While aging, cats can sometimes display different behaviors. After all, it’s normal for kittens to evolve their personality while they grow into adults. Some say that cats get more affectionate as they grow older.
While this may be true for some cats, is this really true, or just a myth?
A cat’s personality may change as they mature, both physically and mentally. While some cats get more affectionate as they get older, this is not true for all cats. There are several aspects to consider when trying to understand changes to your cat’s behavior, such as personality, mental state, breed, environment, and more.
Some cat parents would like their cat to be loving and affectionate, but rather than waiting for them to grow old, it is good to understand what shapes a cat’s behavior as they grow older and what you can do to influence cat behavior.
Do cats get more affectionate with age?
Many cat owners told me, anecdotally, that they have experienced their cats getting more affectionate in their older years. However, when discussing it with them, it turns out that their cat’s behavior could be attributed to other factors.
The fact that the cat got older is just a coincidence and not the main driver for a personality change.
Generally speaking, I would say that cats become more affectionate with age, caused by several factors which I will highlight below.
But does that always mean that your cat wants to cuddle with you all day?
Not necessarily. They might become very cuddly, or their signs of affection may be more subtle.
How does age play into it?
As soon as kittens begin to age, they’ll become more relaxed with less energy to play. They will start forming their personalities as they mature, just like human babies.
Some cats won’t become more cuddly as they reach maturity and prefer being alone instead; others turn out to be more cuddly and dependent on their owners.
Some things influence the forming of character in your cat and promote them growing up more affection towards you.
Apart from their development over time, age also comes with physical effects that often cause cats to decrease activity and become less playful.
Your cat’s body will start to change once they reach a certain age. Due to the deterioration of its muscles, bones, and joints, your cat may not be as active as it once was and, as a result, spend more lap time together with you.
When they start losing their hearing, cats often become more vocal, so it will seem that they demand more attention.
Sometimes cats become more affectionate as a result of the cognitive decline of their feline brains. When cats start losing their sight or their hearing ability, they can become confused or disoriented. They might start feeling anxious and become more clingy as a result.
At what age do cats get more affectionate?
Based on the gradual maturing of your cat, both physically and mentally, there is no specific age at which cats might become more affectionate.
Some get more clingy after a few years; others may never and enjoy being by themselves.
You can never tell at what point your cat will change and if it will at all.
As a rule of thumb, I’d say that if your cat grows more affectionate, you will most likely see this happen around the time they reach two years of age. This is the period when they are entering adulthood, and their personalities will have settled by then.
Once cats begin to settle on their personality, they’ll become more true to themselves whether they become more cuddly or not will depend on their personality.
What cat breeds are the most affectionate?
If you’re looking for a cat that’s more prone to be affectionate by nature, your best bet is to choose one that’s already cuddly instead of waiting for them to mature.
The breeds below are among the most affectionate breeds. If you’re the cuddly type, check out those cats.
- Ragdoll: They’re calm, easy-going, and love cuddles.
- Siamese: They’re intelligent, outgoing, and love getting attention by chatting with you.
- Persian: They’re calm, elegant, and love to have quiet company.
- Sphynx: They’re very playful and love meeting new people.
- Burmese: These cats can be energetic, vocal, and affectionate.
- Maine Coon: They can be loyal and very friendly.
- Birman: This breed is docile and loves attention.
All of these cat breeds have the potential to become incredibly affectionate pets under the right conditions. If you neuter them, play with them, and treat them with love and affection, they will reward you with a close and loving bond.
You could also pay attention to the cat’s personality when you are choosing one. Take your time to evaluate which kitten you should get instead of going with a cute face. One good sign that a cat likes you is when they take the initiative and come to you.
On the other hand, don’t forget that different cats are like different humans. We all show love and affection in different ways. Some cats won’t sit on your lap all day but will show their affection in other ways.
How can I raise my cat to be affectionate?
As I mentioned before, while your cat is growing up, there are several things you can do to help your cat become affectionate.
How to do that?
Well, it’s not that different from raising human babies, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the love you give them will come back to you in the form of feline affection.
