Why Is My Persian Cat Not Affectionate?

If you’ve been trying to bond with your Persian, but it doesn’t seem to be working, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why is my Persian cat not affectionate?”

We all want our cats to love us, but it can be hard if your Persian doesn’t seem to want you to pet it. Even worse, you may be struggling because your Persian is hissing at your or even biting you!

If a Persian cat acts aggressively towards you, it is likely because it doesn’t trust you. Just like humans, cats have boundaries and become upset and mistrustful if their owners are constantly violating their personal space. Sudden aggression or lack of affection, however, can be due to environmental stressors or even underlying illness.

Even if your Persian isn’t displaying aggression towards you, you might feel like your Persian isn’t affectionate enough.

A lot of owners ask themselves “How do Persian cats show affection?”. The simple fact of the matter is that your Persian may love you, but show it in more subtle ways than you’re expecting!

Are Persian Cats Affectionate?

Are Persian Cats Affectionate?

Persian cats aren’t typically clingy, so they won’t usually demand constant attention. However, they do love to spend time around their humans, and will often follow you from room to room without being intrusive. When you have free time, though, they absolutely love to cuddle!

Finally, Persian cats are famous for being incredibly playful. Even in old age, Persian cats often retain a kitten-like joy for playing. They tend to be active cats that love to climb, jump, and chase after all sorts of cat toys.

In general, you can expect most Persian cats to be affectionate and loving pets.

Why Is My Persian Cat Not Affectionate?

Even though most Persian cats are known for being affectionate, this may not be the case for every individual cat. Here are some possible reasons why your Persian cat isn’t affectionate (source).

  • Its Boundaries Aren’t Respected: One of the most common reasons a cat is not affectionate towards its owner is that it doesn’t feel its boundaries are being respected. Cats are very picky about their personal space, and won’t stand for constant poking, prodding, or cuddling when it doesn’t want to be touched. Try and give your Persian more space, and let it interact with you on its own terms.
  • Personality: Unfortunately, not all cats are super affectionate. Some cats are more solitary and prefer to go through life without constant cuddling.
  • Jealousy: If you’ve recently brought a new cat, baby, or romantic partner into your life, your Persian might be feeling neglected. Jealousy is a very common emotion in cats, and if your Persian is feeling left out, it could become reserved and even aggressive towards you.
  • Improper Socialization: Kittens should be handled with multiple people while they are very young. If the cat you brought home was not properly socialized early in life, it might be skittish, aggressive, and reserved. It will take some time for an improperly socialized cat to warm up to you, but with time and patience, even the most fearful of cats can someday become cuddly and affectionate!
  • Past Abuse: Did you adopt your Persian from a shelter, or rehome it from a different owner? Sadly, not everyone is loving towards their pets, and you may have adopted a cat from a bad situation. If your Persian has had mostly negative experiences with humans before you, it will almost certainly be fearful and distrusting.
  • Stress: If your Persian has recently gone through a big change, such as being adopted, moving locations, or it feels unsafe in its environment, it will likely spend more time hiding than cuddling.
  • Illness or Injury: If your Persian has suddenly become less affectionate than usual, it could be sick or in pain. If your Persian’s lack of affection is coupled with worrying symptoms like lethargy or lack of appetite, you should take it to the vet right away.
  • You’re Reading Your Persian Wrong: A lot of people are surprised to learn that their cat actually is affectionate- it just has a different way of showing love! Cats are far subtler creatures than dogs and have quiet ways of showing that they care. If you think your Persian doesn’t like you, there’s actually a chance that you’re simply misreading its body language and behavior.

How Do Persian Cats Show Affection?

Cats don’t often display affection in the same obvious ways that dogs or even humans do. Instead, cat body language is often far subtler. Here are the different ways that cats are known to express their love (sources).

