A Vet Explains How to Pick Up Your Cat Like a Pro (Bye Bye Scratches)

Cat owners know that these little furry friends are not always willing to be picked up. Sometimes, you just try to pick up your pet and you end up with a big red scratch on your face. Cats don’t really care if you have to take them to the vet or whatever. Picking up and carrying a cat can be a simple operation (and safe, you really don’t need to get scratched). But for that to happen, Dr. Uri Burstyn, a veterinarian from Canada, told us what his secret is.

Bright Side found out everything about Dr. Uri Burstyn’s technique on how to pick up a cat correctly and wrote this article for you in the hopes that we will save you from getting scratched next time you have to take your cat somewhere!

Start by checking whether or not your pet is willing to be picked up.

A Vet Explains How to Pick Up Your Cat Like a Pro (Bye Bye Scratches)

Whether it is because you want to express your love for your cat or because you actually have to hold it to give it some medicine, carrying them is a delicate operation. Still, everything can go just fine and you can manage not to be scratched if you do things right. The trick is pretty simple, and actually quite straightforward: you have to make your cat feel comfortable and safe before and while it is in your arms.

And what would be the very first thing you’d expect someone to do if they want to hold you? The first thing you have to make sure of is that your pet agrees to be held. Start by approaching your cat cautiously. That way, he or she will be able to first sniff your fingers. Also, if you’re afraid of getting scratched, you can just pull them away.

The goal is to pet the cat. Try doing this on its cheeks or under its chin, always gently. If you see your cat is happy and accepts you petting them, you can proceed and hold it. If not, it is better to just leave it alone.

Pick up technique #1: Chest and abdominal grip

A Vet Explains How to Pick Up Your Cat Like a Pro (Bye Bye Scratches)

The veterinarian says that “the key to picking up a cat safely is to make them feel supported.” We can do that by placing one hand on the cat’s chest while the other hand is on its abdominal area. Then slowly lift the kitty up. By lifting up the cat in this way, it will not be hanging from its armpits.

As long as it feels comfortable, the cat will not feel compelled to “kick” in the air with its hind legs, which also lessens your chances of being scratched. Now, if we want to prevent it from running away, the secret is to put a bit of pressure on it. If you already have the cat in your arms, it is recommended to hold it close to your body.

Then, if you need for it to be still, for example, so you can cut its nails or something like that, you can just hold it closer to your body. Don’t be afraid of doing this, because the cat will not only not feel pain, it will actually feel protected and safe, so it will stop moving.

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