Anonymous asked in PetsCats · 1 month ago

Can an adopted cat be trained to like being picked up if he isn’t used to being held?

I got him at 1 years old and have had him for 5 months now and he almost always cries whenever I pick him up and tries to jump away no matter who holds him. Doesn’t seem like he’s been held much by his original owner. 

I have 2 other cats who absolutely love being held, but were held as kittens. Is it too late to train him? Not sure if I should try and hold him more or just let him be. 

5 Answers

  • Shay
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    You can get some cats to adjust to being held and other cats will never want to actually be held.

    First of all, are you standing when you pick up the cat - if so - stop that.

    Try this:  Make sure you are sitting someplace and when the cat comes near you, pet him.  Try to get him to lay down beside you and let you pet him while you sit there.  Avoid actually holding him and see if he accepts attention while being next to you.  Once the cat accepts that, then pick the cat up and hold him on your lap while you pet him.  As soon as he tries to get away - let him go.  Do this several times per day.  When he realizes that holding is a form of attention, he might begin to accept it.  If you are trying to force him to stay longer, his first reaction is always going to be wanting to leave, so never force him to stay if he doesn't want to.  

    Once the cat accepts being held when you are sitting, you might be able to hold the cat when you stand.  Don't try it until the cat is comfortable with being held while you are sitting down.  

    I do have one cat that I could never get adjusted to liking to be held.  She is SO bad that if we pick her up while standing, she will pee out of fright.  If we are sitting down, she will come up beside us and let us pet her and she purrs happily - but the minute anyone tries to hold her, she leaves.  (and if we force it - she pees out of fright.)  We found her when she was about 4 months old.  We found out that she had belonged to a neighbor but the neighbor tossed her out and stopped feeding her because she scratched one of their kids.  She is a very loving and affectionate cat - as long as no one actually tries to pick her up.  We have had her for 13 years now even though she can't stand to be held because she is so adorable in other ways.  (she will even crawl into bed with us, get under the covers, and snuggle up beside us - as long as no one tries to actually pick her up)  

  • Rita
    Lv 6
    2 weeks ago

    It's definitely possible to teach your cat to tolerate being picked up more, but depending on her temperament and socialisation when young, she may not ever really enjoy it.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Sure. Kitties are intelligent. She just doesn't know what you're doing. Pick her up several times a day, talk to her & pet her. She'll soon like that.

  • ?
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    Some cats are 'feet on the floor' cats. 

    The cat I have now is virtually velcro-ed to me whenever I sit down, follows me up and downstairs - but picked up and held? Nope. 

    In fact, I can only think of one cat I've ever had that allowed it. Over the years, that's one out

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  • 1 month ago

    I would let him be in regards to picking him up, and instead let him come to you. If you're sitting down or lying down, you could try to coax him into sitting in your lap and stuff, then giving him pets and scratches, which may lead him to getting comfortable enough to the point where being held is ok eventually. But I would just take things slow and not try to force him into doing something like this that he doesn't like, or he may grow up to resent you. That's just me though. I've also heard some people say you shouldn't pick up cats at all. 

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