  • Cuddling: The most obvious way that cats show affection is by cuddling. Whether your Persian sits on your lap while you’re watching television, or just really enjoys getting scratches on its chin, a cuddly cat is very clearly saying that it enjoys being around you.
  • Purring: Cats are born both blind and deaf, and purring is a mother’s way of telling her kittens where she is through vibrations. As adults, though, purring is also a way that cats show they are deeply content. If your Persian purrs while you cuddle it, it means your Persian is extra happy to be around you.
  • Slow Blinking: Slow blinking is one of the cutest ways that cats say “I love you.” While making eye contact, a cat will slowly close one or both eyes, often repeatedly. This is a huge display of trust, as it’s a cat’s way of signalling that it knows you will not attack it while its eyes are closed.
  • Mirroring: Cats are communal creatures who will often attempt to “copy” their humans. If your Persian sits on your keyboard every time you try to work at your desk, or even eats meals at the same time as you, then it is trying to match your routine. This shows that your Persian not only loves you, but feels safe around you, and wants to share its life with you.
  • Head Butting: Head butting, also known as head bunting, is an adorable behavior where a cat butts its head up against your hand, legs, and even face! This is a display of affection and respect, and it’s also a way for cats to rub their scent glands on you.
  • Following You Around: Does your Persian always seem to be in the same room as you? This is a great sign! It means that your Persian enjoys being around you, even if it doesn’t necessarily want to cuddle you all the time. Simply existing in the same space as you is one of the main ways your Persian shows affection.
  • Licking: Cats groom each other when they love and trust one another. Cats will also lick and “groom” humans as a display of affection.
  • Greeting: If your Persian rushes to the door whenever you return home from work or running errands, this is a great sign that your Persian missed you while you were away, and is happy to see you!
  • Lifted Tail: Believe it or not, the position of a cat’s tail can tell you a lot about its mood. If your Persian approaches you with its tail lifted high and curled over just at the end, this is a subtle way of showing it’s happy to see you.
  • Kneading: While suckling, kittens knead their mother’s belly with their paws to stimulate milk flow. As adults, cats knead to show that they are content and comfortable. It’s essentially a cat’s way of recreating just how happy they were as a kitten. While it can be painful to endure, especially if your Persian’s nails haven’t been recently trimmed, if your Persian kneads your belly or some other part of your body, it’s the ultimate show of affection!
  • Exposing Their Belly: Cats naturally protect their belly because it’s the most direct way for a predator to cause injury to its vital organs. If a cat lays on its back and shows its belly to you, it’s showing you that it trusts you deeply! Watch my funny video of Persian cat laying on his back below …
  • Sleeping Near You: Cats who are distrustful will hide under the bed or couches to sleep because they are incredibly vulnerable while they’re sleeping. Cats will sleep near you and in plain sight when they trust you.
  • Giving “Gifts”: If you have an outdoor cat, you may be unpleasantly surprised to find that it brings you dead animals. As gross as this may be, this is actually a way that cats show they care about you!
  • Playing: A loving cat will enjoy playing with you. Whether that means your Persian surprises you with a pounce when you’re least expecting it, or your Persian is simply engaging fully in playtime, it’s a sure way to tell that your Persian is affectionate.

Are Male Or Female Persian Cats More Affectionate?

re Male Or Female Persian Cats More Affectionate?

Neither the male nor female Persian cats is more likely to be affectionate than the other.

However, male Persian cats are typically more active, while female Persian cats are generally calmer and more likely to cuddle.

This doesn’t mean that male Persian cats are less likely to love their owners, but it does mean that female Persian cats might be more inclined to be lapcats.

Do Persian Cats Like To Be Held?

Most well-socialized Persian cats love to be held. Of course, this can vary from cat to cat. For most Persian cats, however, being held and cuddling on your lap is their favorite way to show affection.

Keep an eye on your Persian’s body language before you pick it up. If your Persian backs away from you, flattens its ears, or shows any sign of reserved or aggressive behavior, then it’s better to give your Persian some space and try again later.

A cat will be less likely to enjoy being held if you constantly pick it up when it’s unhappy.

Do Persian Cats Like To Cuddle?

A lot of cat owners wonder “Are Persian cats cuddly?” especially if their own cat isn’t very cuddly. Persian cats are known for being affectionate, and most Persian cats love to cuddle!

