Bonding Tip of The Week: Picking Up the Right Way

2 min read

Molly DeVoss

Cat Behavior Solutions

Hi everybody! Molly from Cat Behavior Solutions here, and it’s time for another Bonding Tip of the Week. This week, we’re going to be talking about how to pick up your cat—and how to do it right!

We all have to pick up our cats and kittens at some point, whether it’s to move them to another room or away from somewhere they’re not supposed to be (counters, anyone?). But the thing is, everyday events you don’t even really think about can be a bonding experience, and picking up your cat is one of them. The key here is doing it in a way that they like and appreciate.

Two Hands for the Win

When it comes to picking up your cat, it’s important for them to feel secure. The best way to make your cat feel secure when you’re carrying them is by using two hands. A lot of people do use two hands, but often they pick their cat up by the shoulders, leaving their legs dangling freely. This makes your cat feel like they’re going to fall and when it tries to regain its balance, it may end up clawing you.

The proper way to pick up a cat is this: make one hand into kind of a claw shape, lace your fingers through your cat’s front legs, and scoop up its hind end with your other hand. Hold your cat right up against you, so they feel good and secure.

One-Hand Wonder

Now let’s say you’re walking through the house and you need a hand available to open a door or something. Then we do what we call a football hold, which is simply scooping up your cat with one hand and placing them on your hip. Most of his body ends up being well-supported. This isn’t ideal—the two-hand hold gives you a better grip on the cat, and the cat is more secure in your arms—but it does the job when it needs to.

An Important Note

If you’ve been following along these Bonding Tips of the Week, then you know by now that all cats are different, whether it’s their food preferences, how they show affection, their body language when they don’t like something—you name it. So in this same vein, some house cats like to be picked up and some don’t. And if your cat is one that doesn’t like to be picked up, then simply don’t do it! it’s important that your cat enjoy what it’s doing with you, and if you pick up your cat and it’s uncomfortable, then it’s not going to be a good bonding moment.

That’s an easy rule of thumb for best cat care when it comes to bonding with your cat: do what your cat wants you to do with them. And if your cat enjoys being picked up, that’s a good way to bond—just make sure you’re doing it in a way that makes them feels secure. So until next week’s bonding tip, keep calm and purr on!

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