Teaching Your Cat to Enjoy Being Picked Up and Handled


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​If you’re a proud cat owner, you know that our feline friends are full of quirks and personalities as unique as their whiskers. Some cats love being cuddled and carried around like royalty, while others might turn into mini-tornadoes at the mere thought of being picked up. 

But fear not! This blog post is here to help you bridge the gap between your desire to snuggle with your kitty and their desire for personal space. We understand that learning how to pick up and handle your cat may seem like a daunting task, especially if your furball has a penchant for independence. 

However, with a bit of patience, understanding, and the right techniques, you can teach your cat to not only tolerate being held but to actually enjoy it. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of cat behavior and share some tried-and-true tips to help your feline friend become a pro at being pampered. So, let’s embark on this journey of feline friendship and discover how to turn your kitty into a cuddle champion!

Start by Getting to Know Your Cat

​Cats are famously independent creatures, and many of them prefer to keep their distance from humans. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be friends with us! In order to build a bond with your cat, it’s important to take the time to get to know them and what they like. Only then can you start training them to enjoy being picked up.

Here are a few tips to get to know your cat better:

Observe their body language: Cats communicate a lot with their body language. By observing how they position their ears, tails, and eyes, you can get a good idea of how they’re feeling. If their ears are flattened back and their tails are lashing, they’re probably feeling angry or threatened. But if they’re purring and rubbing against you, they’re happy and content.

Give them some space: As much as you might want to cuddle with your cat, it’s important to give them the space they need. If they seem uncomfortable or uninterested in being close to you, back off and give them some time to warm up to you.

Respect their routines: Cats are creatures of habit, so they like having a regular routine. If you disrupt their sleep or meal times, they’re likely to get cranky. So, it’s best to work around their schedule instead of trying to change it.

Pay attention to their vocalizations: In addition to body language, cats also communicate through vocalizations. They meow, purr, hiss, and grunt to express themselves. By paying attention to the different sounds they make, you can better understand what they’re trying to say.

Provide them with ample resources: In order to feel comfortable and secure, cats need to have access to all the resources they need, including food, water, shelter, and litter boxes. If they don’t have all of these things, they’re likely to feel stressed out, which can lead to behavioral problems.

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Now that you know a few tips for getting to know your cat better, you can start working on building a bond with them. Cats can be finicky creatures, so it may take some time and patience to get them to like being picked up. But if you take things slowly and let them approach you on their own terms, you’re sure to find success.

Teaching Your Cat to Enjoy Being Picked Up and Handled 3

Make Handling a Positive Experience

​If you’ve ever had a cat that didn’t like being picked up, you know how frustrating it can be. You just want to hold your kitty and show them some love, but every time you try, they squirm and run away. So how can you train your cat to like being picked up?

Here are a few tips:

1. Make sure you’re not forcing them. If your cat is resistant to being picked up, don’t try to force it. Instead, let them come to you. If you have a perch or cat tree near where you like to sit, encourage them to jump up there on their own. Praise them when they do, and offer them a treat.

2. Get them used to being touched. If your cat isn’t used to being touched, they’re not going to like being picked up. So start slow, and pet them in the places they like to be touched. Once they’re comfortable with that, you can try picking them up for short periods of time.

3. Use positive reinforcement. When your cat allows you to pick them up, make sure you praise them and give them a treat. This will let them know that they’re doing something right, and they’ll be more likely to allow it in the future.

4. Don’t hold them for too long. If you want your cat to enjoy being picked up, don’t hold them for longer than they’re comfortable with. Let them down as soon as they start squirming, and they’ll be more likely to allow it next time.

5. Never punish them for resisting. If your cat doesn’t want to be picked up, don’t punish them. This will only make them more resistant, and it could damage your relationship with them.

following these tips, you should be able to train your cat to enjoy being picked up. It may take some time and patience, but it’ll be worth it when you can finally hold your furry friend in your arms.

Desensitizing Your Cat to Being Touched

​There’s nothing like the purr of a content cat as you pet them. However, not all cats enjoy being touched. In fact, some can be downright skittish when it comes to being handled. If you have a cat that doesn’t enjoy being touched, there are ways that you can help them to become more comfortable with it. With a little patience and understanding, you can help your feline friend to enjoy being petted and picked up.

One of the best ways to help your cat get used to being touched is through desensitization. This is a process where you slowly and gradually expose your cat to being touched in different ways. Start by petting them in places that they already enjoy being touched, such as their head or back. Once they are comfortable with that, you can begin to gently touch them in other areas, such as their feet or tummy. It’s important to move slowly and let your cat adjust to each new touch before moving on.

In addition to desensitization, it’s also important to make sure that you are respecting your cat’s personal space. When they’re not in the mood to be touched, give them some space and let them come to you. Pushing them to be touched when they’re not ready will only make them more resistant to it.

With some time and patience, you can help your cat to become more comfortable with being touched. Just remember to go slowly, be respectful of their personal space, and let them dictate the pace of the process.

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Teaching Your Cat to Enjoy Being Picked Up

​It’s not uncommon for cats to dislike being picked up. In fact, many cats will run away or hide when they see someone coming towards them with their arms outstretched. So, how can you train your cat to enjoy being picked up?

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Here are a few tips:

1. Start slow and be patient. Don’t try to pick up your cat if they’re not in the mood. Instead, gradually get them used to being touched and handled. Pet them, brush them, and play with them regularly.