Their patience and loving nature mean they typically enjoy being held, scratched, and loved.

Why Is My Persian Cat So Needy?

If your Persian cat follows you around all the time, or is upset when you leave, you’re probably wondering “Are Persian cats clingy?”

In general, while Persian cats are known to be affectionate, they aren’t typically clingy. If your Persian cat is extra needy, it’s probably due to the way it was raised.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge rise in clingy pets. As people finally gave in and brought home kittens and puppies to keep them company in quarantine, those animals didn’t learn how to handle being alone. Thus, if you worked from home and hardly spent any time away from your Persian in lockdown, your Persian will likely suffer from separation anxiety when you return to working away from home.

Clinginess can also occur in cats who were weaned from their mothers too early, or who were separated from their littermates at a young age (source).

Why Is My Cat Not Affectionate Anymore?

If your Persian has been quite affectionate in the past, but suddenly seems reserved or even aggressive, something has likely caused your Persian to stop being affectionate.

Here are some possible reasons why your Persian has suddenly stopped being affectionate.

  • Stress: If your Persian has stopped being affectionate and spends more time hiding under the couch or bed, it’s most likely stressed. Loneliness, a loud or stressful environment, or too much touching and stimulation can all cause a cat to experience stress.
  • Sudden Change: Cats love routine and habit. Even something as simple as moving around your furniture can cause a cat to become stressed! If you’ve moved to a new house or apartment or made some other big change in your life, your Persian might take a little while to adjust and become affectionate again.
  • Jealousy: Your Persian might become more reserved as the result of jealousy. If you’ve recently adopted a new pet, or given birth to a baby, your Persian might be feeling left out. You can help your Persian feel more included by spending quality time with your Persian away from the new addition to your family.
  • Hormonal Changes: As cats grow older and reach their “teenage” stage, they tend to become more independent and possibly even grumpy at times. Thankfully, this behavior is usually only temporary, and your Persian will likely become more affectionate as it matures.
  • Your Persian Feels Comfortable: While this may seem contradictory, some cats become less affectionate when they start feeling safe in a new environment. If you adopted or rehomed your Persian from a situation where it felt unloved, it will likely be extremely clingy at first. Over time, however, it might become less affectionate as its needs are being met.
  • Illness or Injury: In some cases, a cat might become more reserved and less affectionate if it’s suffering from an underlying illness or even an injury. If your Persian suddenly stops being affectionate and is also showing other symptoms like lethargy, unusual stools, or lack of appetite, take it to the vet right away.

Are Persian Cats Aggressive?

The Persian cat breed is not known for being aggressive. In fact, they are widely accepted as being one of the friendliest cat breeds.

Keep in mind, however, that any cat has the potential to become aggressive based on life experiences. Cats that have been abused or improperly socialized can develop aggressive behaviors.

Persian cats are also more likely to be aggressive if they haven’t been spayed or neutered.

If your Persian cat is aggressive and also unfixed, a good first step would be to get your Persian spayed or neutered. This should also be coupled with lots of patience and training to encourage affectionate behavior and discourage aggressive behavior.

Why Does My Persian Cat Bite Me?

Believe it or not, cats don’t always bite out of anger. In most cases, a cat biting you is caused by one of four reasons (source).

  • Affection: Cats will often give their owners soft “love bites” which are usually accompanied by licks. These bites don’t hurt, and are just a gentle display of affection.
  • Playfulness: Cats often bite when they are in a playful mood. If your Persian grabs you with its paws and bites you while kicking with its back legs, this is usually just its way of playing. A playful bite may hurt a little, but will not be hard enough to break the skin. Even though playful bites don’t hurt badly, it’s best not to encourage this behavior. If your Persian bites you in a playful way, offer a toy for it to attack instead.
  • Anger: If you repeatedly invade your Persian’s personal space, it will start to become upset. If your Persian bites you because you were in its space or touching it, then the bite was likely out of anger.
  • Fear: Biting is also a way for cats to defend themselves. If your Persian is hiding from you and bites while it is backed into a corner, then it is most likely biting out of fear and self-preservation.

