We humans are a touchy, feely species. That’s why we would like our pets to enjoy a cuddle and a snuggle with us.
Some pets love physical contact with their humans while others prefer to have their own space.
While there has been much speculation on the subject of pets cuddling, no one has come up with a definitive answer.
In the case of cats and dogs, it may have to do with the breeds particular character. It may also depend on the amount of human contact pets have from birth and how they have been socialized. Just as humans do, our pets each have individual personalities.
Noted author, lecturer and pet lover, Kim Sheridan (Animals and the Afterlife) relates her experiences with her beloved rats and their snuggles with her.
If you share your home with a bird, you know how they enjoy sitting on your shoulder and giving you little nibbling kisses.
For several years my granddaughter’s beloved rabbit would greet her, running about her legs and hopping on her bed to get close.
My very first dog, a German Shepherd mix I named Cookie, would sleep with me, snuggling in the crook of my legs. She wasn’t too happy when I moved and would let me know with a growling grunt.
The cats loved to be petted and when you would least expect it, one would jump on a lap, content to be close.
My mother had a cat, a Persian/Angora, named Cinderella. She would run back and forth from my mother to the bed until my mother joined her at bedtime. Cindy followed my mother everywhere in the house and my mother often shared her food with Cindy.
Contrast these stories with my dear Timo, a rottie mix who would only cuddle when there was a thunderstorm. Storms frightened her and she would seek comfort with me. She did show her love in other ways.
My German Shepherd, Quanah, will sit close sometimes, but likes her own space. She’ll come for a pet and then retreat to her own couch.
An uncle of mine had a small dairy farm and when visiting I would help bring the cows in for milking. One young cow in particular, called Valentine because of the white heart-shape on her face, used to enjoy butting me playfully. I often wondered if she singled me out as a sign of affection.
But Murphy, my pitbull mix, is the Queen of Snuggling and Cuddling. Nights, she sleeps next to me and will push her nose in my face for pets. When I sit on the couch, Murphy is right there with kisses and cuddles. Even when she’s enjoying the outdoors in my garden, she runs in every so often to check on me and for a pet.
Can pets be trained to be affectionate? Perhaps with time and patience. But pets have different ways of showing love for us, just as some humans do.
If you have any stories of your cuddly pets, please share them with us.