How To Pick Up Cats And Kittens

Cats are little wildlings: sometimes difficult to approach, to pet or even pick up. Yet, as wild as they can be, one can get to become friends with them furever.  It just takes patience and a couple rules.
Follow us on the journey to picking up your cat.


Cats act all different around people. Some are nervous or shy, and others are more confident. So it can be tricky to approach them sometimes. Their behavior depends on two things mostly. The first one is their genetics and the other is their exposure to people during their early development.

1. Train your cat first

Kittens have to learn from scratch about relationships with people. They go from adorable little wildlings to purrfect, gentle cats.

The best period for their socialisation is 2-12 weeks of age although learning continues all through their youth. The environment influences kittens:

  • Kittens observe the way their mother behaves around people ;
  • Having their siblings around can help individuals feel more confident ;
  • Play is an important part of their development ;
  • All the experiences a kitten has will affect their development into adult cats.

It is considered that if 5 or more people - of all ages and genders - interact with a kitten, they will become a more confident cat.

Kittens are so cute it is tempting to pick them up to stroke and scratch them. But, it is important to also seize this opportunity to use all kinds of handling with them to insure they consider human relationships as something normal. Therefore, they should be used to being picked up, cuddled, or examined.

2. Get your cat to like you


chat shows signs of love and is stroked by its owner


The main thing to remember with cats is that they won’t adapt to you. Actually, YOU will need to make them trust you, to make them want to meet with you.

First things first, you must let your cat know your friendly intentions to give them confidence. Your body language should be the least threatening possible. Therefore, avoid sudden movements. Do not forget that something that may seem like a normal behaviour to you may not be considered the same by your cat.

Read our article to become best friend with your cat.

Cats like to feel in control and that they are given a choice: come to you, or leave. It is a necessity they always have the option to leave if they do not feel like coming to you. So when greeting a cat, make sure you respect their choice. Never force them to interact with you. Let your cat approach you, do not rush over them. If they let you stroke and pet them, again, you need to respect your cat’s will. You can trust your cat to let you know when they have had enough. Pay attention to the cat body language and respond accordingly. Do not act regardless or it may upset your cat even more. If your cat shows signs of stress or wanting to get away, just stop interaction immediately.

Even though cats and kittens are not wild animals, they love their freedom and like to feel in control. Therefore, it may be challenging to decipher whether or not you can approach them.



cat enjoys being scratched under its chin


Approaching a cat is one thing, but don’t you want to actually pet your cat? Of course, you do. After all, who wouldn’t?

Everyone loves to pet cats. They are big-soft-purring-furballs. Nothing beats their cuteness. Butone must pet a cat carefully. There are untold rules passed down from cat to cat, generation to generation. There is some basic information you should take into consideration if you want to pet your cat. Cats vary on how much they may like interactions, some desire attention and others don't. How cats interact with one another can teach us a lot on how we should interact with them.

1. Understand cat body language


 happy cat lays on the floor ready to play


Cats use their body to communicate. So if you can decipher their body language, and respond accordingly, it is like talking cat. Pay particular attention to their tail moves and ear movement, but don't forget to read their entire body to help know what they are feeling. Besides, the fact you can actually understand your cat’s body language will give your cat more confidence.

2. Signs your cat is happy


relaxed kitten kissed on the head by a young man


The most common way for a cat to express their contentment is purring. However, sometimes it can also express pain or stress. In that case, it is important to look for other signs to make sure the cat is content. If the cat is kneading while purring, then you can be sure the cat is really delighted. For more information, see signs of a happy cat. Understanding a happy cat is great, but it is even better if you can respond accordingly. For example, your tone of voice is important, so talk slowly and gently to your cat. You can take advantage of cats’ guilty pleasure and give them treats or play with your cat. They associate it with positive feelings.

What is the best place to pet a cat

cat loves having its cheeks rubbed

Most of our feline friends love rubs around the head. When cats are rubbing their face on a person, it is another sign of cat happiness. Giving more opportunities to rub their face on you is one way to respond. If you want to pet the cat, there are certain places that are best to start with.. It is better to try stroking cats on the head first, and then to try other parts. Usually, cats like to be pet on their head: under the chin and on the cheek. Remember each cat is an individual and you will need to adapt your petting to what suits them best.

Keep in mind to avoid sudden movements, and to let your cat know your friendly intentions. Also, keep sessions short, and stop immediately if your cat shows any signs of irritation or discomfort. If you stop petting your cat from time to time, you can see how they react. If they stay around, they are likely to be up for another round of petting. If your cat moves their head away, or leaves, you should not insist nor force your cat to interact. It is often better to have short and frequent interactions, rather than long ones.

Cats can be difficult to read, but when you understand them, it is just purrfect. FELIWAY can help both you and your cat be happy together.


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