How to pick up a cat so that it won't murder you in your sleep

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I love the term “Shoulder Cat”!


Fun and cute kitties. Mr. Pirate looked cute with his hind legs played out while on the doctor’s shoulder.



Oh, please. That was obviously a stunt cat - way too friendly, calm, and professional to fool me. Just once, I’d like to see a video of a vet with a squirming, biting, ball of fur with claws fully extended and ready for action.

What happens in my vet’s office? The cat gets away. Every time. She then squeezes between furniture and the wall, and it takes a tag-team effort to catch her, put her on the table, and keep her there for the entire exam.


All I could think is, nope, shoulder is too close to my face and neck…

Docile and friendly cats make handling look so easy.


Tongs? No?

Best bet is to simply assume you’ll be wearing chainmail pajamas for the rest of your / the cat’s life.


Squish the kitty!


I recommend one of those pizza shovels they use with fired brick ovens


You know there’s a Trump joke in here, right?


Where are you guys getting your psycho cats? You know, if you get them from death row, they never forget that you saved them from the gas.

The cats in my ‘hood are completely violated 24/7 by lots of little kids’ fingers. By the time they wander into my yard, they just want some peace and quiet.


All of our cats are strays that have invited themselves. They all have wildly varying ways they react to being picked up, petted, etc., from ‘I will shred you unless you touch me exactly right’ to ‘Human! make your lap available. You may pet me now.’
I have never had a cat react well to being at a vet clinic.


Depends on the cat, and the vet.
I knew one committed shoulder cat. She was small and would leap/climb/allow herself to be lifted onto shoulders and then walk long them, sometimes licking your ear. Another cat didn’t like being held at all, but was happy to be stroked, and would sit next to you with his tail in contact with youL his way of petting you.
One of the current cats is immensly strong, and very difficult to hold against his will–yet the vet manages to keep hi calm even while subjecting him to indignities with thermometers. A previous vet though, didn’t seem to get on with small animals at all. You sort of wondered why he became a vet! (We changed clinics).


One of my cats growls and hisses at the vet, and tries to squeeze herself between the furniture and the wall. She also purrs really loud and gives the best snuggles. The other one just loves the praise for being a good kitty so she keeps a cool and adorable head about it. But she also can’t leave us alone at night because she’s anxious without us. Cats are complex little beings. And I love them.


My first cat was definitely a shoulder and lap cat. Pretty much anywhere, but she loved to climb up on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot when she was small.

My current older cat is definitely a shoulder cat but lacks the back leg strength these days, so I let her anchor herself with her front claws (always with a shirt on).

The best one is my current younger cat, who I carry around like a human infant, back downward, legs in the air.


Mine always escapes at the vet’s office, because I let him escape. After we’re in the exam room, I’ll let him walk around and sniff things. The secret is to calmly pick him up without screaming, “OH SHIT THE CAT ESCAPED!”


Yeah, it’s become a routine for me, too. I only screamed the first time, because she squeezed between a mini-fridge and the side of a cabinet, and I wasn’t sure how we would get her out, or if there was space behind it where she could get into who-knows-what. Fortunately, the fridge had casters and was easily moved.


That looks awful for that cat’s spine.

(And yes I realize that gif is reversed.)


cats are insanely flexible


The rule in our house is that if the cat complains as you pick him up, you have to put him down immediately. The kids thwart this rule by dragging the cat around by his front paws like a duster mop. This neither technically counts as picking up nor seems to incur a meowl from his majesty.