How To Properly Introduce Yourself To (And Pick Up) A Cat

It's always a bit disappointing when a friend's cat wants nothing to do with you. Fair enough if it doesn't want to be touched or held, but as veterinarian Uri Burstyn shows, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you aren't actively contributing to its fear or disinterest.

One thing that's easy to miss in your rush for furry cuddles is to give the cat a chance to check you out. This is one of the first points Dr Burstyn brings up in the video:

When you're approaching a cat, it's nice to introduce yourself, let them sniff your hand. Notice I keep my fingers curled a little bit, so if the cat doesn't really want my company she can't really chomp me.

And while cats are capable of all sort of dangerous, acrobatic feats on their own, you should be gentle when it comes to interacting with them: have to remember, cats can spook very easily, so you want to take it easy with them. They're also much smaller than us, so a light touch typically pays off with a cat.

When it comes time to pick the cat up, here's how Dr Burstyn suggests you go about it:

The key to picking up a cat is to make them feel supported. I always pick up a cat with one hand under the chest, one hand under the abdomen and then we can lift them up gently so they're not hanging down, they're not flopping about.

This is all covered in the first minute-and-a-half of the clip — watch on for even more tips if you can't get the hang of human-cat relations.

How to pick up a cat like a pro — Vet advice on cat handling [YouTube, via Geekologie]


    one hand under the abdomen and then we can lift

    Touch my cat's abdomen, and guess who's going to Emergency to have their face reattached.

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