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Tennis5tar's avatar

How can I stop my cat growling when I hold her?

Asked by Tennis5tar (1255 points ) March 25th, 2008

She’s fine when she comes to me and I hold her but when I pick her up and hold her, she growls a low growl, not a whine, a growl. How can I make her stop? She’s 9 months old.

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24 Answers

axlefoley's avatar

Don’t squeeze her so tight!

Riser's avatar

Does she struggle to get out of your arms?

Zaku's avatar

If you pick her up and hold her the same way as when it was her idea, then I imagine perhaps she’s not wanting to be picked up right then, and not used to the idea of people picking her up when it’s not her idea. She may learn to like it in time, but cats don’t generally get made to do things, and they resist being controlled, but they can be shown something they like.

One thing to try is picking them up in a non-controlling way, so they can jump away if they want, but try to have it be nice for them so they might not see it as control, and might learn to like what’s happening when you pick them up.

Another thing is trying to make her enjoy being held by you by petting, etc. That’s easier with older cats since young cats tend to be more interested in activity on their own feet, while older cats tend to be more into comfort and human contact.

Tennis5tar's avatar

She does struggle sometimes. I’ve handled her a lot since she was young (had her since 8 weeks) as that’s what we were advised by the rescue centre. At times, she’ll growl but not struggle to get away. Maybe I should just pick her up and let her go shortly afterwards for a couple of months. She follows me everywhere though, it’s not as though she doesn’t like me.

joeysefika's avatar

She’s following the sardine in your back pocket :P

Riser's avatar

are you sure this is a growl? Often times cats will alternate purrs

Tennis5tar's avatar

It’s not a purr. Definately a growl. She may be mimicking the dog.

Kay's avatar

Hm, I had a cat once that never liked being picked up, so you might have to resign yourself to the fact that this kitty doesn’t like to be picked up. Otherwise, try to do it for short periods of time and put the kitty down as soon as she starts to growl. Some kitties just don’t like being picked up!

Spargett's avatar

I’d give her the space she’s asking for. The older a cat gets, the more placid they become. She’s still really young.

iSteve's avatar

Yeah, some kitties just don’t like being held. Maybe try some lap sits for a while and let her get more comfortable being next to you. She might chill out after a while or she might not. She may just need to know she can get away if she needs to. Pet the kitty for me and good luck!!!

andrew's avatar

You may just have to accept the fact that your cat, like mine, could be a jerk.

A great thing to try is to pick them up while they’re sleeping, sometimes you can trick them into enjoying it.

Otherwise, you can always use the treat route if that’s an option.

mcbealer's avatar

YEAH, sadly, sometimes you have to bribe cats to like you.

delirium's avatar

Don’t do the thing where you just pick her up. Its very threatening. Most animals greet each other before anything vaguely like that is even sort of allowed to happen. Put out your index finger near her face, and let her sniff it. That’s a cat greeting. They do it to eachother. Its a nose, of sorts. A pretend nose that smells like you. If she wants to let you, she’ll relax. You’ll see a visible difference as she grows to trust you enough to let you pick her up.

DO NOT DO IT UNTIL SHE ABSOLUTELY TRUSTS YOU TO FOLLOW THE CAT RULES FIRST.

She might have had some bad experiences before she found you and your home. Its difficult to cater to that, but is worth it.

I had a very un-mellow cat who is now the sweetest most loving snuggly thing that i’ve ever seen. But just to me. She flattens against the floor, too, if I don’t greet her first and just touch her.

susanc's avatar

Delirium has it. The cat has good manners and you must learn them. It’s great
that she likes you and likes to get with you, and that’s the clue – she needs to be
the one to decide, unless you MUST pick her up to take her to the vet or whatever,
in which case you’re the boss and if that’s clear, she’ll submit for the duration.
I too had a boy cat who had been thrown, kicked, etc. It took about two respectful years before he completely relaxed even with lovely me, but then we had 12 excellent years of passionate love and he also learned to enjoy the physical pleasure of hanging with less-wonderful humans.

Tennis5tar's avatar

Thanks you guys… we’ll see how it goes.

delirium's avatar

Susanc: Yep! Thanks for agreeing, and congratulations with your kitty.

Cat manners! That’s the perfect way to describe it!

Zaku's avatar

Yes, great point about the sniff salute, Delirium!

delirium's avatar

Thanks. I’ve dealt with a lot of fairly vicious strays, and its something that always surprises people. I can get a cat to come up to me, always, with a little bit of churring, getting down on the ground and extending my finger. Its just important to not approach a situation like a primate.

Tennis5tar's avatar

Sniff salute is going well, not nearly as much growling. I’m not picking her up as often which is making her come to me for cuddles. All going well, score 1 Flutherites!

delirium's avatar

Congratulations! Keep updating us! I’m so happy that its working for you. <3

More happy than you could imagine. I love when a rescued kitty finds a wonderful home.

Though, this is my public service announcement…...
SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR CATS!

Kay!

delirium's avatar

Any updates? How’s the growling going?

Tennis5tar's avatar

Very rarely does she growl now. It’s fab! She’s the sweetest little cat. Thank you again!

delirium's avatar

Yay! Congratulations. I’m so happy everything worked out for you two

kattlynn1492's avatar

ok, I have had my cat for about two years and she never growled when she was little. this is something since we moved. is it because i have moved? she still waits at the door for me, she jumps on my lap -purrs loudly-so i definitely know the difference. My dad says she may be hurting-is that possible?

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