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Cat hates being held

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi.
Copper, my cat, is so good natured, and lets you do anything, except hold her. She will never scratch, but will struggle until I put her down onto the ground.
This may be because she was a rescue cat and mistreated when she was younger, before we bought her.
What, if anything, can I do to "make" her like being held? I would just like to be able to cuddle her, without any struggles.
Thanks all,
Kathryn
post #2 of 17
some cats just dont like to be held , some for short periods and some just love it , i have 2 who will allow you to hold them anyway you want to bless them lol , i have another 3 who will only allow it for very short periods of times and another 2 who will not be held no matter what again they will not scratch ect.. but will struggle untill put down. you cant make her want to be held, it might have something to do with how she lived before or it might not , one of mine i had from birth and she hates to be held no matter what , yet her sister loves it.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you. Is there any way I can "train" her to like being held?
Thanks,
Kathryn x
post #4 of 17
I find that Ripley (my girl) hates being held...she'd rather just warm my lap without a lot of snuggly-cuddly stuff from me. She likes to be pet, and scratched...

Fergus LOVES to be held like a baby, and cuddled and fussed over.

It's just the way a lot of cats are...many hate being picked up, and held. It's not uncommon at all, and it's more about temperment than history.
post #5 of 17
Bijou has a wonderful disposition, will let you kiss him almost to the point of smothering him and he'll just lay there and purr or he'll jump up and ride around on our back, but he doesn't like being picked up and held. He's more tolerant of my husband holding him and I just think it's because he is a big boy, I'm not very big and he just feels more secure with hubby than me. I may be right out to lunch on that theory, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

We had another cat some years ago that would sit on the arm of my chair with me, but if I gently moved him over on my lap he would leave. He liked to be near me but not on my lap.

Methinks you might just have to accept your kitty the way he/she is. There's always the chance that once they get older and settle more they may become more cuddly.
post #6 of 17
My Pansy hates to be held also. I am desensitizing him slowly by little pick ups and down if there is a struggle. Never hold too long if they are struggling because then they will run when they see you coming. It might be good to start when he is sitting next to you as on the bed or couch. then do a little pick up, maybe just the front, some praise a hug or kiss and then let go. I think Pansy was afraid of the heights, when I picked him up, now I can pick him up and we will walk around the house so he can smell stuff not at his normal nose level. After a walk through, I put him down. He trusts me now, but I can still tell he is not crazy about then idea. The other night he actuall laid on top of me while I was lying in bed. That was a major breakthrough! Don't know if he will ever get where I would like, but he is getting the idea, and beginning to trust. the important thing is if they struggle, say ok and put them down. He is a year and 5 months and I've had him since he was 8 weeks, and he was like this from day one.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your stories and suggestions.
I suppose I will just have to accept she will never like to be held. She loves other things, and licks my face and sleeps on top of me, I'm probably luckier than most anyway, even if she does not liike to be held. She is almost 6, and I've had her since she was 1, so it's not about adjusting, as I've had her for nearly 5 years. Oh well. lol If anyone has any suggestions or stories, please sheare.
Thanks again everyone.
post #8 of 17
Mine also does not like to be picked up/held. When I do pick her up
she meow's most of the time. I just pick her up cuddle her and pet her
and let her back down. I do want her used to being picked up now
and then, so I do it a few times a week. She is a big snuggler now, I have had her nearly 3 years a resue stray very wild. Anyway, like others mine will snuggle next to me on the couch, not on my lap. You have to very patient
& not force the issue.
post #9 of 17
Zoey HATES being held. She will complain and squirm until I put her down, so I just dont pick her up. She is affectionate in other ways, by giving me headbonks and sitting next to me. She just doesnt like to be off the ground I think lol. I dont think you can really force them to like to be held.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TortieLover View Post
Thank you for your stories and suggestions.
I suppose I will just have to accept she will never like to be held. She loves other things, and licks my face and sleeps on top of me, I'm probably luckier than most anyway, even if she does not liike to be held. She is almost 6, and I've had her since she was 1, so it's not about adjusting, as I've had her for nearly 5 years. Oh well. lol If anyone has any suggestions or stories, please sheare.
Thanks again everyone.
She sounds very much like my Ginger, who loves to be by my side like velcro, but God forbid I pick her up and hold her for longer than it takes to give her a smooch - she HATES being held.

