Handling cats for the first time can be a problem. Before you decide to adopt and care for a cat, it is very important to know how to properly handle and carry them. First thing to know about handling cats is that you should not suddenly walk to an unfamiliar cat and pick her up. What you need to do is to let the cat smell and sniff you. Then you can pet the cat smoothly at the back, running your hand gently to the tail. Give your hand again for the cat to smell, while petting the top of her head once in a while. Do not shout or speak loud. Just relax. The cat can sense if you’re stressed or nervous and might not react well in her first cat handling experience.
Handling Cats the Right Way
What is the proper way of handling cats? You should pick up a very young kitten by the scruff of the neck. If the cat is old enough, you could pick her up using both hands, putting your hand under her chest just behind the front legs while using your forearm for support. Then using your free hand, support the back feet above and behind the paws, cradling the rear of the body to make sure the cat is fully supported. What you want to do is to keep the cat’s limbs in check so you won’t get scratched, while at the same time, making the cat feel comfortable and safe. Handling cats comes easy if your cat is at ease.
Handling cats might not go well the first time. Your cat might be resistant at first, but once you spend more time with her, she will automatically come to you to be pet. Try to get your cat to sit on your lap. When she’s comfortable doing that, you can try picking her up again. A lot of cats love being carried like a baby, facing backwards and their forelegs over your shoulders, while your free hand supporting their hind. However, at first it’s not a good idea. If the cat is spooked, she might dig her back claw in your chest and her front claws in your back to launch herself away from you. If you follow the proper way of handling cats, everything will go out smoothly. Remember that handling cats should be relaxed and smooth.
In handling cats, if you’re not supporting your cat’s hind legs, never pick her up with both hands by the midsection. This will only let their back paws be free to scratch you. You should wear heavy duty gloves and a long sleeved jacket or shirt while handling cats, especially if you’re going to handle an injured cat, a feral cat or a cat prone to scratching and biting. If you’re not used to handling cats, do not try to pick up injured and feral cats. If possible, you can find someone with more experience in handling cats. Never rush into handling a cat.
There are cats that simply don’t like to be handled. After a period of time, giving your cat treats and relaxed petting might help you gain trust, but never assume every cat can be picked up easily on the first try. Handling cats takes time, and chances are that your reluctant cat will eventually come around. Now that you know more about handling cats, maybe you would want to learn more how to travel with cats.