|May 25, 2013||Dealing with an Anti-Social Cat||1 comments|
Just like people, cats come with different personalities. Some crave attention, others don't. Some are lap cats, others do not like to be held. Some cuddle, others prefer to have their own space.
While most cats seem to have their leave-me-alone moments, there are some who exhibit continual anti-social behavior. Anti-social cats are not necessarily mean and aggressive; they can be simply avoiding close contact with people. It's the kind of cats who start squirming when picked up, trying to get away, or even recoil as you reach towards them.
Such behavior may be temporary; if your newly adopted cat acts this way, it does not mean they are anti-social. Most cats need time to adjust to new places and people. As you earn the cat's trust, its behavior will most likely change. My first cat adopted from a pet shelter had spent his first week at my home hiding under the bed; later on he would not let me pick him up for a long time. That was years ago. Today, he is the sweetest, cuddliest purring machine I've ever seen.
I have, however, another cat who turned out to be mildly anti-social, and that's permanent, from what I observe. Nixon just does not have this need / desire to be touched and petted, at least not a lot. While he does not mind human company (and even likes it when there is food around), he prefers to be on his own rather than on someone's lap. When I watch TV or work on my computer, Nixon might come and sit somewhere nearby, but if I try to grab him and pull him closer to me, he will most likely leave. It's a shame, really, because he is such a big soft teddy bear - the kind of a cat you just want to hug and hold. Yet that's exactly what he doesn't appreciate. I had hoped at first to teach Nixon to enjoy cuddling, but it did not work. At best, he does not mind sleeping next to me for a while.
How to deal with an anti-social cat? I would say very much like you'd deal with a not very social person. Do not force on them things they don't like - it will only make them avoid you more. Holding a cat against its will may result in it never coming near you again. Instead, make sure the cat feels safe and secure in your home. Do not chase it. Appreciate those rare moments when your anti-social cat does want some fellowship, and try to make it as enjoyable for you both as you can. Who knows? Maybe the cat figures it wasn't so bad, after all, and comes back for more.