by Ruth

Picking up a cat the right way makes him feel comfortable and confident in you. Place one hand on his chest just behind his front legs and the other behind his back end, cradling him to make a sort of seat. Lift him up slowly and gently.

Poster by Ruth. Click on this thumbnail
to see a poster sized image.

Imagine a giant coming along and suddenly scooping you up into the air, no matter if you knew that giant well it would probably upset you and leave you indignant and resentful.

To cats, we are giants!

Picking up a cat the wrong way causes him stress, discomfort and can even cause serious injury.

Some people argue that picking a cat up by his scruff isn’t unkind because mother cats do it to their kittens. This is true, but the hand of a human being is nothing like the mouth of a mother cat who knows exactly how and where to hold her babies.

Young kittens go into a relaxed pose when picked up by their mother.

Older kittens and adult cats need their whole body supported.

Picking a cat up around his middle is uncomfortable for him and children should never be allowed to carry a cat around that way. Even the mildest tempered cat may struggle and wriggle and scratch and the child would probably drop him.

Children need to be taught that cats are not toys, they are living feeling beings and they should be treated with respect.

Picking a cat up by his front legs is very dangerous and liable to cause him at the very least serious injury to his shoulders and possibly internal injuries too.

Imagine the whole weight of his body on those front legs! Yes, unfortunately there are people who think it’s OK to lift a cat that way!

Some people seem to think that moving a cat away with their foot from where they don’t want him to be is acceptable.

I saw a video recently which would have been nice but was ruined at the very beginning by this happening.

The person defended his action saying he hadn’t hurt the cat. Maybe not but why couldn’t he just gently move the cat with his hands? Would he like a giant foot to move him along himself? I think not!

I think that those people who treat cats as objects need to get down on the floor and experience life from that position.

It’s a big world from so low on the ground and we are huge looming creatures to our cats.

All cats deserve to be treated gently, kindly and with respect.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Comments for

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May 04, 2012 Good one NEW
by: Edward

Another good one man I love your blogs and posters as well they are very educational.

It breaks my heart if I see anyone not handling a cat right and it might be because they dont know how to.


May 04, 2012 Thank you NEW
by: Ruth

Thank you for your kind comments.

I think most regulars who come to PoC are kind and knowledgeable about cats, but someone may come along sometime who doesn’t know how to treat cats properly. I always hope their cats have a better life through those people reading my articles or seeing the posters and learning something new.

I wish animal care was taught in schools.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Apr 30, 2012 A lesson to learn about our furry purry friends ! NEW
by: Anonymous

Ruth :

I always enjoy reading your articles giving new perspectives/lessons on caring for our special purry/furry friends.

One of our rescues,Keke, was a large, gorgeous Russian Blue. My mother was visiting us & Keke loved her. As I picked him up she gave me a scolding lesson on how NOT to pick him up. Sweetie, think about how you could literaly pull his front legs out of joint, Keke’s a large heavy cat, always place your hand(s) underneath his butt for 2 reasons:

1 Keke will feel secure & relaxed.

2 You won’t be pulling his legs out of joint or worse.

That was in 1986 & I still hear her everytime I’m about to lift any cat.

A cat lover/rescuer/helper for OVER 50 yrs


Southeast Arizona (USA)

Apr 30, 2012 handling cats NEW
by: Dorothy

Thank you Ruth. This is so helpful. You are a great source of information, both visual and otherwise.


Apr 30, 2012 Great article and poster NEW
by: Rose

I saw that video Ruth and was very angry,I hate people who move cats with their legs or feet or any object come to that.I once saw a woman move her cat with a walking stick and it really upset me.

Poor little cats,it’s just pot luck if they end up with someone who cares enough to learn about cat care or someone who thinks they know it all anyway or someone who doesn’t care at all,those sort just want to posess a cat.

Apr 30, 2012 Very important NEW
by: Barbara

This is an important piece of cat care that it often overlooked Ruth, so I’m glad you’ve done this article and another really good poster. Even those who consider themselves cat lovers can sometimes make the basic mistake of picking a cat up in a way that could at least cause discomfort to the cat and at worst cause injury. I well remember seeing someone some years ago picking a cat up under the “armpits” like a child and cringing at the thought of how that must feel to the cat. Likewise round the tummy must feel very uncomfortable to a cat, particularly one with a full tummy. And picking up by the scruff though domne by mother cats is very different when done to a fully grown and heavy cat. A little bit of thought is all that is needed, putting ourselves in our cats place and imagining what would be the best way to do such things as lifting, dosing with medicines etc is so simple.”Do as you would be done by” isn’t a bad maxim to keep in mind.

Barbara avatar

Apr 30, 2012 I love them NEW
by: Mrs M

Ruth I love your educational articles on cat care and your posters too.

It astounds me how so many people who say they love cats are ignorant about the simplest things to do with them, just basics like how to lift them.

A lot of cats must live fearful or miserable lives because of the lack of knowledge of their owners.

Well done for trying to educate a few.

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