Help With Kittens That Do Not Like to Be Picked Up?

Category Cats
Making kittens feel safe and comfortable when they don't like to be picked up may take time and gentleness on your part. Try holding them when their are tired. This is a page about help with kittens that do not like to be picked up.


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I recently rescued a beautiful black kitten. He's a little shy, but getting better. However he will not let anyone pick him up. What can we do as this will make it difficult for vet visits, etc.?


May 28, 20180 found this helpful
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Talk to your vet. My friend just went through this and her vet suggested a very mild sedative administered orally 1/2 to 3/4 hour before the vet visit. The tech would then hold Kitty in a soft towel during the exam and all was good. Kitty has had several successful visits with this method. As she gets older, you could try it without the meds and see if she outgrew the fear. Good luck.

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful
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I had this problem with feral cat. A lot of cats just do not like to be picked up. I am not sure why but it is very common. What worked for me was to just pick the kitten up and hold him and love on him.


I would hold him until he started to squirm (about 10 seconds to start). Then I put him down with a pet and some kind words. I would do this several times a day. Over several months he tolerated longer and longer times being held. In 6 months he was over it.

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May 30, 20180 found this helpful
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some cats will never like close contact or being picked up, but the fact that he is getting better at it means that he will most likely improve, especially as his confidence and security improves.

you can train a cat to like certain people better, and all people generally, by having them feed the cat. Ifyour cat is really skittish you can provide food while the person you want the cat to like stands behind a screen door where the cat wont necesarily see the person but will smell the person and then come to associate good things (IE food) with that person


you can have every time a stranger comes into the house offer a treat so the cat can begin to associate good things (IE food) with people in general

you should also put up shelving or tall furniture - cats love being higher than everyone, which maeks them more confident and less skittish.

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June 18, 2017

I have two seal point Siamese boys. I picked them up from a breeder at 8 weeks old. I tried picking them up right from the start, but was received with hissing and cowering. Now at 12 weeks old I can only pet them while they're eating or while I'm playing with them with one of their toys. They have yet to see a veterinarian because of the negative reinforcement I'm sure they'll experience. What can I do get them to trust me?


June 18, 20170 found this helpful
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Pick them up when they are tired and sleepy. Reward them with food or a toy.

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