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How to Tell if a Kitten is going to be a Lap Cat

How to Tell if a Kitten is going to be a Lap Cat

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Generally, kittens that exhibit a strong desire for human interaction are more likely to become lap cats. They are comfortable with being held. These kittens often exhibit a relaxed demeanor when in the presence of their human companions. They seek out physical touch and affection.

One way to gauge their inclination towards this behavior is by observing how they respond when placed in your lap. If they settle down comfortably and purr contentedly, this may indicate that they will enjoy being a lap cat as they mature. Certain breeds are also predisposed to being more affectionate and lap-oriented. Although breed can be a helpful indicator, spending quality time with a kitten and building a trusting relationship can help, regardless of their breed.

Observe the kitten’s temperament.

A kitten’s temperament is the combination of their personality traits: their natural disposition, sociability, and adaptability.

First, focus on their reactions to various stimuli in their environment. For instance, observe how the kitten responds when you or another person enters the room. Lap cats typically exhibit a more relaxed demeanor and might even approach the person with curiosity. In contrast, a kitten with a more independent or skittish temperament might retreat or maintain distance.

Another way is to observe their behavior during feeding time. A kitten inclined to be a lap cat may demonstrate patience and calmness, waiting for you to serve their meal without excessive meowing or agitation. This behavior could indicate a level of trust and comfort with human interaction. Remember, the kitten’s behavior during feeding can also be influenced by hunger levels, so you need to observe them in various situations to get a comprehensive understanding of their temperament.

Monitor socialization with humans.

Socialization refers to the period during which a kitten learns to interact positively with humans and other animals. This period typically occurs between 2 to 7 weeks of age. During this critical period, kittens exposed to positive human interactions are more likely to develop into affectionate and sociable cats. As a result, their chances of becoming lap cats increase.

To monitor socialization, observe the kitten’s behavior around various people. This can include children and adults. A well-socialized kitten should display curiosity. They should approach people without fear or hesitation. When a person extends their hand or offers a gentle petting, the kitten should respond positively. They may lean into the touch or even purr. A kitten that consistently seeks out human attention and enjoys being held or petted is more likely to develop into a lap cat.

Pay attention to attachment signs.

A kitten’s physical contact-seeking behavior can provide valuable insight. It helps determine their potential as a lap cat. For instance, when you sit down on a couch or chair, a kitten with a strong attachment might climb onto your lap. Alternatively, they may snuggle beside you. If the kitten consistently displays this behavior, it indicates a preference for your company.

Another attachment sign to consider is the kitten’s behavior during moments of anxiety or fear. A kitten that sees you as a source of comfort and safety may look for reassurance from you. This can happen during situations like being startled by a loud noise or encountering a new, intimidating object. In these cases, the kitten might run to you. They seek solace in your presence. This behavior signifies trust in you.

Owner holding cat on her shoulder

Watch for cues during playtime.

Playtime can offer valuable insights. They should display a gentle and affectionate demeanor.

A kitten that demonstrates a preference for interactive play may be more likely to become a lap cat. This can include chasing toys you dangle or engaging in gentle wrestling with your hand. This behavior indicates their enjoyment of human interaction. It also shows a level of trust that allows them to be physically close during play. Observe how the kitten reacts when playtime ends or pauses. If they remain near you, they might seek your attention or petting. This is another sign that they may develop into a lap cat.

Keep in mind that playtime behavior can be influenced by factors such as energy levels, mood, and previous experiences. Be patient and give the kitten multiple opportunities to interact during playtime. Offer various toys and activities. This will help you determine which forms of play they enjoy most.

Notice reactions to touch and handling.

When handling the kitten, pay attention to their body language. A kitten that enjoys being touched may arch their back. They may stretch out their body to maximize contact with your hand. They may even “head-butt” your hand as a sign of affection.

On the other hand, a kitten may display signs of discomfort. These can include flattening their ears, hissing, or swatting. These signs may indicate that they are not yet fully comfortable with touch. In these cases, gradually acclimate the kitten to being touched. Use positive reinforcement methods, like offering treats or verbal praise.

When holding the kitten, ensure that you support their body and legs comfortably. A kitten that trusts you and feels secure in your hold may extend their legs. They may lean into your touch. A less trusting kitten may stiffen or squirm to escape. Gradually increasing the duration and frequency of holding sessions is important. Combine this with a calm and patient approach.

Check for signs of relaxation.

A relaxed kitten is more likely to enjoy sitting on your lap and spending time close to you. Observing the kitten’s body language and behavior can help you determine their level of relaxation around humans. Key signs of relaxation in kittens include:

  • Exposed belly: A kitten lying down with their belly exposed is a sign of trust and vulnerability, indicating they feel safe and relaxed in your presence.
  • Slow blinking: When a kitten closes their eyes or slowly blinks while you pet them, it is a sign of trust and contentment.
  • Purring: A kitten purring when they are comfortable and content can be an indicator of their potential to become a lap cat.
  • Stretching out limbs: A relaxed kitten may stretch out their limbs, demonstrating their comfort and ease around you.

Keep in mind that a kitten’s relaxation level can be influenced by their environment, personality, and experiences.

Look for curiosity and approachability.

A kitten that is eager to explore their environment, particularly when people are present, may demonstrate a greater inclination towards human companionship. Watch the kitten when they encounter new objects, like a crinkly paper ball or a dangling feather toy, and notice if they seem keen on investigating it, especially if you or another person is involved in the play.

An approachable kitten may display behaviors like coming to you when you call them or meowing for attention. If a kitten comes running towards you when they hear the crinkle of a treat bag or the opening of a can of wet food, this can be a sign of their interest in human interaction. A kitten that sits by the door when you leave and eagerly greets you upon your return may also indicate their desire for companionship, which is a good sign for a potential lap cat.

Consider the kitten’s breed and genetics.

Certain cat breeds have more affectionate and sociable nature. Ragdoll, Siamese, and Maine Coon often enjoy being close to their humans. They seek out physical contact and cuddling. If you are considering adopting a kitten from one of these breeds or a mixed breed with similar genetic traits, there may be a higher chance of them developing into a lap cat. However, individual personalities can vary greatly within a breed. A kitten’s temperament can be influenced by their unique genetic makeup and early life experiences.

A kitten born to friendly and sociable parents may be more likely to inherit those traits. This increases their chances of becoming a lap cat. In cases where the parents’ behavior is unknown, pay close attention to the kitten’s temperament and interactions with humans. Focus on the early stages of their development.