Every time you approach your cat with outstretched arms, does it tend to run away? Or does it squirm in all directions so as not to make your job easier? The message is pretty clear: your feline doesn’t like to be hugged. And several reasons can explain why!
1. It hates being held against their will
As you know, cats are creatures, certainly affectionate, but particularly independent. In this sense, they like to do what they feel like when they feel like it and hate being forced to do something more than anything. Additionally, being held against their will can leave them feeling out of control and trapped.
A bit like us after all! Imagine how you would feel if someone close to you interfered with your freedom of movement for several minutes…
2. It scares them
Since you’re nearly ten times the size of your cat, it can be particularly terrifying for them to be suddenly lifted off the ground. Especially if it is surprised!
So, if your hairball is the shy type and easily frightened by loud noises or sudden movements, it’s obvious that it doesn’t like being held.
3. It had bad experiences
If you adopted your cat, you probably don’t know its past. However, it is possible that it was mistreated, that it was not properly socialized and handled, or quite simply that it had bad experiences at the veterinarian or at the groomer.
It therefore now associates being hugged with a negative feeling and knows that it usually leads to something it doesn’t like (vaccine, nail trimming, temperature measurement, bath, transport case, etc.).
Although it is possible to work on your cat’s trauma, it takes a lot of patience. Moreover, it is possible that it does not lead to any result.
4. It’s not natural for them
When greeting each other, cats do not hug. They approach cautiously, sniff each other, even lick or rub each other’s heads. Being held doesn’t come naturally to them. On the contrary, it gives them the feeling of being prey and of having been caught by a predator.
5. It hurts somewhere
If your cat loved being cuddled in your arms and suddenly seems to hate it, it may be because some part of their body is hurting them. In this case, it is essential to take them quickly to the veterinarian.
But be careful, if even after being healed your cat still does not want to return to your arms, it will have associated this gesture with a feeling of pain. In this case, respect their choice.
6. It’s all about race
Even though each cat has its own personality, some breeds still have well-defined personality traits. For example, Ragdolls are renowned for their ability to completely relax when picked up. On the other hand, Maine Coons or Abyssinians do not particularly like it.
In any case, be sure to always respect your cat’s wishes and never force them to be picked up (except in cases of force majeure). Indeed, it could quickly become less tolerant with you, or even tend to avoid you or adopt aggressive behavior.
But if you absolutely have to pick up your cat, to put it in its crate, for example, make sure you do it the right way. This will minimize their feeling of discomfort.