I can hear you now, “My Ragdoll Cat is not affectionate!!”
You didn’t get a Ragdoll Cat so that it would sit on the other side of the room and stare at you…? Am I right?
I have had a number of ragdolls, and I would say they are generally more affectionate than most other breeds I have had, but they are still cats. And that means they do whatever the f*ck they want. (sorry, but it’s true)
My Ragdolls and their “Affection” levels
Just so you know where I am coming from I have two ragdolls. Grandma Cat who is 23 and Maya who is 13.
This is what they call cuddling. Especially grandma cat. She loves to be right next to me but not actually touching. Unless she is picking my skin or he’d butting me.
Maya will actually get a little closer but neither of them are really “lap cats”. They don’t mind being picked up but are less inclined to actually cuddle.
That being said Maya will always follow me to the bathroom and grandma cat sleeps by my pillow at night.
Maya will also generally join me for any conversation I’m having with someone in the foyer and likes to interrupt my work.
How do I teach them to be more affectionate?
There are a couple of things you can do to help bridge the trust gap between you and your cat.
- Be really affectionate during feeding times. Help them see you are trustworthy.
- It is important that during happy times that you associate touch and petting. Contrary to popular belief cats are trainable and if you spend the time with them you can adjust behaviour.
- Use catnip. Yup, it works.
- Use treats. This gets them to engage with you and continue to trust you.
Let’s talk about your environment
Cats are very aware of what is going on around them and they will behave based on their environment. They especially don’t like change, and will often display various naughty behaviours when things change too much. Consistency is the best thing, and it is the same with the affection that you give them. Sometimes you need to initiate.
Try to keep everything consistent, time of their meals, place of their meals, place of their litter, and condition of their litter.
One of the other things that I have found that really works is to figure out what treats they like and then interact with them around the treat. Maya, my 13-year-old loves cheese. Strangely enough, she loves shoestring cheese them most. I can’t even get it out of the fridge without her yelling at me for some. So I use that to get her attention and then cuddle her. She is usually a lot more receptive to that.
Always offering good food, clean water, fun toys to play with and a litterbox that is cleaned regularly. Again consistency and a happy environment will help your cat.
It might seem to be counter-intuitive but spending more time engaging with your cat will start to break down any barriers that might be there.
You also don’t want to force it. It just may take some time.
Cats Really do have a Mind of their Own.
All of that said it is best if you remember that a cat is a cat and they are notorious for just doing whatever they want.
It’s always funny to me how cats will also seek out the person in the room that wants to cuddle the least and cuddle with them. Ha.
Don’t give up.
The single best item that I have bought for my cats is a catit water fountain. They are incredible and they actually really work. If you are interested, check it out on Amazon.