How to pick up a cat like a pro – Vet advice on cat handling.

Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn I’m a veterinarian in Vancouver BC and I’d like to welcome you to my series of practical skills for pet owners We’re here today with Claudia, she’s a little one-year-old girl cat and We’re gonna have Mr. Pirate joining us a little bit later just to talk a little bit about Proper cat handling. So this might – it’s gonna be a fun little video We’re just going to talk about how to approach and handle a cat You know when I’m in clinics I often see people walking around swinging their cat like this And it really just kind of makes me cringe because that’s not comfortable for the cat or that safe to be honest with you so I just want to kind of go over a little bit how to pick up a cat and different ways of managing them just To make your life a little bit easier You know when you’re approaching a cat, it’s nice to introduce yourself, you know, let them sniff your hand notice I keep my fingers curled a little bit So if the cat doesn’t really want my company she can’t really chomp me when my fingers are curled. So introduce yourself, give them a little bit of a scratch just on the side of the face like that or a little tickle under the chin and There we go. We just made friends with this wonderful little cat If you’re just approaching a cat to just pat them and have fun with them You have to remember that cats can spook very easily. So you do kind of want to take it easy with them They’re also much smaller than us. So a light touch typically pays off with a cat You can tickle them a little bit stroke them But most people try to pick up cats and that’s kind of we get into trouble So the key to picking up a cat safely is to make them feel supported So I always pick up a cat with one hand under the chest one hand under the abdomen and then we can lift them up Sort of even forced gently. So they’re not hanging down. They’re not flopping about. That way they’ll be Comfortable and also that way you’ll be safe because what happens when you have a cat swing free in the air Is, they’ll often start to scramble for purchase they’ll get you with their hind legs. They can do quite a bit of damage I mean and I’ve been scratched quite badly on my forearms just with a with a cat going for a little bit of a paddle with their legs and and Raking me and this is quite common It’s probably the most common way people get scratched either if a cat just feels insecure Tries to grab purchase tries to scramble up onto something out of your hands and that’s when you get a little bit injured It’s very little kids swing cats around can can get a bit of strife that way so just nice and supported hold them up and then if I need to carry a cat around I usually just holding close to my body And again, I’m just squishing them squishing them into myself, you know that way Claudia feels nice and supported I’ll put my hand out here for her put her paws down and you know I can carry her around quite safely like this and and and she won’t want to get away Now if we do have a cat who’s trying to get away from us? We always squish that cat If you’re trying to hold the cat down whether it’s To trim their nails or to give them a pill or whether you just want to have a cat not run off for a moment Squish that cat. All you need to know about cat restraint is to squish that cat again, feel very secure that way and they generally even if they’re really scared like sometimes cats come to me in the clinic and they’re Quite afraid and you just gently squish them and they’ll sit there and kind of not hurt themselves not hurt us Just hang out and let us do our thing If you have a towel handy This is one of the best cat restraint tools around You can just throw a towel in the caddy and squish over the towel that way they won’t get a claw into you if there are scrambling about a bit very safe and gentle and Generally cats are very very happy to be squished like that Now if you have one other thing I want to show you with Claudia. Hey, darling, where you going? Is a football carry. So this is kind of an emergency way. If you really need to carry a cat through somewhere in a hurry and Maybe there’s not much time what you’re gonna do this scoop her up, little football carry just like that. Little head’s under your arm butt in your hand and you squish her tight to your body and with that little football carry You can basically hold a cat very securely and very safely Because it’s really hard for them to rake you with their hind legs If you’re holding them like this just squish them really tight to your body. You don’t have to worry about hurting a cat they’re very very tough little beasts and You know just squish you against your bodies. Never going to do them any harm. In fact, they tend to feel more safe and secure When they’re being held tightly now, I’m just gonna Say goodbye to little Claudia and bring Mr. Pirate in who’s another cat and Show you some shoulder cat techniques Right. So we’re here with Mr. Pirate to demonstrate a behavior that I call shoulder cats So Pirate is a shoulder cat he loves being on shoulders. Some cats This is their favorite position to be in it’s really convenient for your cat like that because they’re really easy to carry around But some people get put off by shoulder cats. So let me show you why All right, Mr. Pirate he’s my handsome little he’s 14 year old boy Very handsome a little bit chubby. Quite beautiful though. Look at that face. Look at that face So notice see how he tried to get up on my shoulder there for a second So when we’re hanging out with pirate his main goal is to get up on my shoulder And that can be a little scary to people because if people are standoffish or if you understand what’s going on He could potentially scratch you because cats will naturally put their claws out to climb. So look at him He’s looking at my shoulder all I have to do is lean down and he’s gonna scramble his way up and a lot of cats are shoulder cats and this is Great Sometimes you’ve gotta be a little bit careful when a cat goes up on your shoulder because it can shoot off behind you and run off And give your back a bit of a scratch or sometimes they try to scramble around the back of your neck but as I said before squishing is your best friend when you’re dealing with a cat so You have a cat on your shoulder. You squish them nice and tight and he’s gonna stay there Now if you’re wearing a jumper or a hoodie – something like a thick jacket Cats can actually climb up on your shoulders and be really comfortable. I’ve seen people walking around town with a cat in their hoodie Usually it’s a good idea to have a harness on them when you do that But this is a really great way to carry a cat around. Now not all cats go for this. But if you do have a cat who insists on being lifted up you basically just lean forward. Let me demonstrate that again Okay Notice, – Oh, I should show you how to put him down as well But if you have a cat who wants to come up you lean forward and he’ll just put himself up and you support his bottom And there you have it and when you try to put him down, often he won’t want to So you have two choices one is just to lean back and they’ll kind of leap off your back not the safest thing. Two, is to support your little cat and just lean forward lean forward lean forward and eventually They’ll right themselves and hang out. So that’s how you deal with a shoulder cat Now I hope you enjoyed this video, please give us a like, feel free to share it, and Just remember to have fun with your cat.


