Many people believe male kittens are more affectionate than females. However, there is no evidence for this claim. The best way to have an affectionate kitten isn’t based on gender, but personality and their bond with you.
By adopting an older cat, you can be more sure that they are affectionate.
If you want to adopt a cat who is affectionate, consider an older cat. This way, you can be sure of their personality and it’s less likely to change as they age, unlike kittens who are still evolving.
In this article, I’ll discuss more about whether male kittens are more affectionate, factors that make a cat affectionate, and how you can form a great bond with your kitten or cat.
Many People Believe Male Kittens are More Affectionate
Strangely, male kittens being more affectionate is a common myth. People can be found all over the internet claiming that male cats are more affectionate than females. Some surveys of cat owners have even shown this response.
However, these surveys tell us nothing about the cats—just about people’s opinions of them.
There is no Evidence for this Claim
Despite common myth and some cat owners believing male cats are more affectionate, there simply isn’t evidence behind the claim.
Humans are often quick to judge, and once we form an opinion, we’re likely to look for things that support our thinking.
If, for instance, you have one male and one female cat, and the male is more affectionate, you may decide only to adopt male cats from then on.
The problem is, you’d then only have experience with male cats! How would you know that they were more affectionate than females, rather than just more affectionate than one specific female cat?
Another example may be if you have owned many cats, and you see males as more affectionate. Who are you more likely to spend time with and try to snuggle?
I’m willing to bet it’ll be the males!
Each Individual Cat will have a Different Personality
The truth is, every cat has their own unique personality.
As someone who currently has nine rescues, I have female cats that are constantly head-butting my hand and seeking attention. I also have one who likes to be alone most of the day.
The same goes for the boys. Some of them only want to be pet once in a while throughout the day, and others would lay on my lap 24/7 if they could.
The Way they are Raised Plays a Role
Each cat has their own personality, and their upbringing will play a role in how they interact with people.
An easy example of this is feral cats versus house cats. A cat raised indoors with humans is going to be more socialized than one living on the streets who’s never interacted with a human before.
Cats who’ve had bad experiences with people, like being abused, may be less affectionate or take more time to gain trust in you as someone safe.
I’ve raised some of my cats since they were kittens, and they all received plenty of socialization from a young age. They all like being around people and enjoy attention.
However, there are still differences in their personalities and the level of affection they show. Some are more independent, and others are quite clingy.
Older Cats’ Personalities are Easier to Predict
Whenever you’re looking for a cat with certain traits, I recommend adopting a grown cat. This is because you’re much more likely to get the personality you’re looking for.
When you adopt a kitten, especially one who is very young, their personality is still forming. You can only guess what they will be like as an adult.
For example, my cat Frank was kind of a weird kitten. His sister was his best buddy, and they didn’t seem to like being picked up or pet as much as the others.
I don’t remember how old he was when this changed, but I do know the change was sudden! One day he climbed onto my bed and demanded to be pet.
From that day on, he’s been the most social cat in the house! He loves when people visit and even tries to get attention from the dog.
I never would have predicted that change in him. Of course, this can also happen the other way around—kittens who like to be held may gain more independence as they grow older, and decide that they prefer to spend more time alone.
Spayed and Neutered Cats are more Affectionate
One great way to make your kitten more affectionate (and also healthier!) is to spay or neuter them. Regardless of gender, this will give you and your cat a happier life together.
Unneutered males are more prone to territorial behavior, including aggression and spraying. They also have the tendency to want to wander.
Before my oldest male cats were fixed, they were constantly trying (and sometimes succeeding!) to escape their indoor-only life. They tore through a few window screens!
An unsprayed female will regularly go into heat, which won’t be fun for her or for you. You also run the chance of her becoming pregnant and having to deal with unwanted kittens.
If you can’t afford to have your cat spayed or neutered, look into low-cost solutions in your area. This is a great resource from the ASPCA that may help.
How to Make a Kitten More Affectionate
Whether they are male or female, taking good care of your cat and bonding with them will earn you more affection.
Below are some great ways to bond with your cat or kitten, but remember that it might take them time to warm up to some of these.
Just like when you meet a new person, you aren’t always going to connect instantly. Cats need time to get to know you and to adjust to living someplace new. This puts some people off when they don’t understand what’s happening.
If you’ve just brought home your new fur baby and they seem to want to be left alone, you should give them time to adjust. This may take a few days or weeks.
In special cases, such as with feral or traumatized cats, it may take months or longer.
When I adopted a cat whose owner had died, he spent a lot of time grieving. It took him about a year to get used to living with us and begin to come out of his shell (and from behind the curtains where he spent most of his days on the windowsill!).
Incorporate Playtime into Your Routine
Playing with your cat daily comes with several benefits including exercise, engaging their hunting instincts, and bonding.
All cats need at least 30-45 minutes of play daily. This should be broken into 2-3 short sessions throughout the day.
I like to play with my cats right before meal times as it’s an easy way to incorporate it into my schedule. Other great times to play with your cat are before you leave home and before bed, to tire them out.
Your cat won’t run after the toy the entire time. They’re more likely to watch it for a while, pounce, and then start the process over again. This is especially true for older cats.
New cats may be hesitant to play at first. As long as you can get their attention onto the toy, just watching it is incredibly beneficial to them. This is because it engages their hunting instincts and stimulates their brains.
If your cat won’t even do this, put the toy away and try at a different time. They may need to adjust to the change they’re experiencing before they feel safe enough to play, like I discussed above.
Groom your Kitten
Grooming is a social activity for cats. If you’ve ever had more than one cat, you’ve likely seen them groom one another.
It’s a bonding activity for them, and you can also bond with your cat through grooming them.
Cats also require regular grooming for good coat health. You don’t need to bathe your cat—they’re very clean on their own.
Short-haired cats should be brushed weekly, though, and long-haired cats should be combed once a day. Many cats love the brush. If your cat does, you can brush them more frequently than this!
If your cat doesn’t like the brush, you may want to hold off on grooming if possible so that your cat doesn’t associate you with things they dislike.
Try desensitizing them to the brush very slowly, and rewarding them when they interact with it a small amount. Also ensure you aren’t hurting them by pulling their fur.
Of course, this is easier to do with short hairs. Long-haired cats will develop mats in their fur if not groomed regularly.
If you need to go some time without combing your long-haired kitten, just keep an eye on their fur. If you see or feel any matts beginning to form, you should force your kitten through grooming or take them to a professional.
Give them Space
The best thing to do when you first adopt a cat or kitten is to let them come to you. Pet them when they approach you, and try calling them onto your lap or next to you on the couch rather than scoop them up.
It may seem counterproductive to bond with your cat by giving them space, but it will work better over time than forcing them to interact with you.
Imagine yourself in your cat’s shoes: you’re in a new home with new housemates. The housemates are always in your face, trying to talk to you, cuddle with you, and force you to interact although you’re complete strangers!
Most people wouldn’t enjoy this, and neither do many cats. It makes complete sense that your cat may want to get to know you before they begin to show affection.
If you force yourself on your cat by constantly petting them or holding them when they don’t want you to, you’re likely to damage your relationship.
Then, it’ll take them even more time to learn to trust and like you.
Lastly, have patience. While sometimes there is an instant bond between you and your pet, that doesn’t always happen.
Relationships take time to develop no matter what, and over time you and your cat will both feel more affection toward one another.
I am a freelance writer who specializes in the pet industry. My full bio