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Grooming cuddly kitties is a dream every cat owner nurtures. However, given the varying personalities of cats (ranging from independent to aloof to downright hostile), this dream may not always come true. Nevertheless it is decidedly worth a try. The trick is to start along the path of grooming with a lot of patience and the right methods.
The cats most right for lap training include:
- Those born of friendly and loving parents
- Kittens below the age of 12 weeks
- Cats and kittens raised with affection and reward rather than verbal or physical punishment.
The cats most wrong for lap training include:
- Cats who have not been roughly humans for the first seven-12 weeks of their lives
- Cats who have a hereditary temperament to be aloof and hostile
- Reclusive cats who value their independence
It is not practically possible to convert these cats into lovers of petting, cuddling or lap sitting. The maximum progress one can make with such cats is to help them vacation out of their shell and be friendly towards human beings.
Generally speaking, an effective way to train cats to be open to petting and cuddling is to reduce the physical distance between you and them. This is not to say, that you bodily pick them up, plunk them onto your lap and refuse to let them get away! This could work in the opposite direction too and the cat will forever live in trepidation of you. On the other hand, if you let the cat come to you and move away from you as and when it pleases, it helps a great deal because cats are masters of their own desires.
A useful tip for getting cats to willfully come closer to you is to lure them with food. Try this experiment when you are alone with a cat in a spacious room; position yourself in one part of the room and stay put there. Next, keep with you a bowl of the cat’s favorite food treats (it may help if your cat is slightly hungry or if you do this just before meal-time). Toss a treat from the bowl in one direction of the room, and enable your cat to find it and chew it up. Continue the process, but by tossing the food a little closer to you every time.
The concept is to finally keep the goodies on your person and get the cat to hop on to pick it up. Once the cat is there, you have achieved step one. This process may go on for several weeks before your cat is comfortable with jumping onto your lap for a quick cuddle, but it is a good beginning.