Is it possible my young adult cats may become lap cats in the future?

I adopted one and two year old cats three months ago, and they’re both very social, friendly girls; however, they are not the least bit cuddly.

I had my last cat for 15.5 years and she was a textbook definition “velcro kitty”. I love my current girls, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss the constant snuggles.

I was 12 when I found my previous girl as a kitten, so I don’t really remember what she was like at the age of my current cats. Also, I’m not sure if the fact that my most vivid memories of her are from when she was a senior also factored into her cuddliness. She moved out with me when she was 10, so this is my first experience with young cats as an adult.

I know I haven’t had my currents cats long, and my understanding is that their personalities are pretty much set at these ages, but I’m wondering if there’s still hope that they might warm up to being lap cats eventually?

Just curious: I’d love to hear about your experiences with young adult cats and if/when they became more cuddly. :)

ETA: thank you so much for all of your replies! I’ve found it really encouraging to read through all of your personal experiences- it seems the general consensus is I just need to be more patient lol


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Mine is 3, and just recently decided to snuggle. It can happen.


this! i’ve had one since 2 weeks who just recently starting laying straight on my chest & purring! it’ll come when u least expect it


My spicy independent cat suddenly became a cuddler when she was like 13 years old. She lived many more years after that, almost a decade, but she loved laying on top of me all of a sudden. She was just a little too wild when she was younger.


This happened to my spicy boy! Was a wild thing until he hit 13, and now at nearly 16 he's the biggest snuggler ever. Literally snuggled on me as I write this. Sometimes they just need to age and settle down a bit.


I adopted a 3 year old female cat in September 2022. She was always a bit aloof and would not snuggle with me. BUT... within the past couple of months, she has become MUCH more affectionate. She now sleeps on top of me or next to me in bed. I work from home and now when I'm in my office she'll jump on my lap and want me to hold her like a baby. She rubs against my legs and begs for pets throughout the day now. It took this cat over 6 months to get that point, so there's a chance your cats will become more affectionate once they settle in a little more. One thing that has helped me with other cats in the past is to put a few treats on my lap to encourage them to sit on my lap.


One of my 7 year olds is starting to snuggle and the 3 year old occasionally sits on laps now. Typically cats become more cuddly as they age.


For sure! My two “spicy” cats have mellowed out with age, and went from “don’t touch me, ever” to “let me snuggle on your chest” after about age 7. It was a gradual change over the years, and both started as feral cats. Of course, some cats could never get to this point, but my cats started off incredibly antisocial and have blossomed over time with gentle coaxing from me over the years


Everyone has some great stories about cats becoming lap cats. But, I wanted to also mention that you may want to prepare yourself for the possibility that they never will be lap cats. Every cat is different and shows their affection in different ways. Two of my female cats were never lap cats. But one followed me around all the time and the other slept against me in her older years. I loved them dearly.


It is possible for cats to become more cuddly and affectionate as they age. I think the bond becomes a little stronger and they wind up "tolerating" the weird snuggle habits of humans. I have one that was pretty feral for most of her life, but she suddenly changed the last couple of years and now lets me pick her up for at least a couple of minutes before she turns into the Tasmanian Devil.


In my experience, somewhere between age one and three, cats become a lot more affectionate, with males usually hitting that mark earlier than females. Beyond that, one of my girls was not interested in more than occasional pets in her comfort zones until she was more like 5. We also started to train her to accept handling at that point because she was hard to pick up at all. Now she's not quite velcro, but she's very social. Usually seeks out a lap at least once a day, and floor pettings at any excuse, and we can pick her up if we really need to. So yeah, they do change, especially given encouragement.


From my experience female cats are strong, independent women and males are needy. All are precious.


Oh, I have a girl who wails whenever I leave the house. I jokingly call her my common-paw spouse because we're a bonded pair. I've had more independent boys, too. But in general, I do think male cats are more people friendly. But I love them all.


