Al aka Alamo Schmo forever lov

How can I get my cat to feel happy being picked up and held?

He loves to cuddle up to me and rub himself against me but panics when I pick him up. He is a rescue cat and it did take a while for him not to be afraid of us, how can he learn to be so cuddly but not if you pick him up?
I am doing it properly and the other cat likes it.

Asked by Al aka Alamo Schmo forever lov on Apr 17th 2008 Tagged holding, pickingup, cuddling, contact in Behavior & Training
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • This question is closed.

Best Answer


Give him time. I hated being picked up and fought like mad. But mom and dad were gentle yet persistent, and often all that would happen is they would put me on my cat tree (my happy place) or the couch so they could pet me better!

One tip I can give you is that pickups have to be quick and not be lengthy for the time being. Dad can carry me across a room now, but he started out picking up at the foot of the couch and then putting me on there. That got me used to longer distances.

I am still not fond of having my paws off the floor, but instead of freaking out I have graduated to the more dignified "rigid paw, displeased eye expression" approach.

Mom says that for cuddles though, sometimes it works better for her to pat on surfaces as her signal that she wants me to come over and snuggle, and I usually comply. You might want to try that on him.

Boris answered on Apr 17th.

Other Answers



You have to just go slow and easy.

1) when you go to pet him, "cage" him for 5 seconds with your arms and body while loving him.

2) try to pick him up into your lap, then imediatly let him free (having treats on hand will help keep him there in your lap longer).

3) con him with his favorite treats when you pick him up. hold him on your sholduer and feed him.

Horus answered on 4/17/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

Horus is right. Slow and easy is the best way. Some cats just don't LIKE to be held. Izzie is a lap cat but doesn't like to be picked up. A quick kiss is about it for him or I get the claws and the twisting to get away. You can also try talking quietly to him while he's in the room with you. I also sing to my kitties. Yeah, they think I'm looney. But it's a good way to "pay attention" to them without touching them and making them feel trapped or threatened. (All three of mine are rescues)

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 4/17/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Maybe when he cuddles, you can start keeping your hand on him, maybe both hands. Just set them on at first. Holding comes later. Picking up after that.

Not everyone likes to be picked up, but it can be especially scary for a timid rescue. It's like someone picking you up to the top of a house, if you think about it. I'm sure you're very good - it's just going to take patience.

Blackie answered on 4/17/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I STILL do not like being picked up AT ALL, after 9 years. I was adopted as a little kitten, I wasn't feral - its' just I just don't like being picked up! I LOVE getting petted, but NO PICKING UP! It's just my personality. Mom gets upset over it, cause she wants to hold me, but I'm just not into it. I keep meowing to Mom, "I DO love you mom!, I just don't like being held!"
Maybe your kitty will get over it, but if he doesn't, don't take it the wrong way!

Member 491403 answered on 4/17/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Oscar J. Cat

I'm like Natalie. I will love you and come sit with you and pur for you, but please don't pick me up. I just don't like it.

Oscar J. Cat answered on 4/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer