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Reani, Cat Care Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1762
Experience:  20+ years experience with Cat Care and behavior problems, 3 years Pet Rescue
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Whty are some cats lap cats and some arent

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I have noticed that among the cats in my life, some love to be on my lap and some treat the very idea with the same horror given to a bath WITH WATER (shudder, claws (and sometimes fangs) out, climbing on anything to get away...). There is no past lap-related trauma that I know of in these cats, so I am curious as to why?
Hi there!

Some cats simply do not like to be touched, just like humans. However, there is something that can have an effect on this. Kittens that are handled lots by humans in th first 2 to 7 weeks of life, are much more likely to be cats that adore being held, and petted and lapsitting. Kittens that are not handled, do not usually turn out to be very affectionate. There are always exceptions, but handling during these early stages of development have a big role in the cat's personality as an adult.

Hope that helps!
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Well, I have about 40 years of cat care experience, and since I have had most of my cats since they were kittens and have handled them (properly) a lot, I still do not understand why some of them are lappers and some not. Genetic, maybe?
It could be genetic, but it also could be that some cats are more sensitive to touch than others. Ever notice how when petting some cats, they become "overstimulated" and nip? Their sensitivity to touch could be genetic, but cats are not pack animal like dogs are as you know. If they are enjoying touch they can become conflicted because while they may enjoy it, their feline mind tells them it is not natural and they lash out.

I don't know of any studies that show it to be genetic, as in if momma cat is anti social the kittens will be anti social. I have seen lots on the handling at as young as 2 weeks old as a way of conditioning the kitten to enjoy people. After 7 weeks old, it is a much different ball of wax, as the window for this type of conditioning is just about closed. It does not mean they are not going to be social, but it will be a little more difficult and the cat may be skittish.

I have 2 cats, Annie, who was rescued from the streets at 8 weeks of age, and Lena who was handled constantly from birth by a human. Annie does not like to be held, and will tolerate it for about a minute before trying to get away any way she can. She is however, a good lap cat on her terms only. Lena, on the other hand, is always up for attention and affection and loves to be held. If it were up to her, I would carry her around with me. Also a good lap cat, but only on her terms. I attribute the fact that she likes to be held directly to the fact that she was handled from birth by a human.

I am also sure that it has something to do with each cat's individual personality just as in humans. What one finds pleasurable may not be pleasurable to another. Every feline mind is different!

Have you tried a product called "Good Cat" to calm your feline? It is an herbal remedy that is added to their water and acts like a St. John's wort for your cat. It is helpful in getting cats to be calmer, less aggressive, and happer.

Please let me know if I can help further...

Best Regards,
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