Are African Greys Cuddly? (Find Out!)

We’ve recently been looking into getting a new parrot.

Our old one sadly passed away after many years recently, and we’ve needed something to fill the silence that he left behind.

We’ve had a number of different species over the years, but the most important thing to us is that they are affectionate enough.

We’ve never had African greys before, and their beauty certainly attracted us.

We weren’t sure of their temperament though, so I decided to look into it.

So, are African greys cuddly?

African greys are less cuddly than other species. As a general rule, they tend to be highly social, but independent and not terribly affectionate. That said, the species exceptional intelligence means that they can each have very distinct personalities—so some may be cuddlier than others.

So, while the most reliable answer is that African greys are not especially cuddly as far as parrots in general go, the fact is there is a lot more room for individual differences in African greys.

Many will indeed be very cuddly.

You should be ready for them to be more independent, though.

So, if a cuddly parrot is the most important thing to you, perhaps consider a different species.

Let’s look further into this.


Are African greys affectionate?

It honestly depends on your definition of the word.

By most definitions, African greys are affectionate in their own right and to their own degree, but when compared with other pets and indeed many other species of parrot, they are much more standoffish.

This is only a broad view, though.

In their own right, African greys are highly interactive and affectionate.

Even if it isn’t direct affection as such, they will always have a strong desire to interact and play with you.

They will, also, solicit petting and scratching, usually.

Though, not always.

So, it really depends exactly what you want out of your parrot.

Many parrots will be much more affectionate, and form a much more obvious bond with you.

African greys will form the same bond, they will just express their emotions in different ways.

If you are looking for the kind of affection you might get from a cockatiel, for example, an African grey might not be right for you.

So, what about the actual physical cuddling and snuggling?


Do African greys like to snuggle?

Again, the simple answer is it will depend.

African greys are, if nothing else, exceptionally intelligent parrots.

As I said, this means that individuals in the species will demonstrate a much wider range of personalities and responses than other species.

You may find an African grey who loves to snuggle, and your friend may have one who isn’t bothered about being touched at all.

If the cuddling is a deal breaker for you, again, you may want to consider a different species.

They might like cuddling, but there’s an equally high chance they won’t.

But this lack of physical interaction doesn’t necessarily mean your African grey doesn’t feel affection for you.

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Do African greys love their owners?

Again, we can’t define ‘love’ empirically, so we can’t say in any absolute way.

However, the fact is that an African grey’s high intelligence and social brain means they are capable of forming incredibly deep bonds.

With their owner in particular, as long as you are properly socializing them, they will form an incredibly deep bond that will last decades.

So, in that sense, they certainly do love their owners.

Just as they form lifelong bonds with mates in the wild, they form the same unbreakable bonds with humans in domestic environments.

The problem for many, though, is that they might not express it in a way you can immediately understand.

The problem is patience—you will eventually come to know your African grey, and understand what its mannerisms indicate.


Can I handle my African grey?

The answer is always only on their terms.

Do not force the interaction.

It is more problematic to handle larger parrots like African greys because more can go wrong if they fall.

So, again, do not ever try to handle them if they don’t want to be handled.

Again, in general, African greys are less keen on being handled than other species are.

They have less of an inclination to perch on you, when it’s more difficult for such a large bird to do so.


So, again, the simple fact is that parrots of any kind are highly intelligent, and African greys exceptionally so.

This means that their individual temperaments and dispositions are very different in every individual, and many may love cuddling.

That said, the general view of the species is that they are more independent, and will not particularly enjoy cuddling.

As I said, the safest thing to do if you want a cuddly parrot is look into a different species.

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