners and family, while others will be more reserved and watchful instead of engaging.
This is the nature of our true personality and temperament, who we are as humans, or cats.
Kittens and cats that are extroverts can have moments of solitude and distance, and kittens or cats that are normally introverted can have sporadic moments of exciting engagements with their family.
Life circumstances, the environment in which they live, who they are, and what they feel all determine how affectionate they are on any given day or as they age.
Like we develop and change with age, kittens, and cats can be less affectionate at certain stages in their lives.
The most common time for a kitten to be less affectionate is during their teen phase, which typically happens around one year of life to a year and a half.
During this time, they will display less affection and focus more on their independence from others and move into adulthood as a cat.
This is a normal process in a kittens’ life as they are near their adult stage, and less affection doesn’t mean less love; it simply means change.
Every kitten will handle this stage differently, and some may seek more comfort than others, but most of the time, the kittens will separate, be less affectionate, and pay less attention to their family.
It is important to note that the affection doesn’t go away completely; it changes.
Like when a human child goes through their teens, the kitten will still show love differently.
For instance, on their busy day, they might not climb on a lap six times for snuggles and petting, but they might swirl around a leg or foot for a moment in their travels or many adventures.
It is a reminder that they are there and love you even though they need space and independence.
The best way to handle this is to look for quick moments when they show affection and accept and acknowledge them while finding a way to return that love.
If they twirl around the foot or leg, it can be a nice gesture to bend down and give a quick scratch or pat on the head.
What you see and experience during the kitten phase may not be what you will get in the way of affection once a cat is an adult.
Once a cat has gone through the independent teens and become a full adult cat, what you see, and experience is what you get.
Behaviors regarding affection after eighteen months will indicate what the rest of their lives will be like.
Some cats will be affectionate; others will not; some will be complete lap cats that adore nothing more than human touch and attention, and others will only like it sometimes.
Another time when a kitten or cat will become less affectionate is when there is a huge change or disruption to their life or home environment.
Changes of any sort that affect your cat can cause stress, and it can make them more reserved, distant, and seek less attention.
In some cases, the reverse can happen; they become clingy.
It truly depends on the nature of the change or disruption to their life and environment. Some examples include moving, changes in people or animals in the house, and changes to their area in the house, such as moving their litter box or a comfortable bed.
Are all kittens or cats affectionate?
No, not all kittens or cats are affectionate, and this is based on many factors but depends on their breeding as some cat breeds are not very affectionate and cuddle.
When deciding to adopt a kitten or cat is important to know the breed and do the research, so disappointment is limited.
Some breeds of kittens and cats are very independent and don’t like to be held, snuggled, or sit on your lap.
Beyond breeding, the environment that a kitten grows up in shapes how affectionate they are as they get older.
If a kitten is shown lots of love and receives lots of human touch from an early age, they will naturally be more affectionate even if their breeding dictates otherwise.
How do I teach my kitten to be affectionate?
The first step in teaching your kitten to be affectionate is starting early in their life.
The earlier the kitten is exposed to human touch, the better. The most critical time is when they are around one month old until they are about five months old.
Secondly, show lots of affection to the kitten in many ways.
Let the kitten sit on your lap while you pet them.
Hold the kitten and carry them around, get down on the floor, play with them, and offer some petting in between to teach them.
There are two particularly important things to remember during all these interactions: don’t be pushy with the affection and don’t be stressed, nervous or anxious.
If the kitty isn’t interested, try again later, affectionate moments should never be forced.
Animals can notice our emotions, and if we feel negative energy, they will too
Affection and stress don’t go hand in hand; it is best to calm yourself before sharing a special moment with your new kitten.
Affection comes and goes for us all, even a cute little kitten. At different moments in life, they will feel more affectionate than others.
Go with the flow and foster a loving home life that encourages love and affection, and your kitten will grow to be a happy and content adult cat. Who they are as an adult cat may or may not be as affectionate as you would like, but a cat will be who they are as a cat?
Show your kitten love, and they will return the gesture in their way, at every phase of their life, if you are open to who they are as a kitten or cat!