It’s all about making time for your cat, showing that you care for them, and being there when they need you. Be consistent about it but don’t be pushy, as that may cause your cat to run from you than towards you.
Be gentle and affectionate
You get what you give, and in the case of cats, how you treat them matters. Cats have a good memory, and although they don’t really hold grudges, they do remember who treats them well.
Here are some tips on how to raise an affectionate kitty:
- Play with your cat often, at least 30-40 minutes per day.
- Use a soft voice when talking to your cat; use positive reinforcement rather than punishment.
- Groom your cat often and make sure they live in a clean house.
- If you have a litterbox, clean it regularly.
- Provide them with a safe, warm, and cozy place to retreat and sleep.
- Feed your cat regularly and on time, bring variation in their daily menu.
- Cuddle them now and then but don’t overdo it. Let them set the pace.
Help them socialize
It’s a great idea to introduce your cat to your friends or other pets. Slowly, don’t force it. If you encourage young cats to play with other people, you’ll be making them a lot more social and affectionate.
Never miss the vet
Sick cats probably won’t enjoy spending time with you or anyone. That’s why it’s important to take your cat to a vet if you feel that they could be sick. Even if your cat hates going to the vet, they understand that you are taking care of them.
A healthy diet and regular grooming are also necessary to keep your cat healthy and happy.
Do male cats become more affectionate after being neutered?
Whether your cat is male or female, it can become more affectionate with age. Contrary to popular belief, the sex of your cat won’t play a big role in how affectionate cats turn out to be. Personality and breed are what truly determine this trait.
But what about neutering? Does that make them more affectionate? Well, according to anecdotal evidence from cat owners, most male cats that have been neutered become more affectionate after the procedure.
According to The Nest, cats become more clingy (in a good way) and more drawn towards their owners after neutering.
The reason for this is because neutered cats are far less territorial which also reduces their restlessness and aggression. Because of this, owners often see a positive change after neutering their male cats.
However, keep in mind that neutering your cat doesn’t mean that they’re going to become a cuddly ball of love directly after the procedure. Cat love is a process that takes time.
Tricks that cats use to get more attention
When old cats reach a certain age, they might use some tricks to get your attention.
Some forms of attention-seeking are:
- Rubbing themselves onto you.
- Loud vocalizations.
- Your cat can sit on your laptop/keyboard/book to get your attention.
- It may throw small objects off.
- Your cat might wake you up in the middle of the night.
- Urinating outside the litterbox.
- Destroying furniture with their claws.
All of these actions show that your cat is trying to do their best at getting your attention. If this happens, you know that you’ve probably been neglecting your cat.
However, keep in mind that some of these actions might not be desireable and you shouldn’t reward your cat by playing with them directly.
Make it clear that you don’t appreciate this behavior and play with them at another time when she’s behaving or you might just be reinforcing this behavior.
Take some time to play with your cat, and it will learn to expect playtime and how to get positive attention, rather than as a result of their questionable behavior.
Be aware that some of these attention tactics, like urinating in odd places, can also be a sign that your cat is sick or in pain. It’s better to be safe than sorry so take a trip to the vet to make sure she’s healthy.
What if your cat suddenly becomes more clingy?
In some cases, your cat may exhibit a sudden change in personality and behavior. This is seldom a good sign, even if they become more clingy than before.
A cat that displays sudden affection to the point where you’d call it “clingy” (in a negative way), and where that wasn’t the case before, is usually a sign that something is wrong and your cat is trying to get your attention.
A clingy cat could be suffering from anxiety, illness, or feel insecure. There’s a distinction between a cat being affectionate and clingy. Here are some signs of clingy cats:
- Anxious and erratic behavior.
- Fear of being alone and being abandoned.
- They follow you around your house.
- Constantly rubbing themselves onto you.
- Your cat cries or hisses when you leave them alone.
It’s good to monitor your cat’s behavior, and in case you see a sudden personality change, it’s a good idea to consult your vet for a checkup.
Of course, many cats are clingy by nature, and in that case, there is probably nothing to worry about. Only if there’s a sudden shift in behavior that may be a reason for concern.