What Makes Some Cats So Affectionate?

by Elizabeth Burns, Demand Media Google
    Love is mutual between felines and their people.

    Love is mutual between felines and their people.

    All kitties are individuals, some being more loving than others. There are several factors that go into the mix in making that purring fur ball on your lap so sweet and affectionate. Just remember the more you love him, the more he will love you in return.

    Socialization

    The first few weeks of a kitten’s life are crucial in helping him to feel safe and happy around the people who care for him. Gentle, regular handling and soothing words at this early stage increase the likelihood of him becoming an affectionate, well-balanced adult. This is also the ideal time to ensure that he doesn’t associate human hands with a play toy, according to Rainbow Wildlife Rescue in Texas. Let him play catch and chase with toys and reserve your hands for stroking and holding.

    Genetic Factors

    Breeding shows, and genetics plays a role in your pet’s temperament. Of course, your pet doesn’t have to be a thoroughbred to be an aristocat in his manners and morals. A good disposition isn't exclusive to pedigrees, as every loving owner of affectionate cross-breeds knows. However, some breeds are more known for their affectionate temperaments. The sleek black Bombay cat, for example, is noted for his affectionate, playful, outgoing nature on the Cat Fanciers website.

    One-On-One

    It’s a case of following the golden rule, feline style, by treating Scruff how you would like to be treated if you were a kitty. Research conducted by the University of Vienna in 2011 reveals that the more care and attention you devote to your pet, the more loving he will be in return. Of course you knew that already! The study, based on in-depth observations of how felines and their owners interact, revealed that if people spend a lot of time interacting with a pet and responding to his desires for play and affection, on his terms, he is more likely to remember the kindness and return the favor. Women are more likely to elicit affection from their pets because they spend more one-on-one time with them, the study found.

    Mother Love

    Your little pet needs you for food, warmth and shelter and when he headbutts you or curls up on your lap he’s showing his appreciation, particularly after his dinner! The Viennese report’s co-author Jon Day, a researcher at the Waltham Center for Pet Nutrition, notes that “food is often used as a token of affection, and the ways that cats and humans relate to food are similar in nature to the interactions seen between the human caregiver and the pre-verbal infant.”

    About the Author

    Based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Elizabeth Burns began writing professionally in 1988. She has worked as a feature writer for various Irish newspapers, including the "Irish News," "Belfast News Letter" and "Sunday Life." Burns has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Ulster as well as a Master of Research in arts.

    Photo Credits

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