Cat likes to be near me but not be touched – most common reasons
It’s simple. Respect your cat’s space and boundary. While it may be disappointing for some cat owners, it’s quite normal for cats to like being in the same space as their owners but not be touched or cuddled. It does feel like a strange behavior, especially if your cat likes to follow you around the whole day!
Cats have built up a reputation of being more independent and aloof for good reasons. Cats typically aren’t as social as dogs. That, however, doesn’t mean they are unaffectionate animals. The fact that they like being in the same space as you should already be considered a great sign. Some cats just like to show affection in other ways. You will just need to accept and love your cat for what it is and not what you want it to be.
Some cats may “soften” over time and be more accepting of being touched and petted. This could happen for cats that haven’t received much human interaction in their early years. Some rescue cats, for example, have been known to become the best-ever lap cats! This, however, shouldn’t be forced.
Let your cat decides when is the right time if it ever comes! In the meantime, only touch your cat when it allows you to. Some cats, for example, may not mind being touched with light strokes. Some cats may be fine with you touching them as long as it’s not around their “sensitive” areas.
There are plenty of ways to entertain and play with your cat without touching them. Cat wands and rod toys are always a good bet. Playing with the cat may also help with building greater trust and this, in turn, may open up your cat’s personality.
When it is a concern
What happens if this reflects a sudden change in behavior? For many years, your cat had no issues with being touched while being in the same space as you. Suddenly out of nowhere, your cat hisses or smacks your hand away as soon as it gets too close. This might be a cause of concern. Some cats, for example, may suddenly stop like being touched if they have an underlying health issue.
We would advise getting into contact with the vet just to be safe if this is happening with your cat. The cat may still like being in the same space with you but no longer like being touched because it causes some form of pain or discomfort.