Why Does My Persian Cat Attack Me?

Why Does My Persian Cat Attack Me?

Cats typically attack when they feel threatened. If you are invading your Persian’s personal space, or it feels unsafe around you, it will attack as a means of defending itself.

Why Is My Persian Cat So Mean?

If your Persian is lashing out by biting or scratching, it’s easy to blame it on your Persian being mean. However, it’s important to keep in mind that animals don’t attack without a reason.

If your Persian is hurting you or hiding from you, it is because it feels threatened and unsafe.

Persian Cat Behavior Problems

Some common behavioral problems in Persian cats include aggression, spraying, and overstimulation.

Aggression in cats is generally due to insecurity and fear. The best way to handle this kind of behavioral problem is by making sure your Persian feels safe in its environment.

Allowing your Persian to have its own space is important, as well as establishing a routine.

Aggression can also be caused by dominance problems, which is most common in cats that haven’t been spayed or neutered. This leads to the next behavioral problem- spraying.

Unfixed cats will mark their territory by spraying urine in inappropriate places, most often furniture and walls. While this behavior can often be curbed by spaying or neutering your Persian, this isn’t always guaranteed to fix the issue.

You can discourage spraying by placing a litterbox in the areas where your Persian sprays most frequently. If you have more than one cat, your Persian cat could be spraying because it feels like it has to compete for space and resources. Make sure your Persian has plenty of food, water, and space available at all times.

Overstimulation is similar to aggression. Sometimes, a cat might seem to “freak out” while you’re playing, and it will suddenly become angry and aggressive. If you play too vigorously, your Persian might become overwhelmed by all of the sensory input.

If your Persian seems to get overstimulated frequently, try taking a more gentle approach to playtime. Avoid having lots of loud noises or movement happening at the same time as you play.

How To Make A Cat Like You

Getting a cat to be affectionate towards you can sometimes be a long and frustrating process. Here are some tips to help get your Persian to like you.

  • Respect Your Persian’s Boundaries: The most important thing to remember is to respect your Persian’s personal space. Instead of approaching your Persian while it is resting on its own, allow your Persian to approach you. If your Persian exhibits unhappy behavior, like growling, hissing, or flattened ears, back away and give your Persian space.
  • Reward Affectionate Behavior: Show your Persian that affectionate behavior has a positive reaction. Occasional treats or playtime are great ways to reward your Persian after it cuddles or head butts you. Inversely, you should never follow affectionate behavior with an undesirable reaction. For example, if your Persian finally shows you affection, don’t accidentally immediately follow it up by trimming its nails, giving it a bath, or doing something else your Persian doesn’t like. Otherwise, your Persian will associate affectionate behavior with a negative response.
  • Create A Safe Environment: No matter how friendly you are to a cat, they will never be able to come out of their shell if they don’t feel safe in their environment. This means you should minimize loud noises and boisterous activity, as well as avoid bringing lots of strangers into your Persian’s space.

Most Affectionate Cat Breeds

The Persian cat is known for being one of the more affectionate cat breeds today. Here are five other cat breeds that are famous for their friendliness!

  • Abyssinian
  • Ragdoll
  • Siamese
  • Birman
  • Sphynx

Least Friendly Cat Breeds

Sadly, not all cat breeds are super friendly.Here are the top five least friendly cat breeds in the world.

  • Bengal
  • Savannah
  • Cymric
  • Bombay
  • Egyptian Mau


If you’ve been asking yourself “Why is my Persian cat not affectionate?” it’s most likely that you’re either not respecting your Persian’s personal space, or that you’re misreading your Persian’s body language and behavior.

Cats have a much subtler way of showing affection that can often be misconstrued for unfriendliness. A lot of owners wonder “How do Persian cats show affection?” because they don’t realize that their cat is actually showing affection in very quiet ways.

Learning to read your Persian’s body language is a very important step in respecting your Persian’s boundaries, as well as knowing when your Persian actually loves you.