Cats hold their infants behind their heads with their mouth. We can also hold kittens easily in that way. But as they grow and gain weight, I don't think it remains proper way to lift. I usually hold the cats by their shoulder and lift like we lift a baby or child. Is it a proper way?


In my opinion the best way is to either carry them 'Lion King' style over short distances, or to gently grab them by the feet, and while enclosing your arms, to let the lay down on one of your hands, while you secure/pet them with the other.

My cats usually enjoy the lion king lift and offer little, to no resistance, which means they like it.

The other way is good but they sometimes resist. Probably due to heat issues.

You can also try carrying them around like babies. They also like that.

It's the "Don't"s that are more important than the "Do"s.

You should not lift a cat by the head, for obvious reasons.

You should not lift them by the tummy since they tend to overeat. Will you like someone to push you on the stomach after a visit to grandma?

By the tail, since it's a sensitive part, connected to the spine.

Hand around their neck, since you strange them.

By their feet, since they feel powerless and it's also painful, sometimes, for them.

If you avoid the "Don't"s you'll be OK.

  • Great answer :) I always pick my cat up with two hands: one under its front arms, and one lifting his feet (to reduce front-side pressure when lifting). Although, you say lifting by their feet could be painful for them; mind explaining more about this? Should I change the way I pick up my cats? They don't seem to mind it at all, unless they're in a playful mood
    – Dioxin
    Aug 19 '14 at 15:52
  • I know that lion king style is bad for dogs because their hips hang loose. Not positive about cats but I'd think the same thing.
    – jeremy
    Aug 19 '14 at 16:02
  • I don't have a cat, but everytime I see my friend's cat, it loves to be picked up and carried around like a baby. She sometimes wiggles around in a way saying that she doesn't want picked up, but that is always the best way that I have found for picking up a cat. Aug 19 '14 at 16:07
  • Most cats don't like the 'baby' hold in my experience. It puts them in a vulnerable position. Cats like being able to see everything going on around them. May 10 '15 at 4:37

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