My cat doesn`t like being picked up and held

by Zoe
(Montreal Quebec Canada)

I own 2 female cats ages age 3 and 2 years old, I have had them since they were both kittens. The younger one does not like being picked up and held because everytime we try to she meows and cries and wriggles around trying to get down, almost in a state of panic. She does sleep with us everynight and climbs onto my lap when I am sitting down but other than that she detests being picked up and held. Why is this?

Answer by KAte
The simple answer is just some cats don't like to be picked up. In fact my own cat is exactly the same. we have owned her for over 12 years and she has never got over he fact that when we try to pick her up she cries and wriggels to get away. she too loves to sleep on the bed and is affectionate in every other way.

I'm afraid you will just have to accept that she does not like it. Cats don't like to be confined and being picked up can feel like that. Make sure when you do pick her up that you support her bottom, this may help her feel less scared.

best wishes Kate

Comments for My cat doesn`t like being picked up and held

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Here's an idea-
by: Razzy's Mama

Like Kate said-and she sure does know her stuff (GREAT site, Kate, thanks!)-I believe some cats just aren't cut out for that type of 'snuggle.' We took in a stray about 2 1/2 yrs ago,(Razzy-BEST decision I've EVER made; she's my angel!!) and she's the same way-LOVES ME, but NOT being picked up, or held(unless, on the occasion, she curls up in my arms while I'm sleeping). But over time, without REALLY pushing it, I have worked on it, and she is far MORE comfortable (not to say comfortable on the whole) now when I pick her up, even getting a purr out of it now and then.

I started small--picking her up and putting her down almost right away, also giving her a reward after each attempt, whether she squirmed and got down right away or not. A piece of her dry food, or a treat, and ALWAYS praise-it's all in the tone--these were the rewards.

As time went on, I could get a little further/longer before I let her get down, but always letting her know she COULD get down and wasn't trapped...probably the biggest reason they don't like to be held in the first place. With this, along with a lot of all around love, I've earned some trust with her. Just let them think they're in control.

An other HUGE thing, the way I hold her: I always kind of prop her up on/over my (right)shoulder, supporting her feet/bum with my other arm/hand, allowing her to see what's going on from all directions. Also, when you attempt to do this, you should remain calm, and confident, your cat will respond to your mannerisms, good or bad, it will make a difference.
Good luck. I hope this helps. (I've also done this w/an other cat, who really didn't like people too much, let alone being picked up--he ended up sleeping w/me, curled behind my knees every night, and let me carry him all over the house.)

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