  1. I would have never thought that a youtube video could be this useful. Now, I squish my cats everyday, and they don't mind being held anymore (they used to hate it). Thanks!

  2. "Squish that cat" 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
    Ohhhh… 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
    Mr Pirate says fuck yo jumper! 💯💯💯🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  3. it's real man! infected rodents lose their natural aversion to cat piss. They get eaten because they walk right into the cat's territory. You ever been to some one's place with more than one cat? They lose their aversion to the smell also. Cat's infect their owners. Crazy cat lady is no joke

  4. My cat was a shoulder cat.
    As for picking her up,I eventually discovered safest and likely most comfortable way for both cat and the owner.

    Place your arm underneath the cat.
    Under and along her entire body.
    That way,cat will be lying along your arm.
    Your arm will become like a bed to sleep on,and we all(well former and current cat owners)know how much cats enjoy sleeping or at the very least napping.
    Use your other arm as well as your open fist to provide support for her legs.
    Gently bring her close to your chest.
    Unless she is in a REALLY bad mood,cuddling can begin.😺

    From my experience that works with femcats.
    As for male cats,I have no idea.
    Be even more gentle,least you accidentally squash certain something a "bit"😹too much,leaving your poor cat sterile and stuff.

  5. man this makes me feel bad, me and my family were so ignorant when we had cats, its no wonder our first cat got kidney failure :/ but after learning so much about them, i really wanna get another cat, but i feel i need to get a bigger apartment and learn to take care of myself better xD cause how can i take care of a cat if i cant take care of myself yanno

  6. 3:00 – 3:25 "Cats 🐱 really loves/happy to be squished 💘 like that" (3:18)

    I knew cats were into bdsm especially male cats has spikes on their penises yikeS monkaS dude.

