Patrick has always been a very affectionate cat - from the day we brought him home as a kitten, he always enjoyed our company and lots of fuss. This hasn’t changed in adulthood and we still have lots of cuddle time with him, whether it be first thing in the morning (usually when I’m trying to get out of the door for work) or in the evening when we’re winding down.
Patrick has always been a cat who kneads - he pads something soft intently whilst purring loudly. This behaviour is always the first thing he does before he settles down for a cuddle. It always seems to have been triggered by a soft, textured material - whether it is his favourite blanket (we have lots of these all over the house) or one of my big fluffy scarves, he seems to revel in kneading it whilst holding it in his mouth. This behaviour is associated with feelings of being content and is reminiscent of times as a kitten spent with the nursing mother. This is normal to carry on into adulthood and is an adorable way that Patrick shows his affection.
Once Patrick has finished his kneading session (this usually only lasts a couple of minutes), he’ll settle down on my lap for a nap. Patrick is an independent cat, however when we’re home, he spends a lot of his time with us - often sleeping on my lap or next to me on the sofa. Even when I’m cooking, he’ll nap next to me on the sofa in the kitchen.
Being a Bengal mix, Patrick has a lot of energy to burn and spends the time he isn’t sleeping being very active. If he is in his ‘playtime’ mode, he is very unlikely to want to cuddle or show us any affection - no matter how hard we try! If he gets picked up for a cuddle, he’ll promptly meow to tell you to put him down as he just wants to play. He is very strong willed so if he really doesn’t want a cuddle, he’s definitely not afraid to tell you!
If on the off chance you pick him up and he is feeling affectionate, he might let you put him on his back and maybe even stroke his belly!
These behaviours are great to see in Patrick and we feel we are always developing our common communication methods with him. He communicates to us how happy and content he is through a combination of body language and vocalisations which show he trusts us and wants affection.