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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My cats don't stay in my arms, whereas a friend of mine had Prince in her arms during the elevator ride like nothing. I'd like to know how to pick them up and how to hold them so they won't resist so much. That way I could take my new cat out of the bedroom, because she won't go into the carrier anymore now that she knows I put her there to go to the rest of the house.
 

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I don't know if this way is officially sanctioned (lol), but I hold Murphy like you'd hold a 1-year old child, with them sitting up in your arms. Left arm under his butt with him resting his hind feet on your arm, and right arm around his chest, leaving him sitting up. Murphy and I walk around the house like this a lot, and he purrs and seems to love it....until he squirms and then I put him down gently.
 

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Sometimes I hold Krystal like a baby...with her belly up. I think I have Mommy urges, lol. She's a Ragdoll, though, so she doesn't resist much.

I think some cats need to get used to being held. Don't force it or anything, but just try to hold her a little bit everyday? That might help. I also hold Krystal like October suggested, and she's fine with that too.

(I just picked Krystal up to see how I actually hold her, and now she's climbing all over me, wanting to be cuddled. :roll:)
 

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When i pick him up i put one hand under his chest and scoop his butt up with my other hand. Then i pull him to my chest. If he's comfortable and wants to stay he'll rest his paws up on my shoulder and I'll keep his butt cupped in my hand to support his weight. If he doesn't really WANT to stay but I need to carry him I'll keep the one hand behind his front legs and hugging him around his body (with the other hand still cupping his butt).
 

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I scoop with one hand under their kitty body behind the front legs, then support the bottom with my right arm and use my left arm to support the top. Mitzi likes to rest her legs over my left arm. Evie doesn't really mind how she's held- scooped, like a baby, over the shoulder, standing on my shoulder, or even like the Lion King. So long as it's me holding her, she's a happy purring little love bug.
 

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Depending on the situation I'll hold Gizmo two different ways. The first has him propped up on my shoulder, and I support his bottom with my hand or arm, I'll do this if I just want to hold Gizmo, he doesn't seem to mind it. The second I do mostly to keep him under control whenever he's needed, like putting him in the pet carrier for the vet or something, and that is to support him with both arms lengthwise, and my arms and hands support him (really hard to explain lol).

He doesn't seem to mind being held, very rarely does he squirm or try to show me he's uncomfortable. But I must say, I don't know if how I do it is the "official" way, if there is one.
 

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When i pick him up i put one hand under his chest and scoop his butt up with my other hand. Then i pull him to my chest. If he's comfortable and wants to stay he'll rest his paws up on my shoulder and I'll keep his butt cupped in my hand to support his weight. If he doesn't really WANT to stay but I need to carry him I'll keep the one hand behind his front legs and hugging him around his body (with the other hand still cupping his butt).
This.

Sometimes Sinatra likes to be held like a baby though.
 

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If they are resisting, I scoop my right arm under and around their belly, and my left arm supports the butt. I then bring them close up to my body (with them still in a sitting position supported by my left arm), but I'll use my right arm to both pin them close and give some soothing chin scratchies.

If I pick them up from the front (if they want a snuggle), I will scoop them up with both hands under their front armpits. I try to pull them up to my chest quickly so I don't put a lot of strain on their body. Once I have them at chest level, I will switch my arms where the left supports the bottom and right arm to pet.

I often hold Simone like a baby too because he likes belly rubs; I wouldn't dare do it to Pumpkin though!!
 

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I scoop Bertie up with one hand behind his front legs and one just in front of his back legs, then I hold him to my chest with one hand under him bum and the other either cuddling round his back/chest or petting him.
I can hold him in one arm while I make breakfast in the morning, with my hand cupping his bum and his head on my shoulder. He's getting a bit big and heavy for that though!
My friend's cat doesn't like being picked up at all; she struggles and jumps down. But it's definitely not my friend's ineptitude as a cat-holder - she can carry Bertie around just as easily as me. He just loves being carried.
 

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not being handled as kittens, ferels(rehabbed) can be touchey about being picked up and cats reaction can vary.. my tammi is in total fear when being held, I try to support all her feet with open upturned hand and the crook of my arm while giving constant petting(neck and ears which she loves) we had to do lots of practice at this and she still is not thrilled with being picked up(all of this work started from a sitting position and we slowly transitioned to full carry and walking around being carried) my rehabbed feral smokey on the other hand goes ragdoll limp when picked up.. most feral cats don't like to be upsidedown while being held..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm useless with my hands. I tried to pick her up this morning and the poor thing must've gotten a trauma for life. All I remember is she landed on the bed (thankfully) with all her back hairs in every direction! LOL She was like "mom, maybe go practice on someone else, eh? Phew!" I have a feeling they'd both love to be carried around if I was good at it, though.
 

