This post will show you why your cat won’t let you hold it and what you can do about it.

So, why won’t my cat let me hold it? The most likely reasons why your cat won’t let you hold it are that it doesn’t like the way you hold it, it does not like being picked up or injury.

There are multiple possible reasons why your cat won’t let you hold it and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why won’t my cat let me hold them?

Below are a number of possible reasons and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

It does not like being picked up

The reason why your cat won’t let you hold it could be that it naturally does not like being picked up. This would be more likely if your cat has always bitten or scratched you when being picked up and it even does it when you pick it up very gently.

Injury

The reason why your cat has been doing it could also be that it is injured. This would be more likely if your cat has stopped letting you pick it up suddenly, if it has been showing other signs of being in pain or if your cat has been behaving unusually in other ways as well. If it does seem like injury could be the cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Intimidation

It might also be the case that it gets fearful when you pick your cat up. This would be more likely if it tends to stop you from holding it more when you approach it quickly, when you pick it up forcefully and if it often bites when you do not pick it up as well.

You have been picking it up the wrong way

It could also be the case that the way you have been picking it up has been painful for it. This would be more likely if you have been picking it up quickly or forcefully and it does not stop you when you pick it up gently.

Surprise

The cause might also be that your cat was not expecting you to pick it up. This would be more likely if it only stops you when you pick it up suddenly or when you pick it up from behind.

Previous experiences

The reason might also be that someone mistreated it in the past, causing it to not like allowing people to hold it. This would be more likely if you adopted it as an adult and if your cat does not let you touch it at all. 

It might also be the case that you hurt it when you held it before and now it does not want you to hold it again. This would be more likely if it stopped letting you hold it suddenly after you hurt it.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your cat has been doing it.

If your cat has always stopped you from holding it

If your cat did not always stop you from holding it, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it might be the case that there was an event that caused your cat to start doing it. Possible causes could be that you started picking it up more forcefully or because it got an injury.

What is different when your cat does not stop you from holding it

If your cat does not always stop you from holding it, it would help to consider what is different when it does not stop you. For example, if it does not stop you when you pick it up in a certain way, it might be the case that the issue is with the way you have been picking it up.

What to do about your cat not letting you hold it

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Take it to a vet

If your cat has started doing it suddenly, your cat has been showing other signs of being injured or you are not sure why your dog has been doing it, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular cat and to see whether or not injury is the cause.

Pick it up gently

If you have been picking it up quickly or holding it forcefully, it would help to avoid doing so and to pick it up slowly and gently instead.

Be calm with it

It could also be the case that it bites because the way you interact with it when you pick it up, causes it to become fearful. Instead, it would help to be calm when interacting with it and to avoid picking it up forcefully.

Why won’t my cat let me hug it?

It is common for cats to feel intimidated or threatened when being hugged. The reason why your cat doesn’t want to be hugged is likely to be that it finds it intimidating. Instead, it would help to encouraging it to come over and rub itself against you by petting it the way it seems to like the most.

Author

I created and currently run Kitty Cat Tips, the website that you can go to when you have questions about your cat's behavior. It's my hope that you find Kitty Cat Tips to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your cat. You can read more about me and my website here.