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how do you hold a cat?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is a really stupid question...but I'd like to know how cats should be picked up and held without feeling uncomfortable. I'm always scared of my kitties' claws digging into my skin when I pick them up.
post #2 of 13
Pick them up underneath along their rib cage and immediately support their rear end either with your other hand or by snugging the rear between your elbow and your body. In other words both ends should be equally supported. Never pick up an animal by their front legs, or by grasping with both hands behind their front legs like when you pick up a child.
Cats and dogs do not have collar bones and by picking them up like a child you can compress their bones in a most uncomfortable way.

If your cat freaks out when you go to pick him up make sure he sees you and is aware that you are going to touch him- no surprises.

And trim the claws- you shouldn't be afraid of your cat.
post #3 of 13
Cearbhaill about covered it. I do trim my girl's claws too. If you've never done it, there are some good threads on it if you just do a search.
post #4 of 13
I hold Zissou like a baby kind of, one arm under her back with my hand holding her butt with her tail down, and one hand across her chest under the forelegs. I agree with what Cearbhaill said, though. I also put her up on my shoulder and support her back and legs with one arm, and she holds on with her front paws to the back of my shoulder. I wouldn't recommend that with a cat you don't know will like it though!
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom
I hold Zissou like a baby kind of, one arm under her back with my hand holding her butt with her tail down, and one hand across her chest under the forelegs. I agree with what Cearbhaill said, though. I also put her up on my shoulder and support her back and legs with one arm, and she holds on with her front paws to the back of my shoulder. I wouldn't recommend that with a cat you don't know will like it though!
I am glad that Liberty is not the only ine that loves that position. It is not for ever cat though. -kd
post #6 of 13
Mostly it's a matter of whether or not the cat trusts you not to hurt it. When a cat trusts you, you can pick it up and carry it in a number of different ways. Twinkee, for some reason, prefers the baby "burping" position.
post #7 of 13
I have two kittens and they like to be held different ways. In fact, they look almost identical, but I can always tell them apart in the dark by how they fit into my arms. It's true that support on both ends is necessary, but it's just a matter of what your cat prefers. Like People!
post #8 of 13
The most important advice you received here is that when you pick them up you support front and back equally. Mika will actually arch her back to be picked up so we slip one hand from the front and one from the back to lift her and once she's up she'll lie along our forearm with our hand supporting her chest. Bijou also gets picked up this way and will lay on our forearm with his hind legs hanging down either side and his front paws resting on our palm.

Our Simba preferred to be picked up and then held upside down in our arm like a human baby.
post #9 of 13
Please don't be afraid of your cats claws. I know it's not a nice thought but I think people with agree with me when I say you won't really get by without getting a few scratches here and there. They don't hurt too bad.
Nismo likes to be held like a baby being burped, so that she can see over my shoulder, one hand under her butt and one round her back.
Sleeves loves to be held like a baby on his back.
post #10 of 13
As far as scratches go most people actually scratch themselves when they yank their hand away quickly. If you hold your hand firm and say no in a non-luvy voice they will stop. I usually actually move my hand slightly towards them and they retract their claws right away. This method has worked with my cats, my parents cats, friends cats. It is very rare that a domesticated cat swings with full might attempting to injure, usually they are playing and lighty run their claws over your skin. If you dont move they wont break your skin. If you move you will get cut.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pombina
Sleeves loves to be held like a baby on his back.

Mine like this too.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pombina
Please don't be afraid of your cats claws.....
It's my belief that a cat that trusts its people will not scratch them. I've noticed my cats sheathing their claws when their feet contact my skin. I think they're quite aware of the hurt they can cause. Of course, a cat who is startled or overexcited or panicked may forget and revert to instinct.
post #13 of 13
Midir loves to be held in the "baby burping" position too, he would stay there all day if I let him. He also likes to be held laying on his back like a baby, tummy up, legs fully extended, head dangling upside down ... I think he likes the blood rush to his head, he often lays on the edge of the sofa and chairs like this too.

Etain does not like to be picked up at all, but as soon as you sit down, she will jump into your lap.

Each cat is a little different, with time, you'll find out what your kitty's preferences are. The most important thing is to make sure you're supporting their whole body and pay attention, their body language will usually let you know whether they are comfortable or not.
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