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I can pick up Midnight, the wild cat, and move him off the bed on the cabinet in the garage, so he doesn't have to jump. I have lifted him off the trashcan bed too, just by holding him under his chest/stomach area. We are still testing each other and I always have this image in my mind. :p

 

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lets see. Sherbert will let me carry him with one hand under his bum and his front legs on my shoulder, like burping a baby. Or I can carry them around with their bum tucked against my side, in the crook of my elbow, and the hand supporting their chest, right between the front leg (football carry). Pepper likes to sometimes have all 4 paws craddled in the palm of my hand when I tuck her against my chest for carrying. Jack though, sometimes I have to put one arm under his bum and along his side to support his back end and wrap my other arm around his chest and front, he is a bit long and muscular so need extra support. All 3 of these like to be flipped over like babies and carried also.

I can sometimes get both Sherbert and Pepper in the football hold, one in each arm and they are good to go. But Jack is a bit big for that specific way to carry one handed, he always needs that extra hand for chest support.

Archie.. all you can do with him is slip a hand under his chest and bum then move him quickly to where ever he needs to be most days. every now and then a fully supported body hold is allowed with alot of his nervous chuckling included, but we are working on it.

the foster kittens, like to be in the burp position or the upside down baby position. A modified football hold seem comfortable on them also.

Some days though Sherbert will just drape across my shoulders like a stole and no hands are needed.
 

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How to pick up a cat? With confidence. The only way I can really pick up Ritz is without thinking about it. I got SOOO nervous about picking her up when I had to pill her, that the actual pilling was easier than picking Ritz up. Cats pick up on your nervousness.
 

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What I've found with cats over the years is that most of them want to feel they can get loose if they want to.

Having said that, Guy, the semi-abandoned cat that I feed when he comes around, loves to be petted on the ground, but wriggles to get away if I pick him up.

Missy is too big to pick up and carry much, although I have picked her up, arm under butt, arm under chest, to show her the outside through the bedroom window. (She has another window to look out of.)

Zenobi was iffy about being picked up, but she mostly didn't object.

I like the hand under chest, hand under butt mostly as this best supports their weight
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm getting better at it but still can't coordinate both the left hand under her chest and the right holding her legs. It's very hard for me. Still, I picked her up and took her to the kitchen and she didn't resist, yay!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just brought Prince up in the elevator, holding him in my arms. I still can't believe it. He didn't resist at all. After 7 months of him and me dragging ourselves up the stairs, I'm very excited about this change! And there are no words to express what a lovely feeling it is to hold one's cat in one's arms... Thank you all !!!!!
 

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congrats on your progress! i agree with what people said that it takes a little time, to increase your confidence and their comfort level with getting used to being held.

it sure is nice to be able to pick up your kitty and have a little snuggle when you want to :)
 

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Different holds for different situations...

Both my cats like to be carried like a baby on their backs with feet in the air. This is a very relaxed hold and it's lovely to hold them this way, and they really love it, but you haven't much control if cat suddenly decides or to wriggle free or is spooked. My hubby likes to carry Zuba with one arm under his bum while he's draped over his shoulder.

Another way is a variation of the football hold.....it's a one-arm hold, with right arm around the bum, and supporting cat on your arm underneath its belly and right hand placed underneath and behind the front legs, with two fingers between the legs with contact on the chest. This hold give a lot of control for cats that want to squirm or jump away. I learned this hold at cat shows when carrying cats up to the show ring. It was always a lot of excitment and anguish for an owner whose cat wriggled free and escaped while getting it from its bench cage to the show ring; and most cats would run around in the show hall eluding capture. This can be a very frightening experience for the cat, and could well put it off showing forever.

Carrier-shy? A hold for carrier-shy cats is to grasp the hind legs together with right hand, with two fingers between the legs, and support undeneath behind the front legs with the left hand with two fingers between the legs on the chest, but use the thumb and outer fingers to squeeze the front legs together. This prevents the cat from sticking out it's front legs to brace against being put in the carrier, and you have control of their hind legs so you shouldn't get any bunny kicks.
 
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