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Should you pick him up lots even when he acts like he doesn't want to be picked up?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine told me to pick up our cat lots after we adopted him a little over a month ago. He doesn't mind being picked up sometimes but other times he's not in the mood for it. Should you pick him up a lot even if he acts like he doesn't want to be held? I have been but then letting him get back down pretty quickly.
post #2 of 13
I think its fine to pick him up. But if he shows that he wants to be let back down. Let him down don't try to hold him when he wants down. Some of my cats prefer not to be picked up. They love attention and to be patted. But they prefer not to be held.
post #3 of 13
I wouldn't hold onto him if he struggles to get down, as you're fairly new to him you don't want him to become untrusting or scared of you. Give him attention on his terms, and don't force affection on him. I have the exact opposite, my cat cries at me to be picked up.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
He seems to like sitting on the chair next to me and me sitting in the bay window with him petting him that way better than being picked up. Sometimes he does like being picked up too but I'll keep putting him down if he squirms or struggles.
post #5 of 13
Well Ling is not particularly a lap cat nor one that wants to be restrained/held a lot. She's Miss Independent. So we hold her for a min or so, till she wants down. She comes to us on her terms to sit on our lap, etc.

If the cat doesn't want to be held, IMO its not good to insist on it. Perhaps just have some playtime with feathers, balls, etc. Each cat is different and not all are the cuddly type.
post #6 of 13
How old is he? With kittens I think it's fine to pick them up to get them used to it, so long as you don't hold them against their will, but with an adult cat I don't think I would. If he doesn't like being picked up and you force him to be picked up, then he may start to associate you with something unpleasant and avoid any interaction with you. Some cats just don't like being picked up and feel vulnerable when their feet aren't on the ground. Jaffa hates being picked up and I never try to unless it's to put him in his carrier. He's still a very affectionate cat who loves cuddles but picking him up is a no no. I can feel his body stiffen as soon as I attempt to restrain him in any way. Mosi, on the other hand, loves to be carried around like a baby.

I'd pick him up if he seems ok with it, but put him down (or don't pick up) anytime he shows a sign of not wanting it.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
He was a stray so we don't know what his exact age is but the vet estimates that he's about a year old. Yeah, I don't want him to associate me with unpleasant things so if he wants down when I pick him up, I'll let him go down.
post #8 of 13
However, you HAVE to restrain them for nail clipping, so they have to learn to tolerate that - even if it means "bad". If you give in and let them go at that point, you'll never be able to clip nails.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
However, you HAVE to restrain them for nail clipping, so they have to learn to tolerate that - even if it means "bad". If you give in and let them go at that point, you'll never be able to clip nails.

Good point.
post #10 of 13
I've never believed in trying to make a cat do what it doesn't want to. Our cat Ebony would sit on the arm of my lazyboy chair and be quite content with me petting him and having my arm around him but he would not stay with me if I moved him 5 inches over to sit on my lap. So, I just learned to enjoy him being close beside me but not on me.
post #11 of 13
What I wonder is, would it be better to let your cats see that every time you pick them up, you aren't going to be doing something bad to them? As in give them medicine, clip their nails (which I don't see any reason to do anyway), etc.?

Swanie doesn't mind being picked up, likes it sometimes, and Cindy didn't mind either when we first got her. But now if we look like we're going to pick her up, she takes off, because I think she associates being picked up with going to the vet or getting medicine.

I'm fine with loving on her on her terms, but I hate having her associate being picked up with bad things only.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723 View Post
What I wonder is, would it be better to let your cats see that every time you pick them up, you aren't going to be doing something bad to them? As in give them medicine, clip their nails (which I don't see any reason to do anyway), etc.
I believe the OP's questions have been answered, so I'm going to respond to this instead.

There are very good reasons to clip the nails on indoor cats:

You are less likely to suffer deep puncture wounds should the animal be frightened and the situation warrants restraining them.
Puncture wounds are much, much worse than scratches.

Every animal scratches when they have an itch, if the claws are too long and too sharp they can injure themselves in this way.

Claws, like fingernails, never stop growing, and like fingernails, they start curling uncontrollably, often times starting to grow into the paw pads.

When cats' claws are too long and too sharp, they tend to start sticking to carpet, fabric and other upholstery.
I have known a few cats that have broken their toes and worse from getting stuck and panicking.

Cats that go outdoors do not really have these concerns as there are quite a few things in the natural world that wear down the claws.
There is nothing in an indoor cat's environment that serves this purpose.

Scratching posts do not serve this purpose, all they do is give the animal an appropriate place to scratch and mark, and they help them to shed off the outter layer of claw.

The only time my cats are held (as none like to be held) is for the above mentioned reasons.
There really is no benefit to holding a cat that does not enjoy it.
They do come to learn that most things done to them are over with rather quickly.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I believe the OP's questions have been answered, so I'm going to respond to this instead.

There are very good reasons to clip the nails on indoor cats:

You are less likely to suffer deep puncture wounds should the animal be frightened and the situation warrants restraining them.
Puncture wounds are much, much worse than scratches.

Every animal scratches when they have an itch, if the claws are too long and too sharp they can injure themselves in this way.

Claws, like fingernails, never stop growing, and like fingernails, they start curling uncontrollably, often times starting to grow into the paw pads.

When cats' claws are too long and too sharp, they tend to start sticking to carpet, fabric and other upholstery.
I have known a few cats that have broken their toes and worse from getting stuck and panicking.

Cats that go outdoors do not really have these concerns as there are quite a few things in the natural world that wear down the claws.
There is nothing in an indoor cat's environment that serves this purpose.

Scratching posts do not serve this purpose, all they do is give the animal an appropriate place to scratch and mark, and they help them to shed off the outter layer of claw.

The only time my cats are held (as none like to be held) is for the above mentioned reasons.
There really is no benefit to holding a cat that does not enjoy it.
They do come to learn that most things done to them are over with rather quickly.
Well said. We clip ours approximately every 2 weeks.
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