Handling Cats Safely and Lovingly
There is nothing quite as calming as cuddling your kitty, but handling cats needs to be done carefully or you may injure them – or yourself.
Often your cat will enjoy being patted, but cats also live life on their own terms and there are times when your cat will not be interested in affection.
As a cat owner, it is important to learn to distinguish when they are in the mood for snuggles and when they are not.
Tips for Handling Cats
There are several tips that a caring owner should know about handling cats:
- First, consider your cat’s body language – do they appear relaxed?
- Earn the cat’s confidence by patting it or talking to it so you have its attention.
- Once the cat appears comfortable with you, you can pick it up.
- It is best to scoop the cat up by placing one hand on their chest under their front legs and use your other hand to cradle their hind legs.
- Then bring the cat in close to your body so it feels secure.
- It is best not to move around very much when handling cats to avoid frightening it.
Tips on Kids Handling Cats
Many children adore animals and are very eager to try handling cats; here are a few tips to help keep the children and the cat safe:
- Children should be supervised when handling cats at all times.
- They should sit down with the cat to pet them as there is a risk they may drop it, or the child may also get scratched or bitten if they frighten the animal.
- Demonstrate how to carefully pet the cat and ensure they understand they need to be gentle.
Don’ts for Handling Cats
There are a couple of things that you should definitely not do when you are handling cats:
- Although you may see mother cats do it, you should never pick a cat up by the scruff of its neck – it may become injured.
- Cradling a cat like a baby is also unwise as it may feel vulnerable and you stand a good chance of being bitten or scratched.
Tips on Handling Cats with Affection
Cats love to have their ears gently scratched or massaged and they also enjoy a tickle under the chin.
They will often enjoy being stroked along the length of their back and having a scratch on their back at the base of their tail.
Cats do not generally enjoy having their fur brushed backwards, having their whiskers or paws played with.
When handling cats the key is to watch your kitty’s body language and be sensitive to any signs they are not enjoying your attention or affection.