How to Get Your Cat Used to Being Picked Up

People loving being able to pick up their cats to give them a nice long cuddle, but some cats just aren't so keen on being handled. This can be a little disappointing, and it can also be very inconvenience when you need to handle a cat into a carrier before bringing them to the vet or a cattery. If your cat is a little averse to being held, try following the steps below.

Know How to Hold Them Properly

It might not be the cat's fault that they dislike being held—many humans simply aren't aware of how to properly support them. If this is the case, the cat will feel insecure in your arms, and is likely to lash out.

To properly support a cat while holding it, begin by moving one hand under the body, just behind the front legs, and the other under their hindquarters. Next, gently lift them up, keeping them held against your chest. A common mistake is to hold a cat by the midsection only without supporting the hind legs, which your feline will not enjoy.

Build Up Slowly

A cat who doesn't like being picked up needs to be dealt with slowly. Start by simply petting the areas that they are comfortable with, then move to the paws and belly. These are the parts of the body you will need to handle when you pick a cat up, and they're also the parts cats tend to dislike having touched. To build up a threshold, simply hold each paw or hold your hand under the belly for a few seconds; if your cat allows this, give them a treat, then take a little longer on each area next time.

Take Them Somewhere They Enjoy

As you progress to being able to pick up your cat for short periods, make the most of it by bringing them to places where they enjoy going, such as a window perch. This will provide your cat with a further positive association, and they'll be more likely to keep still if they know they're heading somewhere agreeable.

Leave Them Wanting More

Cats can be fiendishly indecisive little creatures; one second they're enjoying getting stroking behind the ear, and the next they'd rather be all alone on the other side of the room. In fact, they might give you a little swat to let you know they've had enough attention for the moment.

If you're trying to get your cat used to being picked up, the key here is to stop stroking them while they're still in the mood to be stroked. Getting up and leaving in the middle of a petting session will make your cat more eager for further attention and more likely to respond to handling since they know you're not going to overwhelm them. For more information, contact companies like Penfield Kennels & Cattery.