I have a long haired kitty, almost a year old. Ever since we got her she has had a touch aversion. She is not aggressive whatsoever, but you can tell she doesn't really enjoy being petted when she is standing up, as she pushes her abdomen toward the ground and away from your hand. (A good visual for this position is holding a slinky on either end). She enjoys being pet occasionally, but only when laying down, and only when she comes to you. Even then it's possible to give her too much pets and overwhelm her into leaving you.

She absolutely hates being held. I don't let anyone hold her because even when I pick her up, her heart starts to race and I can tell she's in distress. She will soon jump from your arms, and I don't want her getting hurt if the person tries to catch her and she lands wrong. I have come to terms with how she is, but others tell me "you don't hold her enough" "you don't pet her enough". I think it is just a matter of listening to my cat, and she is clearly telling me that she doesnt like being held, and only occasionally likes pets. Am I wrong? Could this attitude change with conditioning or would that just teach her to hate me?

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    Just my personal oppinion: Why should your cat need to change or why should you need to change the way you interact with her? You clearly have the most experience with her, You clearly read her body language and listen to what she tells you. Why do you need to hold her when she doesn't like it? That's the stupid concept of "normalcy" that forces all humans to act the same way, regardless of their personal preferences. Animals don't care for being "normal", they just do that feels right for them. Don't force her into a behavior she doesn't like because someone wants you or her to be "normal".
    – Elmy
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


This is totally normal: each pet is different, each cat has her own personality. What you need is a cocktail of:

  • patience
  • food
  • ...and a magical ingredient

Patience: the more you try when she does not want to be held, the less it can works. Let her come to you. You can be waiting for days, weeks, even months... you need to earn her trust. One year is still young, her behaviour will change with time.

Food: like many animals, you can gain her trust by feeding her. Time after time, she will associate food with you. She needs to see that you are the one feeding her.

Magical ingredient: I use 'Feliway', it is an anti-stress hormone. It is very useful when you need to travel with your cat, or to introduce two cats to each other.

Good luck!

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