Contrary to the belief that kitties are aloof loners, most are cuddly companions that need your attention and love because they get lonely when you aren't around. Snuggling not only makes your kitty feel warm and safe, but it also allows him to spend some quality time with you.
Warmth and Safety
Cats like to snuggle in cozy, soft, safe places, a behavior they learn as kittens. Young kitties can't regulate their body temperature until they reach 3 weeks of age, according to the Liberty Humane Society. During this time, they snuggle with their mom and siblings for warmth and safety. Later in life, your lap makes an excellent spot to snooze because of the warmth and security it offers to your furry friend. Adult feral cats actually huddle together for warmth on cold winter nights, just like when they were younger, according to Alley Cat Allies. Your little furball isn't any different, except that he considers you part of his family, which is why he'll cuddle with you. Properly socialized kitties, who are exposed to people as kittens between 3 and 7 weeks of age, consider humans just as desirable to cuddle with as other kitties, according to WebMD.
Companionship and Bonding
A kitty bonds with his owners and other pets in the home by sitting and snuggling with them. This is especially true for a furry friend you have recently adopted. While he might not want to be picked up, petted or even played with at first, he'll likely warm up to you by coming over and cuddling in your lap, according to the Stanford Cat Network. Simply sit quietly and allow your little one to come over on his own and sit either in your lap or cuddle next to you. Soon your furry buddy will realize that you are nothing to fear and, in fact, will view you as someone who is fun to spend time and snuggle with.
Cats not only enjoy the company of their owners, but also the attention that they get when they spend time with them. Who can resist interacting with a kitty who has tucked himself into your lap or bats his eyes at you as he cuddles up? In fact, these behaviors should be encouraged because they are positive methods of getting your attention, rather than negative ones. Ignoring such snuggly cuteness could result in a kitty who decides to paw, scratch or meow incessantly at you for attention instead, according to the Bond Animal Hospital. Reward your kitty for snuggling by showering him with some attention, including gently petting him, scratching him behind the ears or even humming him a soft melody.
Most cats enjoy the act of snuggling with their owners and other pets, but improperly socialized kitties might take some coaxing from you to do so. Tempting treats work well as a way to lure your timid furbaby over to you and to reward him for snuggling next to you or on your lap. Snuggle time also makes for a good opportunity to brush your cat's fur, keeping it free of mats, and gives you a chance to check his skin and coat for problems, recommends the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Many kitties enjoy snuggling with you at night, but only do so if your little one doesn't disturb you by walking or pouncing on you if he wakes up early, so that you can get a good night's rest.
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.