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Getting an F2 comfortable with being picked up


Savannah Super Cat
Hello, all! I'm back to the well for another round of advice on Cappy, my 4.5 month old F2. His brother Lucky is happiest being carried around, sleeping on necks/shoulders/chests, and riding on dad's shoulder through the house. We can pick him up any time we need to for the vet or to move him quickly.

Sunday, my husband was changing light bulbs in the living room when one fell and shattered. Lucky was easy to herd, but when I tried to pick Cappy up to move him out of the broken glass, he did his usual: whining, kicking with his back paws, and trying his best to climb me. As I was attempting to keep him from being hurt, I took some real damage before I got him into a different room. Granted, I know I can scruff him and transport him that way. That being said, is there a way to ease him into being picked up more regularly? I'm ok if he doesn't like it; I just want to be able to do it when there is a real need without losing any more skin! Cappy is my shy child, and I want to earn his trust with this.

Thanks in advance!


Staff member
Most folks here who are in a similar situation regularly hold their cat for a few seconds and put the animal down before it begins to struggle. They do this several times a day and some of the cats have, over time, become comfortable with being held if even only for short periods. Until that happens though, you have to be able to get him away from unsafe situations without either of you being hurt. You can throw a towel or blanket over him and then pick him up. It works with my schizo F6 and it worked every time when I was doing wildlife rehabilitation and working with animals who could do real damage.

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
Definitely this is the reason that it is good to work on being able to pick up your pets! Broken glass, yikes!

Maybe the best approach in this situation would have been to scruff Cappy but hold him close like you would want to if you weren't scruffing he's still held close but you have a good hold so he can't jump down and so that he wasn't struggling so much.

As Deborah says, taking time every day to just pick him up for a second, holding only for an instant and then putting him down. It then becomes a routine thing rather than an ordeal...

If there is a treat he likes, you could consider picking him up and offering him that treat I guess...then he might associate being picked up with good things?


Savannah Super Cat
I agree with Deb. My two Bengals don't like to be picked up either but i do what she mentioned all the time so they have no problem with me moving them.


Savannah Super Cat
Thanks, all! I will give that a try and report back.

Brigitte, I agree with your assessment -- I should have scruffed him, but acted out of adrenaline/scrambled kitty mom brain! Deborah, until we're comfortable, I'll keep a towel nearby.


Savannah Super Cat
Some cats just don't tolerate being picked up- especially Savannahs. Experiment with ways that he likes to be picked up vs. ways that he doesn't or you can train him to hop in a carrier. I have one that was too squirly so I worked with her to go in a carrier and she would get food or reward.