My cat doesn't like to be held

angel

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i had a cat that did not like being picked or held
 

Jerseymeow

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Have you watched the Vancouver Vet's YouTube video on Squish That Cat? Number one, it's adorable because the vet is adorable. But also I try to keep that mantra in mind when I have to carry or restrain my kitty. Sure, it's not going to work on every cat; he demonstrates on an unusually placid cat. My kitty, while cuddly (she will crawl into my arms to be held on a daily basis), does not like to be picked up or restrained against her will. But just now, I had to carry her downstairs for safety reasons, and I noticed that by hugging her more securely (while supporting her backside), she tolerated it longer before starting to wiggle.

I do randomly pick her up every so often just so she is used to it and so getting picked up isn't always associated with being taken somewhere she doesn't like.
I also found the Vancouver Vet You Tube Channel very helpful. And, he seems like such a nice guy.
 

Rooker

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Start with making her jump into your lap or sit down on the floor and lure her over to your lap with food. Not just regular food but something she absolutely loves and cannot resist. Some people try the beef baby food and say that works miracles. A little on the spoon or finger should do it. Do 5 minute sessions every day and only give her this food when you are doing this particular training. I believe she just has bad experience being held and it will take time to gain her trust. But every cat can be trained with positive training. Maybe even get a clicker and click her whenever she gets closer to your lap/in your lap. Soon you will see baby steps of improvement. Good luck!!!
 

Jerseymeow

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Start with making her jump into your lap or sit down on the floor and lure her over to your lap with food. Not just regular food but something she absolutely loves and cannot resist. Some people try the beef baby food and say that works miracles. A little on the spoon or finger should do it. Do 5 minute sessions every day and only give her this food when you are doing this particular training. I believe she just has bad experience being held and it will take time to gain her trust. But every cat can be trained with positive training. Maybe even get a clicker and click her whenever she gets closer to your lap/in your lap. Soon you will see baby steps of improvement. Good luck!!!
I have a "shelter" cat that is extremely timid. Forget being held, I can't even go too close to her. She likes her personal space. We are in week 6. She has calmed down a lot, and will let me sit nearby. Since she likes to eat, I will try this!
 

Jerseymeow

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I have a "shelter" cat that is extremely timid. Forget being held, I can't even go too close to her. She likes her personal space. We are in week 6. She has calmed down a lot, and will let me sit nearby. Since she likes to eat, I will try this!
I tried this with SARDINES. Mimi looked at the sardines, and turned her back on me and moved as far away as she could. I put the sardines in her bowl. She ate them after I left the room. :)
 

Jeffk

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I tried this with SARDINES. Mimi looked at the sardines, and turned her back on me and moved as far away as she could. I put the sardines in her bowl. She ate them after I left the room. :)
it just takes time. I haven’t gone back to see what else you tried but with our very timid girl, we kept her in the spare bedroom. My wife and I took turns at just sitting quietly in the room, completely ignoring her. After a couple of weeks, we started sleeping in there at night as well (taking turns so our other cats didn't get left out). We also started with the food bowl on the opposite side of the room and over the weeks kept putting it down closer and closer to us.

The key in the early stages was not to try and interact with her but just be present while ignoring her, and letting her figure it out in her own time.
 

Pogica Dallyca

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My situation is a little different. Both my cats are okay with being held for a short time but they are not lap cats. The girl is 4 years old, she's very independent and can only take few minutes of petting. Once she gets over stimulated then she bites. Our 8 month boy is the opposite, he loves being pet. They occasionally would snuggle in bed with us, but other than that, they would rather sit somewhere else other than our laps or next to us... Will eventually they enjoy sitting on our laps? We've had the girl for over a year and we just got the boy 2.5 weeks ago.
 

NY cat man

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My situation is a little different. Both my cats are okay with being held for a short time but they are not lap cats. The girl is 4 years old, she's very independent and can only take few minutes of petting. Once she gets over stimulated then she bites. Our 8 month boy is the opposite, he loves being pet. They occasionally would snuggle in bed with us, but other than that, they would rather sit somewhere else other than our laps or next to us... Will eventually they enjoy sitting on our laps? We've had the girl for over a year and we just got the boy 2.5 weeks ago.
Will your cats eventually become lap cats? Possibly yes, but not definitely so. For example, our oldest cat, around 10 years old, has always been a lap cat, and we can pick him up and hold him without any issues. The next oldest, around 9, has never been a lap cat, and if we attempt to pick her up, the claws will be deployed. The next 3, littermates, are around 8 years, and one can be picked up briefly, and 2 of them are sometime lap cats. The youngest is around 6 years old, and we have had her for just over 2 years now. She is a total lap cat, and can be held, again, without issues. These were street ferals, so your results may differ. All you can do is be patient and allow your cats to proceed at their own pace, and they just might become the lap cats you desire- or not.
 
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