I think it might be a "tortitude" thing.
post #11 of 17
I dont think there is anything you can do, except accept your kitty.
One of the cats at my parents, who was "mine" when I was living there has NEVER liked being held/picked up. She lets me do it. ANyone else, she starts by a low meow which turns growly - she gives warning. If you do not immediately put her down, she will claw, bite, whatever to make you do so. I always inform EVERYONE of this, and many people insist that she'll like them, pick her up, and get a swat in the face.
Now this cat, otherwise, is the most affectionate. COmes when called, sits on your lap whenever you let her, gives mucho headbutts etc. SHe just needs to be the one in control of her XYZ coordinates at all time
post #12 of 17
Our Zoey was not crazy about being held when we got her. She was wiling to climb all over you, but didn't like to be held.
Several times a day, I would pick her up and hold her for just a few minutes. I would make an "ahhhhhhh" sound, my human version of a purr. We tried several different types of holds before finding one she likes.

My 8 year old niece can pick her up and carry her for as long as she wants and in any position she wants - amazing.

ust a few minutes of practice, several times a day, will retrain her.
post #13 of 17
[quote=Mom of 4;1547575]
My 8 year old niece can pick her up and carry her for as long as she wants and in any position she wants - amazing.
QUOTE]
That is so precious that Zoey grants the privilege to your niece Your niece must feel very special and will have lifelong memories of a wonderful cat to treasure
As for the original post, some cats will respond to being held firmly against the shoulder, while being massaged at the base of the neck, simulating their mother carrying them in her jaws. It worked for my latest, abused rescue; for my former feral and for Andy, who is extremely timid. AS for Joey and JC, who have grown up believing that the world is a benevolent place, they don't consider being held to be "cool cat" behavior And if I try the neck massage trick, they get an "AWWW, mom, that's for babies" attitude
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
She sounds very much like my Ginger, who loves to be by my side like velcro, but God forbid I pick her up and hold her for longer than it takes to give her a smooch - she HATES being held.

I think it might be a "tortitude" thing.
Haha yes, I think it may be. lol

Thanks everyone. I really appreciate all your comments.
post #15 of 17
I agree with the comments about security. My husbands hands and arms are much bigger than mine and he does get away with holding the 'squirmers'. Then again, mom of 4's experience w/ her niece goes against that theory.

Some of them want to be held, but only on their terms.

Leopold is a temperamental siamese that craves love, but he lets me know when I'm offering it at the wrong time!! He'll come to me, meowing and rubbing on my legs, and I can't tell if he wants food, or love, or playtime, or something that I won't offer (like going outside). He's very stubborn too. Anyway, when he does this I put both hands under him and if he says 'mrrrowwwwwwlll' I let go, and if he's quiet, then I know it's OK and he wants to be picked up and smothered with love.

Momma will squirm and jump down if I pick her up, 80% of the time. But if she 's on the floor and looks at my shoulder, nervously...then I know she's about to leap up there. She'll position herself on my shoulder, and then I can't hardly convince her to get down, at all. Silly cats.
post #16 of 17
I've got one (Raj) that loves to be held, hugged, snuggled, you name it. She was cuddled a lot as a kitten.

The other one (Vi - a tortie) is not so fond of that sort of affection. She was a rescue from the vet as a kitten, her mom had been hit by a car and she'd had to stay at the vet's until she was big enough to adopt. That trauma early in life can really effect their personalities.

She likes to lie on my legs, but she really doesn't like being picked up and hugged and all that. She has come to appreciate it a little more though. I always tell her when i'm going to pick her up (and if she complains or runs away i let her leave), i hold her so that she's not turned on her back like a baby, but over my shoulder and i support her hindquarters. I pet her and tell her she's beautiful and she purrs. And then i free her scimitar claws from my shoulder and put her down. I make sure she knows that i'm not going to hold her forever, just for a moment, and she has gradually relaxed over time. I think talking to her helps, "i'm gonna pick you up" and "ok, i'll put you down now" lets her know what's about to happen to her so she doesn't feel out of control.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks all so much for all your replies. I really do appreciate it.
I will try to gently break her into handling for a couple of weeks, very gently of course, but if she doesn't seem keen, of course I won't force her.
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