Do cats get less affectionate with age?

by Priyanka Singh
(Varanasi, India)

My nearly six month old cat has suddenly become less affectionate. She doesn't sleep with us or come in our lap the way she used to, and meows incessantly until we put her down if we are holding her.

In fact, she wouldn't even sleep close to us. I strove to lie beside her several times but she would walk away to sleep somewhere else, but always stays in the same room and comes to us only for food.

Last week we took her to the vet and everything is totally fine and she is eating, playing, and using her litter box normally. She is not spayed because my mum thinks she is still a *child* and thus too young for all that.

My sister is thinking of getting another cat (male) because she reckons males are far more affectionate and make far better pets.

We take her for a walk nearly every other night and she walks on a leash and comes whenever called upon just like my Alsatian.

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Incessant meowing
by: Anonymous

If I am reading your post correctly, you stated that the cat meows incessantly until you put him down (the assumption being that he meows only when you pick him up). So he is NOT sick/in pain. However, if he is meowing incessantly, and you are not touching him, get a second vet's opinion. You may also want to get a LOT more toys for him! My new kitten meows when he is bored (even though my house is overrun with cat toys!) He is begging for something new to do! Once I play with him, he is ecstatic!

What I would say is be patient. I rescued a kitten from the street (I currently have 3 cats but at the time, he was the only pet in the house). He was extremely skittish, but he would still be affectionate at times. As he got older, he became very distant. It broke my heart. However, now it is three years later, and for some reason, this year, he changed! He lets me pet him (in fact, he looks forward to it!), and on two occasions, he leaned on my thigh and fell asleep! I almost cried with joy! So, hang in there. Also, get his favorite treats and place them near you. As time goes on, bring the treat closer and closer until the cat is eating off of your lap. My cat now jumps on my lap for treats (too cute!) He's still not a ball of mush, but he is definitely more affectionate... and we understand each other more. Also, keep in mind that if you get another kitten, you may end up with TWO aloof cats! If you get another cat, first spay your cat, and also, try to get a cat whose personality has already been established (i.e, from foster care or a family), so that the original cat does not help influence the personality of the newer cat. I found that my original cat saw how affectionate the new kitten was, and it increased his desire to show affection as well, but my cat was already showing increased affection before the kitten arrived. Keep in mind that having a multi-cat home comes with an entirely different set of issues, like fighting, roughhousing at all hours of the night, more litter boxes to clean, more litter tracking throughout the house... so be careful what you ask for). Good luck to you!

She may just be growing up
by: Jim W.

Cats can become more independent with age and may choose to spend time near you instead of on you. If she checked out healthy by the vet, then I'd say she's probably just growing up and getting more comfortable in her surroundings.

Six months is not too young to be spayed, and you'd better do it before adding a male to the house (if the male is not neutered) or you'll end up with kittens.

the cat needs a vet because...
by: John

The excessive meowing indicates the cat is in pain or is having some neurological problem. It's sick in some way. If one is sick one doesn't feel so affectionate (it's true that when they get old they may be a bit more independent, but the increased meowing is a sound of distress).

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