Yesterday, when I read the “Snuggles on Sunday” post from my (very) distant Aby cousins at The Poupounette, I realized something: snuggling has very specific rules, and some humans don’t know what they are. My pals’ human (#1) has it right, and she clearly understands her place in the snuggling hierarchy. My human, on the other hand, could not get it more wrong, which is why I am often referred to as “cold” and “not cuddly.” But really, it has nothing whatsoever to do with me. I am sure some of you kitties can relate, so to help matters out, I thought I would explain in plain language some important snuggling facts. Maybe if humans take heed, we will be less likely to be dubbed with epithets such as “aloof” and “unaffectionate.”
Signs that cats want to be snuggled:
- They jump on your lap and purr.
- They get in your face and headbutt you.
- If you are in bed, they crawl under the covers with you.
Signs that cats may have something other snuggling on their minds:
- They get in your face and poke you with a paw (they are probably hungry, not snuggly).
- They are rubbing against your legs (ditto on being hungry).
- They roll over on their back. (This could be a trick… they may want to attack your hand. Or maybe they just have an itchy back.)
Signs that cats have no interest whatsoever in being snuggled:
- They are curled up and sleeping peacefully.
- They are sitting there and not even looking at you.
- Two words: airplane ears.
Spitty the Kitty says
I *NEVER* do ANY of those first three behaviors–did I say **NEVER**– but my Human doesn’t let that stop her. She picks me up for some “corporal cuddling” anyway. How can she find that satisfying for even 10 seconds (which is all she ever gets)? It’s sad to see her desperation. I don’t HURT her or anything, I just squirm and squirm and squirm to get down and eventually I do. That seems to hold her for three or four days, and then we repeat this sad pathetic process again. What to do, what to do?
Sara Cat writes, Sweden says
That’s telling ’em Sparkle!
Sandra Rose Hughes says
Thanks for clarifying, Sparkle-Cat. Sometimes my white calico will crawl into my lap and headbutt me, and then she’ll let me pet her a few times. But then she grabs my hand and rabbit-kicks me! She won’t let go! I don’t know how to get her off my hand without hurting her.
“Airplane ears.” Bwahahahahah!!!!
Thanks for the tips, Sparkle. There’s a reason why you are the maven of wisdom in cat-human interpersonal relations.
Sara Cat writes, Sweden says
Very good rules Sparkle! I agree whole-heartedly!
Spitty the Kitty says
EXCELLENT, Sparkle! I myself am ALWAYS in that 3rd category, but the Human persists in picking me up and attempting enforced snuggling. You’d think she’d learn…but, alas, no, she does not.
Oh yes, airplane ears! The most obvious sign that we do not want to be cuddled! I almost never want to be cuddled, unless I want to be cuddled. I know you understand Sparkle, but my mom is not as smart as you.
Fraidy Cats says
Oh, what great info! Thankfully our mom lets us cuddle on our own terms but she does have the terrible habit of bothering us when we are sleeping…
-Pip, Smidgen, Minnie
I agree with alla that, speshully the part about the rolling on the back trickery. I do all the others too, but that one is the funnest.
Ayla and Iza says
We’re glad we make it obvious when we want snugglin. AND that The Big Thing knows…
Thanks for posting this information. Our “person” needed to read this. You would think after years of being a cat person she would know these signs. Oh…well.
Purrs, Bobo and Hecate
Those are very good rules Sparkle! I get all squiggly when Mommy wants to cuddle and I want treats. My sisfur Isabella cuddles all the time – no time is a bad time for her. She doesn’t even know how to do airplane ears!
The Island Cats says
Sparkle, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves!! Why do the humans want to snuggle with us when it’s obvious we have no interest whatsoever??!?
CCL Wendy says
Thank you for the very succinct and straightFURward rules, Sparkle! I shall endeavour to follow them more closely. I must admit to scooping up a kitty here and there to cuddle when they have been sleeping. I now see the error of my ways.
I like to keep my people guessing. But they’re pretty sure that if they’re in bed and I plop down across someone’s face, I want attention. Or food.
The Poupounette Gang says
#1 asked us to tell you how very touched she is by the nice words about her.
Angie, Catladyland/Katt Food says
This is very informative, Sparkle. I have to say, though, it is VERY difficult for some humans (me) to resist snuggling a a curled up, sleeping kitty. I will try.
Thank you so much for posting this, Sparkle. I really hope my Mom reads it, because she definitely needs to take heed of these distinctions. And one thing for SURE she needs to realize: if I am outside I do NOT want to be picked up and cuddled!!!!!
Katnip Lounge says
Right on, Sparkle! And then there’s suck-up Grayce, who tries to sit in “vertical laps”…disgusting, really.
You should open a school, Sparkle
Ok, what are air plane ears?
That’s when our ears are sticking out flat, like airplane wings. Means we think that whatever you are doing, you are crazy.
My human always gets it wrong. And to think she expects that I would snuggle with a lesser cat like Ichiro
Victor Tabbycat says
Haha! Dat’s furry good, Sparkle, but… I sumtimes jump into a lap an purr, purr, purr cuz da lap owner is eatin sumfin an I want some! Nina rubs legs dat is sittin to show she wants skritches. She don’t reelly like da confinement of real snugglin, but lufs skritches. It’s impawtant to teech yur humans sum basic body language so they noes what you wants.
Cats of Wildcat Woods says
Very good snuggle lessons for the beans Sparkle!
Our Mummy was like, “oh…” when she read the “no interest whatsoever” section!!!
Our Mummy always drapes her arm around us when we’re sleeping and pretends we are her pillow or something…….
Milo and Alfie says
Nope ~ we agree wiv all that!
Great job Sparkle, I don’t understand what the humans don’t understand about that!
Noir the Texas Tabby says
Sparkle the signs are right on the money! Humans need to pay attention, for their own sake!
Like the photo too!
Raymond and Busby says
Good job explaining this to the humans, Sparkle. We especially don’t want to be snuggled when we are on the bed watching bird tv. Can’t you see we are busy?
Hannah and Lucy says
We both love to cuddle and there is always a race to get on mum’s lnee first so we’re the nearest to the snuggling hand.
Glad you explained this to our ancient hooooman. She is so old, she needs to reminded a lot about how to behave or what our behavior means. That was very well explained.Take care and have an awesome week.
M is laughing with me cuz your adviice is so “right on.”
Daisy the Curly Cat says
I love cuddling all the time! But Harley, he is usually too impatient to sit still for cuddles.
Maggie May says
Sparkle, you are so insightful!!
Max the Quilt Cat says
Thanks for clearing that up for us… Nice, clear. They shouldn’t get it wrong now.
Huffle Mawson says
I am going to show this to my dad. He has no idea.
Sniffie and the Florida Furkids says
We think cuddle time is great….as long as we set the rules!!
The Florida Furkids and Angel Sniffie
Sparkle, are you serious? Cuddling’s great! The more you let them cuddle you, the bigger the response when you miaow pitifully for food. Trust me, it works… Sometimes.
Fuzzy Tales says
You’ve covered that well, Sparkle! We each have a different perspective on snuggling, and Derry is the only lap kitty, the only one who will crawl under the covers and spoon with our mom. But we all like to snuggle in our own way and Mom does her best to accommodate us!
BTW, we did get your book mark last week; thank you! Mom meant to mention it, but hasn’t had as much time to blog as usual. Apologies for being remiss!