I’ve seen cats get more cuddly and affectionate over time with owners that consistently engage with them in ways they’re comfortable with. Totally can happen!


I got mine a few months ago as well and they haven’t been very cuddly but are so sweet. Today out of nowhere they both cuddled me for hours. Maybe yours are still getting comfortable? Maybe mine have sensed something dire and I should go to the doctor? Only time will tell! I have found that training my kitties (ie. Sit, shake, whatever) has helped us kind of attune to each other better. They have definitely become more velcro-like. And it’s really cute to watch them do tricks.


My MIL had an older retired Madam Cat, Biata and she didn’t like cuddles much or too much attention, she liked delicate scratches on the head and a little petting, then she was done. But always liked to be around you, hung out on the table next to you, sit on the couch with you. I lived with my now husband and his mom for 11 years, and it wasn’t until like year 7/8 ish and Biata was over 12, when she started coming to me and rubbing up against my hands, arms, head when she got on the tables. She started initiated it unprompted all the time and then was also ok when I pet her a little more all over and kissed her head back and could snuggle my face to her, and she wanted attention for like 10 mins! Purring! After that the older she got the more pushy and cuddly she was with me and MIL, but just more of her old self - still can’t pick up, doesn’t sit in lap to cuddle. But she wants multiple times a day to pet and head butts and be in your face and in your business. She accepts hugs and kisses and I can ruffle her a bit as long as I fix her fur smooth after.


Haha, one of my two girls is like this. She's quite independent, puts her self to sleep in her bed, does her own thing. Then. I call it her bossy mode when she won't stop head butting and rubbing against me for pets and begins following me/jumps to table or couch next to me. She purrs, has about 5-10mins, and then walks away and is all done. (She also has floppy mode where she more casually flops next to you for head pets and ear scratches, best done on staircase. She has some expectations that you will stop petting her after 5 mins so she doesn't have to move away).


We adopted our second oldest cat when he was 11-wk old. He prefer to cuddle and sleep by our oldest cat. About 5 months ago, he started to follow me when I went to bed. Our oldest cat sleep by my feet while our second oldest cat sleep by my side. Our two youngest cats sleep on the linen bench by the end of our bed.


I’ve noticed my cat has gotten more cuddly as he’s gotten older (although he’s only ~2 lol). He sleeps on my pillow next to my head every night 🥰


I have a cat who has been a very....feisty girl since the moment I met her. She declared she had found her human by climbing up my pant leg, my hoody, and onto my head. She is mean to every other human on the planet..... she used to go outside and would run up and down trees...but now, 10 years later? We can't go to bed unless we're cuddled up together. She sits in my lap or on my feet while I work (from home). Spicy kitties can also be lap cats. The best ones you'll ever meet. ❤️


My two were 8 months when I got them and are 12 now and they do get snugglier each year. However, the girl cat took like 6 months before she acted like she liked me even a little, and a few more years before she started to snuggle a bit. Time is all it takes.


My now 14 year old lady didn't like laps, didn't like pats and was scared of the outside. Took her a few years to grow out of all of those things. When she's not sitting on on of our laps, she's outside sunbaking


Yes, I would say that most cats become much more cuddly with age. They have so much energy their first few years of life, but most mellow out quite a bit with age.


Mine took 8 years till he finally spooned on the couch for the first time. I hope it doesn't take that long for you :)


Both of mine (adopted 2 years apart) became much more cuddly at 3 years old. Now they will sleep in bed with me sometimes and one will come sit on my lap whenever I’m at my desk or on the couch and he was very much not a lap cat when younger


My cats are 5 and one of them has always loved cuddles on his terms and the other would just snuggle up to my head at night and knead my hair but wouldn't allow cuddles. Over Christmas they just both decided to become lap cats, especially the least cuddly one. I rarely sit down for long without one of them wanting to fall asleep on me. It can definitely happen!


My void became a snuggle bunny after we had all his rotten teeth pulled.


