Have you ever wondered why your cat hates being picked up?
Some cats like to be held, but others try to wiggle the moment you hug them.
So, today we’re going to explore 7 reasons why your cat doesn’t like it when you hold them.
7 Reasons Why Cats Hate Being Held
Picking your cat up and holding their purring bodies to your chest is one of the perks of being a cat owner.
It relaxes you and makes your worries and anxiety disappear for a couple of minutes.
Unfortunately, some cats barely tolerated being held and do the impossible to avoid your cuddling attempts.
So, are you doing something wrong, or is your cat strange? Let’s find out together.
#1 Your Cat Is Scared
Imagine that you’re as small as your cat and going on your business when somebody picks you up without warning.
How would you feel? Scared is the first thing to come to mind.
Some cats hate being picked up because the whole experience is too terrifying for them.
I’m talking about cats who startle easily by loud noises or sudden movements and dash to hide whenever they feel threatened.
Unfortunately, some kitties are shy and easy to spook by nature, and you can’t do much to change their personality.
For some, getting picked up by humans is too close to being attack by predators, so they’re never going to enjoy it.
If your cat seems genuinely afraid when you pick them up, you should leave your kitty on the ground.
Let them approach you on their terms to avoid getting scratched or antagonizing your cat.
#2 Your Cat Isn’t Well-Socialized
Another reason why your cat hates being picked up is a lack of socialization.
You might think that socialization is a puppy thing, but it’s an essential kitten care tip as well.
If a young kitten doesn’t get exposed to humans early in their life, they might be wary and shy around people.
Cats who hadn’t had positive human interactions usually see your petting and cuddling attempts as something dangerous.
They don’t understand that you show your affection and love by holding them and would claw their way out of your hands if they have to.
Fortunately, unsocialized cats might turn to like being held if you put effort into making it a very positive experience.
Give your cat plenty of treats as long as kitty doesn’t struggle and put her down when she wants to.
#3 Your Cat Feels Disrespected
Cats love to observe the world from up high, but only when they get there on their free will.
Pick them up and place them on the counter or the chair, and they will give you the stinky eye.
So, some cats feel like you don’t respect their climbing abilities when you pick them up to hold them.
They prefer to reach their destitution by themselves and feel offended that you think they need your help to do it.
What you can do in these situations is to put more vertical space in your house and let your cat come to your eye level by themselves.
#4 Your Cat Feels Restricted
When you pick your cat up, you do it with good intentions. You want to cuddle Kitty and show how much you love her.
But your embrace might still feel like a cage to your cat, especially if you tend to snuggle them close to your chest.
All cats hate it when they’re restricted and can’t go wherever they want to go.
That’s why they despise closed doors and spend so much time scratching and meowing at you to open them.
Usually, former stray cats need a lot more space than cats who have never lived on the streets.
These cats need to feel that they’re in control of the situation and don’t like feeling trapped in your arms.
So, if a cat feels that you’re restricting their movements, they’ll struggle to get free for your loving embrace.
Fortunately, you can turn them into lap cats with enough patience, time, and rewards.
#5 Your Cat Has Had a Negative Experience
Another reason why your cat hates being held is a traumatic experience in the past.
While cats don’t form memories as we do, positive and negative events leave their mark and shape your cat’s behavior.
Adopted or rescued cats have a history that you can’t possibly know.
Some of these cats might have been through something that has made them afraid of people picking them or holding them.
You have to understand that it’s not only about abusive situations.
A cat who was startled by a loud sound while being held in someone’s arms might also hate being picked up and carried around.
In these situations, you can work on making your cat understand that being picked up equals good things.
However, abused or maltreated cats might never trust humans completely. That’s something you have to accept.
#6 Your Cat Is in Pain
Does your cat suddenly hate being picked up and meows whenever you try to do it? Then your cat might be in pain.
Whenever a pet deviates from their established patterns and behavior, it’s usually a sign of illness.
Your cat might have fallen while jumping and hurt their stomach or back.
If your pet has access to the outside world, someone might have kicked your kitty, or stray dogs might have attacked them.
So, you should make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible if your cat seems in pain.
#7 It’s a Breed Thing
Finally, some cat breeds are more likely to hate being picked up than others.
For example, Ragdolls are one of the most laid-back cats, and they love it when you hold them.
They usually get limp whenever somebody picks them up, hence their name.
On the other hand, Abyssinian and Bengals don’t like cuddles, and some people even consider them an aggressive cat breed.
Persians also don’t like climbing as much as other cats. They prefer to keep their paws on the ground and nap on the couch.
Don’t sweat it too much if your cat hates being picked up. Some cats are just too shy, reserved, or dignified to allow a human to carry them around.
Respect your cat’s boundaries and let them approach you on their terms.
Otherwise, your cat will avoid your hands whenever they think you’re about to pick them up. That will make taking your cat to the vet mission impossible.