2. Make it a positive experience. When you do pick up your cat, make sure it’s a pleasant experience for them. Speak to them in a soft, calming voice and offer them treats.

3. Be careful. Cats are delicate creatures, so be sure to support their back and avoid squeezing them too tight.

4. Put them down if they struggle. If your cat starts to squirm or struggle, it’s best to put them down. Forcing them to stay in your arms will only make them more resistant to being picked up in the future.

With a little patience and positive reinforcement, you can train your cat to enjoy being picked up. Just take things slowly and be gentle with them, and you’ll soon have a feline friend who’s happy to be in your arms.

Use Treats to Encourage Positive Behavior

​Giving your cat occasional treats is a great way to show your love and affection. But did you know that treats can also be a valuable tool for training your cat to exhibit positive behaviors?

Here are some tips for using treats to encourage positive behavior in your cat:

1. Use treats as rewards for desired behaviors.

If you want your cat to learn to enjoy being picked up, start by rewarding her with a treat whenever she allows you to pick her up. With enough positive reinforcement, she’ll eventually come to associate being picked up with something pleasant (i.e., the treats).

2. Give treats at random times.

One of the best ways to keep your cat’s interest in treats (and in the behavior you’re trying to encourage) is to give them out at random times, rather than always after the desired behavior is exhibited. This will keep your cat guessing and motivated to keep exhibiting the desired behavior.

3. Try different types of treats.

Cats can be picky eaters, so it’s important to experiment with different types of treats to find ones that your cat really enjoys. Once you know what kinds of treats your cat prefers, you can use them more strategically to encourage positive behavior.

4. Be consistent.

If you only give treats sometimes or randomly, your cat may become confused and less likely to respond positively to the behavior you’re trying to encourage. It’s important to be consistent with treat rewards in order to see the best results.

With a little patience and some delicious treats, you can train your cat to enjoy being picked up and to exhibit other desired behaviors. So don’t be afraid to break out the goodies next time you’re looking to encourage positive behavior in your feline friend!

Teaching Your Cat to Enjoy Being Picked Up and Handled

Reinforcing Positive Experiences for Your Cat

​There are a number of ways that you can help your cat to enjoy being picked up, and each one will be a little different depending on your cat’s individual personality. However, there are some general tips that can help to make the experience more positive for both you and your cat.

First and foremost, it is important to go slowly and to be gentle. Picking your cat up too quickly or without warning can be scary for them, so take your time and give them a chance to get used to your hands being around them. Secondly, make sure that you support their whole body, not just their belly. This will help to prevent them from feeling like they are going to fall.

Third, it is helpful to have a specific spot that you always pick them up from. This could be a spot on the couch or their favourite spot on your bed. If they know that this is the spot where they will be picked up from, it can help to make them feel more comfortable with the whole process. Finally, be sure to put them down in a safe place once you have picked them up. This could be back in their spot on the couch or on the floor.

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Picking your cat up can be a positive experience for both of you if you take the time to do it right. By following these tips, you can help to make it an enjoyable experience for both you and your cat.


There are a lot of things to consider when you’re training your cat to enjoy being picked up and handled. Like with all training, it will take time for your cat to get used to being picked up and handled. Be patient and don’t expect results overnight.

Let them decide when they’re ready to be picked up. Forcing them will only make the process harder and increase their stress levels. Whenever your cat does something you want them to, give them a treat or some other form of positive reinforcement. This will help them associate being picked up and handled with something good.

Cats don’t like being manhandled. Handle them gently and with care, and they’ll be more likely to enjoy the experience. If you make being picked up and handled a fun experience for your cat, they’ll be more likely to enjoy it. Try playing games with them while you’re holding them, or offering them some of their favorite treats.

With a little patience and perseverance, you can train your cat to enjoy being picked up and handled. Just go at their pace, use positive reinforcement, and make it a fun experience for them.


Why do some cats dislike being picked up and handled?

Cats are naturally independent animals, and some may feel uncomfortable when their freedom of movement is restricted. Additionally, past experiences or health issues can contribute to their aversion.

Can I teach any cat to enjoy being picked up?

While you can improve most cats’ tolerance for being handled, not all cats will become “lap cats.” Each cat is unique, and some may always prefer their space.

How can I tell if my cat is comfortable with being picked up?

Watch for signs of stress, such as flattened ears, a tense body, or hissing. If your cat shows these signs, it’s best to put them down immediately.

What’s the best way to pick up a cat without causing stress?

To minimize stress, approach your cat calmly, support their body under their chest and hind legs, and lift gently, keeping them close to your body. Gradually extend the time you hold them.

Are there specific techniques to help my cat enjoy being held?

Yes, positive reinforcement can work wonders. Offer treats and praise when your cat allows you to hold them, making the experience more pleasant.

How can I help my cat get used to being handled by others?

Gradual exposure is key. Have friends and family gently handle your cat while offering treats and affection. Over time, your cat may become more comfortable with different people.

What should I do if my cat still resists being picked up despite my efforts?

If your cat consistently resists, respect their boundaries. Not all cats will enjoy being held, and it’s essential to prioritize their comfort and well-being.

Could there be underlying health issues causing my cat’s aversion to being picked up?

Yes, it’s possible. If your cat’s behavior suddenly changes or if they seem in pain, consult your veterinarian to rule out any health problems that might be causing discomfort.




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