The charm of cats is that they’re temperamental, as likely to bite as to purr when you reach for them. There may come a time when you have developed a close enough relationship with your feline that it at least signals when it’s about to attack. In that case, why not carry it around like a baby?
Veterinarian Dr Uri Burstyn has a series of videos on handling animals on YouTube under his secondary identity as the Helpful Vancouver Vet. Even if you don’t have a cat, I recommend watching them, because they are incredibly soothing.
One of his most popular videos about handling cats received many comments from folks asking if it’s OK to hold their cats like babies. The people want to know.
By “holding like a baby”, they mean flipped over on their back in the crook of your arm. My cats very generously allow me to carry them around the apartment like this, perhaps even letting me stroke their bellies. It is an honour and a privilege. But Dr Burstyn warns that you should never do this with a cat you don’t trust. He demonstrates with his pal Pirate as another cat, Lancelot, looks on.
The reason you can’t just grab any cat baby-style is obviously because you’re turning the pointy ends towards your face, and a cat that doesn’t like this position or who is easily started will use your face as a ladder to escape. He also warns they “may not appreciate” this hold if they have a sore back. Why does your poor kitty have a sore back?! It isn’t a pack animal!
Speaking from personal experience, you should also be sensitive to your cat’s mood. If they start to twist and look around, or try to sit up, it means they want to be put down. Respect these signals, before they signal by clawing your eyes out.