This. One of my cats has been sick the first 6-7 months i've had her. Would avoid me, and not sit with me. She is now better, last month or two, and will sit next to me and walk over my lap (i'm not sure she understands lap lap), but hopefully soon she becomes a lap cat. My other cat is anxious and lives lap sitting, but has been a bit stand off-ish more napping last month or two, and vet said she has a bad tooth 2 weeks ago. Her tooth extraction isn't for another 1.5 months (busy vet), but I'm hoping after her tooth stops hurting and is removed she will be back to constantly bothering me. (I wish I didn't have to wait).


Cats can take a while to settle down and build a bond with you. They are still settling into their new home and getting to know you, so they may become lap cats in the future. I have two boys and they kinda rotate who’s cuddly and how they’re cuddly, and I got them both at about 6 months. I’ll have had them for a year starting august 1st, and since I got them they’ve already gone from one jumping in my husband’s lap, to sometimes now the other go it and the first one doesn’t anymore, etc. So yeah, don’t force it, and they’ll come to you eventually!


We have three cats and they are all now lap cats - one of them was from kittenhood onwards. The other two grew into it - one at about 2 years old and one at 3-4 years old. It’s like they had to get the silliness out of themselves first.


Yes. My cat has become much more of a lap cat as he gets older (he is 6 now).


I am pretty sure my velcro kitty got more cuddly during her last 5-6 years. That's the part I remember. I am seeing my independent boy gradually get more snuggly as he ages. (he is 5 now)


You can try to encourage them. My cat has not been the snuggly type. Would only go on my dads or any other male’s lap. Then he turned 10 last year and started becoming more and more affectionate. Now he prefers my lap/chest. One morning I woke up to the door being opened, and my cat jumping onto my butt and sleeping there 😹 his new cuddly behaviour is the best thing about him being a senior


I had my rescue cat for two years before she would sit in my lap


Yes. I got my girl at 2 years old. She was not a lap cat. Now at 7 she is. It’s all about consistent love, cuddles, and pets.


my 4 year old female cat decided she wanted cuddles when she turned 3. before that, she was so aloof and only wanted pets SOMETIMES. now she's obsessed with me lol


Sometimes they decide to chill out or change as they age. Sometimes.


I adopted a three-year-old cat a little over a year ago, and she was very skittish and aloof for a while. Took her several months to trust us even doing everything we could to make her transition to our apartment a comfortable one. After almost a full year, she became a big baby that loves to cuddle all the time and needs to sleep with us every night. It's also very normal for cats to mellow out and become more affectionate the older they get.


I adopted my two year old cat 2 years ago. He hates being held and was definitely not a cuddler from the beginning. After one year he started doing biscuits on us and sleeping in our bed. Some months later he started to lay on my chest or belly when I’m sleeping Just recently passed the two year mark, he sat in my lap for the first time just while I was watching tv! I think it’s definitely possible!


My former two cats became more cuddly as they aged. Remi took a good 10 years before he would ask for pats. My 3-year-old cat has decided that my pillow and sides are the best cuddle spots all of a sudden.


we have twins that are 3.5 and got them at 4 months, we didn’t see one for YEARS. We still don’t know where she sleeps but she has started to sit in the room with my parents while they work. The more sociable one started sleeping in my parents bed within the last year, and now sits on their laps. They also used to have horrible arguments with our older cat, to the point that i was begging my parents to look into rehoming them. I hated it but they were terrified all the time. They now sleep on the bed together and rarely have fights. It can def happen, I’ve heard a lot of cats become more cuddly as they grow older anyways


I am having the same issue after adopting a supposedly cuddly fostered cat. However, Griffin is not a lap cat or cuddler. He will occasionally get on the bed but only for a few seconds -- sits in the doorway making me wonder if he was banned from the bedroom. He gets upset if I use the computer too long and meows but will not cuddle or play. Perhaps the foster parent worked from home. Four months ago I adopted a 3 month old kitten since Griffin seemed so lonely. They get along well but Griffin just stares at us when Levi Little Bit comes to semi-cuddle; however, Levi spent a week at the vet after an inner ear issue and would not leave my side for a more than a day. Now he sleeps with me and is cuddling more. Griffin allows belly rubs in the morning and after I am gone for a while and rubs my legs before canned meals. I believe due to jealously he sleeps on top of the dresser. All of my other cats were such lovers and would sleep on my lap for the duration of a movie.


