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

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06:53   |   May 01, 2018


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


  • 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.

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Dr. Burstyn and his feline friends demonstrate how to pick up a cat in a way that is comfortable for the cat and safe for you. A must watch for anyone with a feline in the family.

Please support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HVVet
Some cute SquishThatCat merch: https://www.redbubble.com/people/arbutuswest?asc=u

SquishThatCat: /watch?v=OAGfx7eB3gA
Is it ok to carry a cat like a baby?: /watch?v=-wRdQmYXc8M
Cat names that get your cat's attention: /watch?v=P3N76oGdj3I
How to trim a cat's nails: /watch?v=o1XisXBVe8g
How not to pick up your cat: /watch?v=wNeLaH-2IJg

In Vancouver, BC? You can meet Dr. Uri and his team at:

Arbutus West Animal Clinic - www.awac.ca
Vancouver East Veterinary Clinic - www.vancouvereast.vet