How To Hold Your Cat Baby Safely And Comfortably!

How To Hold Your Cat Baby Safely And Comfortably!
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Your first thought must be “How difficult can picking up a cat be?”

You probably thought so, cause of all the cat videos showing cats being lifted by the scruff of their necks, cradled like infants, and grabbed around the middle by excited children.

Although picking up and holding a cat may seem straightforward at first glance, mastering this skill involves more than just reaching out and scooping them up.

Keep in mind that not all cats like to be held, and even those that do enjoy a good snuggle may not want to be picked up all the time.

Understanding Cat Body Language🐈

Cats, similar to humans, have their own preferences and moods when it comes to being handled. 

Before attempting to pick up a cat, it’s crucial to observe their body language. 

Signs of agitation, such as flattened ears or a low tail, indicate that the cat may not be in the mood for cuddles. 

On the other hand, a relaxed posture and receptive demeanour suggest that the cat is open to interaction.

You can learn all about their body language, meows and signs of their mood and intents in another article we’ve written, Learn Your Meows: Understanding Your Cat.

Source: Freepik

Don’t Pounce On The Cat😾

Just like humans, most cats are nervous and cautious around strangers and take time to get comfortable with someone new. 

Respect their space and comfort by letting them get to know you a bit before you attempt to even touch or hold them.

When approaching a cat, make sure to do so gently and slowly. 

Abrupt movements can startle them and lead to rejection. 

When in front of the cat, you should extend your hand slightly with your palm facing downwards to let the cat approach and sniff your hand, this way the cat can choose if it wants to interact with you.

This way the cat will be able to identify you by smell and assess whether it’s safe to be around you.

Building trust with the cat through gradual interaction is key to successful handling.

Source: Freepik

Proper Way To Hold A Fur Baby🫴

When it comes to picking up a cat, the proper technique is essential to ensure their comfort and safety. 

Step 1

Place your dominant hand under the cat’s torso, directly behind the front legs.

However, make sure your hand is not under the cat’s soft belly, as its belly is where all its vital organs are, they feel threatened when touched at the belly.

Step 2

Ensure the cat is held close to the chest, use your other hand and place it behind their hind legs.

Avoid letting their feet dangle, as this can cause anxiety and discomfort because the cat will feel as if it is falling or about to fall.

Source: Freepik

Step 3

Pet your cat while holding him. 

When you hold your cat along one arm, your other hand is free to stroke and pet him. 

Just be careful to keep supporting his body and legs.

Petting your cat will soothe him and make him feel more comfortable in your arms. 

This allows you to properly support the cat’s weight in your arms and make the cat feel secure.

Variations Of Holds

There is a multitude of ways to hold a cat, it all depends on the cat’s size, temperament, and their level of trust in you.

The basic hold, which involves supporting the cat’s chest and hind legs close to your body, is suitable for most cats. 

For cats who trust you deeply, the baby hold, where the cat rests on its back in the crook of your arm, can be a cosy option. 

The football and shoulder hold are alternatives that provide additional security and control in certain situations.

Placing Your Cat Down

When it’s time to put the cat down, make sure its front paws are the first to touch the ground and do so gently, it is also best to ensure they are close to a comfortable landing spot. 

Supporting their chest and hind legs as you lower them to the ground minimises any risk of injury to the cat and ensures a smooth transition.

Don’t be too afraid about putting them down though as the cat would do most of the job when jumping out of your hands.

Get Them Comfortable

If you are a new pet owner or planning to adopt a cat, getting your cat used to physical contact early on would make the process of picking them up much easier.

The socialisation of cats happens by the time they are 12 weeks old, and after that age, it will be harder to train a cat to enjoy being held.

Cats work in mysterious ways but when equipped with the knowledge you now can embrace the joy of cuddling with your cat!

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