Can 'independent' cats ever become lap cats?

(10 Posts)
missismac Wed 27-Oct-10 23:07:56

We have two cats - a brother & a sister aged 14 months -who we've had since they were 9 weeks. We got them from a breeder who seemed lovely, but they were cage bred then brought into the house at about 8 weeks.

We are gentle & loving toward them but they just aren't interested in us at all. My previous cat loved to curl up on a nice comfy lap & be stroked, but these two are just not interested. I'm so envious of friends whose cats will be petted in this way. Is there any hope for our cats ever becoming 'lap' cats - or is it too late?

Simbacat Wed 27-Oct-10 23:16:13

Yes. One of mine did. They were rescue cats- he is a giant bruiser- torn ears - fighter cat. They both settled well- he was distant - she was always on knees. I think he was about 4.

About 2 years after we got him he got rabbit lice in his ears. He killed everything- everyday. Never came in much- if he did sat alone on a chair.

Over 2 weeks i spent hours picking them off and killing them. He hated it at first. By 2 weeks he was purring . Then he lept onto my knee.

It is 5 years later and he is such a softie. He sits on my knee, sleeps on my feet, spends day sitting on my desk as I work. Comes up all days to have head stroked.

bosch Wed 27-Oct-10 23:16:45

Our lovely Basil was never a lap cat but she was a tad more affectionate in old age after we had her dodgy teeth sorted. But nothing would persuade her to be a lap cat (she'd come and kneed your newsapapr for you - a rescue cat, I always thought she'd spent her formative weeks on a bed lined with newspaper...)

For a short time while we had Basil, we also had Polly, a stray, who was the complete opposite and would even come and sit on my knee while I was on the toilet.

In answer to your question, i'd say no.

But your cats may not mind if you get another cat? Polly was introduced fairly successfully, Basil tolerated her!

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Wed 27-Oct-10 23:37:21

Yes- we have had two who were feral cats (one very much so) who ended up as house cats - one of them (the most feral) became a real lap cat. She moved into the house having refused to even enter it for years and became boss of all the other cats and dogs.

It did take ten years tho and lots and lots of time spent bonding with them outside in the garden!

missismac Thu 28-Oct-10 12:13:46

Hmmm, so a mixed bag of opinion. We can't have another cat & all in all I'm happy with the two we've got. It's like kids isn't it - you accept the personalities you get & learn to love them for it?!

I'll keep the faith that with the right treatment they may eventually come round. Very good to hear stories from those of you whose cats have become more affectionate over time.

Mine are 16 months old (home-bred, but in a somewhat challenging household) and have just started to come back round to sitting on laps in the evening (they did when they were very small, but stopped). It's still noteworthy when they sit on a lap though, and I don't know if they'll keep it up. For instance, DD and I are being nice and quiet right now, and the one cat who is in has opted to go to sleep in the tumble drier instead of sitting on a nice warm lap ...

1Catherine1 Thu 28-Oct-10 19:49:20

Yes. I have 2 cats. One I got at 6 years old who settled at being a lap cat after only a few weeks. She is a right cuddler! The other lived in a small cage until we got her (1 and a half years old) and then enjoyed the freedom and running around so much that she would never settle in one place for more than a minute. We've now had her a year and as she gets older she seems calmer and now will come for a cuddle when she feels like it. She has become a lap cat for my OH who she will sit with for an hour once he gets home from work. She occasionally sits with me but never for more than 15 minutes or so since my first cat won't let her and considers me her property.

They're still young and from my experience age is what settles cats into being lap cats as well as neutering. A neutered cat doesn't feel the same desire to explore. Neutering also reduces other health risks to your cat.

cedmonds Sun 31-Oct-10 18:28:59

My mother in law had a cat which she bred and kept (she also kept who is a reall lap cat)She would do anything not to be touched or be near anyone wanting to be outside all the time and when she was in she would be hidding somewhere ready to bite you if you went to near. She then got run over and was really really ill loads of broken bones etc she had her chin wired together. After having to be touched and having treatment etc done she has completly changed she is now a real lap cat and doesnt want to go outside much.

emptyshell Mon 08-Nov-10 10:56:30

The tripod was an ex semi-feral farm cat (mouser who generally kipped out in a barn somewhere). When spotted limping she was trapped and ended up at the vet courtesy of Cats Protection where she lost the leg and ended up with the mug who rang up saying she was a sucker for a hard luck story.

She's an utter cuddle kitten, a furry little shadow, will sit on the sofa next to me when I'm on the computer, will lie in bed between me and hubby (if it's cold she works herself under the covers with her head on the pillow in the middle) and I haven't seen a DVD in years wtihout two furry ears blocking the view.

She's still got some quirks - if she gets out -she'll bolt and won't ever come when called outside, you have to leave the front door open and close it when she comes back in of her own accord, and she can be a massive hidey hole cat at times (and won't leave until you bodily remove her).

Bearcat Sun 14-Nov-10 17:43:15

We've gpt a british short hair male cat.
I think he was virtually not handled as a kitten and we had him at 3 months old.
He really had no time for us from the start, didn't like being touched or stroked.
If I try and pick him up now, if he's alert enough he'll jump through your hands as you put both hands under his tummy to pick him up.
He does like his comforts in life though and life without 2 cushions to lie against would be nigh on impossible for him.
He is 7.5 now and has grown to love us in his own special way and is often up on the widowsill when we come home miaowing at us.
The first time he came and sat on my knee was when he was about 2, and he will sit on my knee several times a week now, but only if I have a newspaper there and only for 10 minutes max.
If ever I try to get him to come up without a newspaper there you can see him struggling with himself knowing he wants to come up but can't as there is no newspaper!!!!!
He trusts only me, my husband, yougest son, MIL and hairdresser (who comes to the house every 6 weeks).
Nobody would ever be able to steal him (when he goes out the front) as he is soooo nervous of strangers and not at all friendly or comfortable with anyone but the above people.
I always wanted another lap cat (as my old cat was) but I got what I got and I like his quirky nature really, and love him to bits.

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