  7. Wow. That is really interesting and helpful. There is a cat where I am staying in, called Sam. I picked Sam up, and petted it. This happened just now. I figured out on my own to squeeze Sam. It becomes more calm and quiet. It seemed to enjoy being squeezed. This video does show that squeezing helps. It refers to the action as squishing, but it is the same thing. Squeezing causes a feeling of deep pressure. It feels good, and it can calm an animal down. Squeezing works on cattle. A cow or bull is so big that it is hard for a human to squeeze it. So there is a machine to squeeze it instead. It is called a squeeze machine. Squeezing works on humans too. They normally use hugs to squeeze each other. Humans with autism tend to use other methods. They can use weighted items or tight spaces. There is even a squeeze machine, which is similar to the kind used for cattle. Now I learned that squeezing works on cats. So picking up a cat correctly is like giving it a hug. Cats are more closely related to cattle than humans, so it seems legit. One animal that is really closely related to cats is dogs. So squeezing a dog may work too. It seems that a cat may act with aggression due to fear as opposed to anger. This is very understandable. I would be scared if someone picked me up high above the ground with a risk of falling. So of course a cat would lash out. Cats use their claws to hang onto branches while climbing trees. So a cat would claw a human in attempt to hang on and not fall. The fear would lead to aggressive behavior. This is dangerous. So it is good to squeeze the cat while picking it up. It feels more secure so it is less likely to lash out in fear. It is good to give the cat security, so it won't do dangerous moves to get it. Squeezing is good for soothing anxiety in general. People with autism can have serious problems with anxiety. Methods to squeeze them without human interaction can help them a lot. It is therapy. I have such an interesting insight in cat psychology.

  8. 1:03 “And there we go, we just made friends with this wonderful little cat.”

    Clawdia (Claudia): No, we are not.

    2:59 “-And you just gently squish them.”

    Clawdia: Viewers, after this video please call the police.

    4:54 “Look at that face, LOOK AT THAT FACE.”

    Mister pirate: Somebody stop him!

  9. s̴̡̨̝̘ͣ̂q̨̳̞̹̺̂ͬ̀͞ũ̵̶͚͈͉͙͒ͦ̃͌̔͋ͮi͚̼̪̗̗͉͓͍̿̉̑͊͑ͫ̈̽͘͞͠ș͇̹̃̒͟ḥ̢̩͉̎̄̀̀͘ ͈̦̤̲͋ͨ̋ͣͩ͝t̟̠̫̮̘̻͔̜̙̀̓͊͋ͦ͘ḧ̶͙̤͇̲͕̲́ͬ̆ͩ̀͘e͈̝̻͍͖̩͎ͧͪ͌̍ͫͨ̽̚͘ ̗̥̲̪ͭ̿͂̆͘͟͠c̵̸̮̩͚̖̈̌̔ͦͫ͂ͧa͓̠͎̫̪̺͔͇ͯͬ̓̕͟͢ͅt̬̝̪̖̤ͩͥͦ́̕ͅ

  10. One of my cats likes to be petted in my shoulder, I thought that was weird but now I realize is very common 😂😂😂

  11. I'm learning to become a vet and please I'm praying I'll get there one day because there's absolutely nothing I adore more than looking after animals.

  12. My cat loves to be held but I pick her up a different way. I stretch out my left arm and put her body over it holding her back feet secure then use my other arm to hold her chest and front legs. So I’m letting the cat be sort of laying on my arms as a platform while still holding her close. Works well. I don’t like when people hold cats hanging down limbs at all. So I make sure my kitty feels secure with legs tucked on my arms as I carry her around.

    Great video. Good information.

  13. That cat is an actor my cats never stay they run away and hide under the couch by the way what the heck cats don’t like getting squished

  14. Problem that i got is

    1st – why i'm watching this, i don't have cat

    2nd – most comments got 1k likes and so on with very least reply (is this glitch?)

  15. My cat always puts "me" on his shoulder and I don't mind that so much, but I bloody hate it when he starts squishing me!

  16. Very useful tip with the cat squishing. My sister’s cat hates my mom’s cat, so we keep them separate. One day my mom forgot to close the door and my sister’s cat wanted to fight. I got him to calm down by doing the squishy thing. It does work! Thanks! :3

  17. My neighbour’s cat really likes me, often comes to our deck. But I don’t like her to come inside our house. She still tries to sneak in even she knows I don’t like her come in. She will walk out quickly once I see her. Very funny cat.

  18. I pick mine up and hold them with both hands and let their front paws rest on my shoulder. I don't mind if their claws are stuck in me.

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