I have a one year old Birman cat who we adore so much. On his first birthday we introduced him to his brother a 8 week old british short hair. We took about three days to introduce them and since we didn't see them hissing at each other we decided to remove the barriers and partition.

I could see our older cat was disturbed but he was at the same time curious. We saw them engage in wrestle which seemed playful (a squeek from the little guy but since he keeps going back to play we assume its nothing aggressive)

One thing that we have consistently noticed with our older cat is he runs away as soon as the little guy wants to hug or cuddle. It breaks my heart and I don’t know why our birman behaves like this.

He use to be a super cuddly cat up until he turned 6 months and now he prefers his alone time and doesn't like being held, pet or cuddled. We didn’t expect him to do the same with a kitten. Can we make him like cuddles with the little kitten at least?

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    Welcome! A quick question: Are they both male? Neutered or not?
    – Stephie
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 20:28
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    To give perspective, three days is pretty quick to introduce cats. If it's only been a few days since, it's possible they just need a little more time. But it's also possible they just aren't going to be cuddle buddies. It's a bit unusual for cats to super cuddle with each other. It's more common for them to express friendship by following each other around the house, sleeping in the same room, playing together, and so forth.
    – Kai
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 23:22

1 Answer 1


Cats, even cats which like to cuddle with you, will often not chose to cuddle with other cats. Even if your two cats do build that kind of bond, it will likely take months or years to develop not mere days. For example two of our cats, who have lived together for six years now, have only started to be comfortable cuddling together in the last year.

In general, male cats do not have any instinct towards nurturing strange kittens. Meanwhile, eight weeks is at the young end for a kitten to be separated from their mother - twelve weeks is better - and kittens separated this early will often seek comfort and care from older cats in a way which is unsuitable for those older cats. The older kitten choosing to reject cuddles is a common response to the overly demanding behaviour of the young kitten.

You cannot make your older cat cuddle with the younger kitten, and attempts to do so are very likely to make things worse. In fact, it sounds to me like you have had a very successful introduction between the two cats, and you should be pleased that there is playing and a lack of hostility in such a short time. Instead of trying to force things to go faster, ensure that the older cat has plenty of safe space to retreat to so that it doesn't get stressed out by the kitten (which can potentially cause problems) and ensure that you provide the kitten with as much care, play, and attention as you can so that its needs are satisfied.

It may be that the cats start cuddling together as they grow older but the best thing you can do is to let their relationship develop naturally on its own.

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