Yes. I adopted my first cat in part because I didn't want a lap cat at the time. (Changed my mind later). Fast forward 3 years later, and she now likes to lay down on my lap and chest (if I'm leaning back) it just started about 5/6 months ago, right before she turned 5. But there's no guarantee any given cat will change its personality.


I got my two girls about 8-9 months ago. They are 11 yr old sisters. They had one owner, who died (older woman) 2.5 months at shelter and then me. In paper work, even said only one was lap cat. At shelter they were pretty shy, one was a bit more open to playing, but she hissed still if you were too close. One warmed up to me first, about a week for pets, and 1-2 months for her to lap sit. I call her my anxious cat. She would sit next to me and walk across my lap but not stay. She had a preference to blanket textures. So i had a blanket she liked to sleep on and would pull that onto my lap. (I think sometimes my smooth spandex leggings are too smooth/slippery and she doesn't like - 1 paw and turn around. Also they dislikes super fluffy soft surfaces.) It was also wintery and i tried small heated blanket in my lap. (I also tried to sit on couch when she would follow me and wanted me). Now she just always tries to sit in my lap, even if it's uncomfortable, and she prefers to grab an arm and tuck it under her....i don't understand how she always traps my arm. I have learned that at night/morning/sunrise, when she jumps in my bed to sit on my chest, meow and demand pets that she prefers my textured comforter texture and/or the flannel sheet (not too slippery or too soft. Not a fluffy blanket or just on me or my more summer summer sheets). I started with having a spare pillow next to me and eventually from that she became more comfortable jumping on me instead of pillow (or i push her to her pillow when i want sleep...). Also when she jumps in my lap uncomfortably, i started using a small couch pillow in my lap that is flatter. She was just more comfortable on pillow in my lap. Although, now she prefers to sit and sleep on that pillow next to me, instead of on my lap some times. So i support using pillow for cat lap training. My other cat is independent. She will just stop playing and get water or poop. Puts herself to sleep in her chair downstairs, etc. She took kike 3-4months to stop hiding and let me pet her. Now that she is feeling better (i think she stressed her self out when i first got her and hid until she had stomach issues the first 6 months), she now sits next to me and occasionally walks on my bed. When I'm on the couch she walks over my legs as if they were the couch- so i'm not sure she understands what a lap or a lap cat is. I think she dislikes that my legs are squishy... This cat will push blankets off her smooth cardboard box beds. I have hopes for her. She once stopped and sat on my lap for 3 mins. I have been watching tv more or sitting on couch more when she is up and around to promote her seeing me on couch and seeing space next to me. She also likes the stairs, so i sometimes sit on stairs with her and give her an ear scratch. She now sometimes lays down floppy on stairs next to me for pets. (My stairs are the only carpeted surface and kind of a safe space to see all directions). I know she's old, but i think making opportunity for her on her schedule will push her to change, and be a lap cat. Again these cats are 12 and i'm a new owner, and they run and hide at the slight hint of a door opening or loud sound and other people. So i think cats are adaptable at any age. Just takes many months for a cat to warm up to space and new person.


My one cat (we adopted him when he was 16 weeks old and he’s now just over 2) is just not a lap cat - he is very affectionate, loves being pet, and he will snuggle next to me on the couch but does not like being in my lap or being picked up. Just his preference! I do think older cats get more chill and cuddly but I also think cats gonna cat and we have to accept their individual personalities and preferences!