Not all of our feline friends are born to be lap cats much preferring to be more aloof. However, kittens pick things up from their mothers which means if mum is extremely friendly by nature, her offspring tend to be the same. Should mum be a suspicious or timid character, her kittens will quickly pick up on this and true to her nature, they often end up being a little nervous too.
Daddy's character also plays a role in how kittens turn out even though he's not usually around when his offspring are born or when they're growing up. In short, genetics play a part in a cat's make-up, their natures and personalities, but how kittens are handled and socialised will have a bearing on how they turn out too. If you are thinking about adopting a feline companion from a rescue centre, it's sometimes hard to know how they were treated, often they come with a little bit of baggage. It takes time to get to know them which means showing them a lot of patience and understanding until they have settled in.
Below are a few tips on how to earn a cat's trust which can help convince them to become more of a lap cat than they may have been before.
Cats like it when their environment is nice and quiet. They tend to feel threatened when things get too loud and people move too quickly around them. By moving a little slower and avoiding any sudden movements, your new feline friend will feel a lot happier because they will be more relaxed. Even if you've shared a home with a cat for a long time, they still prefer it when things are nice and calm around the house and when things get too noisy, they tend to tuck themselves away somewhere quiet.
You need to gain their trust and the best way is to give them all the time they need to come to you and not to force them to do anything because it could just end up scaring them even more with them hiding under the bed instead of wanting to be close to you. Never ignore your pussy cat, but offer them lots of tasty and healthy treats which you can leave by the side of your chair when you're watching television. Eventually, they will not be able to resist the aromas and will pluck up the courage to come and eat the treats even if it's only for a few seconds.
Over the next few days as they get more courageous, you can hold the treats in your hand so they take them directly from you. Pretty soon your pussy cat will trust you enough to jump up on the arm of the chair. Don't try to stroke them, but continue talking to them in a calm voice offering them treats all the while. It's the best way to build up the trust needed for them to relax and want to sit on your lap or next to you so you can give them a cuddle.
In cat language, staring is very rude and it means they are more likely to ignore you rather than want to interact with you although some cats might feel so threatened, they might just hiss at you. Cats blink very slowly when they look at each other, it's their way of saying they're relaxed and happy with another cat being around and the same applies when they interact with people. If you want your kitty to interact with you, sitting quietly and not looking at your pet will be far more inviting to them than staring at them while holding out a treat, no matter how tasty it might be.
If your cat already likes you petting them, but are not keen about being picked up, there are ways to convince them that you are not a threat to them one of which is to groom them with a nice soft brush. Cats are quite particular on how they are groomed which means being very gentle with them. Places to avoid are their bellies and the base of their tales. However, they generally like being rubbed under their chins and along their spines as well as between their ears and once you have your pet's “sweet spot” you'll have a friend for life. Grooming helps build up a bond and the more you brush your pet, the more they will start to trust you
The thing to remember is that some cats love it when you first start brushing them, but often they can turn and try to bite the brush or grab at it in their claws which could be a message to stop or it could be they want to play, albeit a bit too roughly. Another sign they have had enough is when they start to twitch their tale, although many cats just choose to stand up and walk away when they have had enough!
Bribery is a great tool when you want to convince a cat to come to you and the stinkier the treat the better. As soon as your feline friend comes close to you, it's important to reward them. Eventually, they will look forward to when you sit down in a nice comfy chair because they know it is treat time and pretty soon they will cuddling up to you for a while in the evening!
Cats don't like to be forced to do anything and this includes being petted or picked up. You may find your pet is a little reluctant when you try to stroke them which is probably because they are stressed out. You have to be very patient and let pussy cat make the first move. However, by making it more tempting for them to join you on the sofa will speed up the process and if all goes to plan and you set things up right, pretty soon kitty will be rolling on their backs in front of you before jumping into your lap for a quick cuddle which they'll look forward to doing with glee!