kitten's scared to be picked up

I have a new tonkinese kitten (almost 10 months old). She lived behind a bookcase in her last home for many months - only coming out to use her box and eat for the most part. I think she was scared of the dogs/kids/owners in the house for whatever reason. She was really scared and shy at first, but now sleeps next to me, absolutely loves playing and being affectionate, uses her box and eats plenty. However, she's still scared to be picked up and is very scared when people come over (she hides and comes out as soon as they leave). I had a horrible time getting her to the vet to get her stitches out last week, and had to have a friend with a lot of experience with animals come over to help get her into her carrier. Very stressful for the kitty (and us)!! Anyway, she loves to be petted - even on her tummy and her paws, but won't let me pick her up even just a little bit off the floor without jumping away. I've heard it's good to try to pick her up for small amounts of time so she figures out she can still get away, but I've also heard you really shouldn't try to pick them up if they don't want to and that it will worsen the problem. Not sure what to do. Also, she doesn't like any of the treats I've bought for her - tried junky treats and healthy treats (even bonito flakes!), and she doesn't like any of them. Petting and favorite toys seem to be the only rewards she responds to, and little bits of her usual wellness wet food. Any ideas?? I'm really hoping that she's still young enough to learn to be picked up.

Answer by Kate
Hi my first answer is that if your cat doesn't like treats then don't bother trying to give her any. Some cats just don't like them and are far happier with other fun things like play and toys etc.

As for her hate of being picked up. well unfortunately if your cat wasn't socialized properly during the first few weeks of her life then she may always be a rather nervous cat.

Please see this page for more on this.

However you can try to pick her up for very short periods every day to try and help her over her fear. Make sure you pick her up so that her bottom and legs are supported so that she feels safe.

However I warn you now she may never get used to it. i used to have act who we homed at age three and she never got used to it and we could only pick her up for about 10 seconds before she=he struggled to get away.

I wish you every success

best wishes Kate

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