How to Pick Up Your Cat Without Getting Scratched!
13 January, 2017
cat being picked up.

If you just brought a new cat home or even have a skittish cat, it can take some time to properly pick up your cat.  Some cats are fine with being picked up while others will squirm around and you will be the recipient of some nasty scratches.  It is important to learn how to properly pick up and hold a cat for emergencies or simply to take your cat to the vet.

Let your cat warm up to you

It can take time for some cats to warm up to you.  Once your cat knows you’re approaching, be friendly and loving; pet your kitty. Most cats like you to stroke their face or pet your kitty’s cheeks, back, whatever your kitty will allow. This gentle petting can help your cat feel safe and ready to be picked up.

Put one hand under your cat’s body once your cat feel comfortable.

Place one hand under your cat’s body, behind the front legs if you are sure that your cat is ready to be picked up. Then move your hand under your cat’s body, just below the front legs, so you have the support you need when you pick up your kitty.  Your cat might not like it right away, so you should move along and use that second hand soon afterwards.

Place your second hand under your cat’s hind legs

Place the other hand under your cat’s hind legs so you will have plenty of support to your kitty’s legs and bottom.  It is almost like holding or cradling a baby.  Once your hands are in the correct position, you can get ready to pick your cat up.  Once you have picked her up, stroke your cat, her face and let her know how great she is.

Cater to your cat’s preferences when it comes to holding your kitty

Some cats like being held from underneath with both arms linked together to create a cradle. Other cats like to have their chest against your torso with their front paws resting on the shoulders or chest and back legs and bottom securely held in the person’s arms.

Once your cat gets antsy and wants be let down, it’s time to place her down

Know when your cat no longer wants to be held. Once your cat starts shifting around, moving, or even meowing or trying to escape your grasp, it’s time to gently set your cat down.  Never hold your cat against his or her will as they will make your cat feel threatened.  And, it will be hard to pick her up again.

Gently place your cat down on the ground.

Gently lower your cat down to the ground.  Make sure all four paws are on the ground before you let go.  Some cats will just jump down right out of your grasp.

As your cat gets more comfortable being held, slowly increase the time you spend holding her and reward her while you hold her. Go slowly with holding her and be sensitive to your cat’s signs.

Once you have mastered holding her, you can learn how to get your cat in a carrier for the vet or groomer!

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