Thursday, April 10, 2008

Why does my human want to pick me up all the time?

Dear George
Why do humans think we are fluffy toys? Mine keeps trying to pick me up. I don't like it. I have made my wishes perfectly plain. I am not a soft toy to be mauled about and harassed when she chooses. I find it demeaning when she swoops down from a superior (the only superior thing about her) height, grabs me round the stomach and pulls me upward on to her shoulder making revolting cooing noises. And I don't care to sit on her lap either.

Dear Tigger,
I feel your pain. Indeed I feel your indignation. Human non-sexual harassment is a serious issue among us cats. It is an embarassing one too. Some felines take the view that is it enjoyable and let their humans do it at will. Some even solicit it. All this makes it a tricky question to rule on. In my view, those cats that ask for it (so to speak) are letting the side down badly. So they enjoy it? Well that's no reason to allow a human to get above its status in this way.
The way I see it is that you have the right to your own boundaries. When humans step over these, it is harassment pure and simple. There is no excuse, no explanation, no possible reason why they should be allowed to do this. This is a species that will go too far only too easily. This is a claw and order issue. Use the claw to restore order, Tigger. For a first time human offender, a serious wriggle may be enough deterrent. But for a serial harasser, strong measures are needed. Draw blood. It's the only thing they understand.
A word to those cats, the minority, who enjoy being cuddled. Please don't give your human the idea that the human can choose to do this any time they like. This will seriously compromise the proper relationship between cat (top of the dominance order) and human (bottom of the dominance order). If you must enjoy some caresses, solicit your human in your own time, not theirs. A good way to keep them in hand, so to speak, is to ask for a cuddle while they are doing something else like reading or cooking or using the computer. Make them jump to it then.
Remember - immediate and willing human obedience is always the aim of any human-cat interaction.


  1. Oh my, I don't understand why you don't enjoy your human picking you up. Mine pick me up all the time, but I must admit they never grab me around my stomach, they carefully put one hand just behind my front lets and the support my back legs and then put me over their shoulder alike I some sort of a baby. That gives me an opportunity to really dig my claws into their shoulders. THEN, they stroke me down my back and I return the favor by giving them lots of purrs. :-) When I finally have enough stroking, they will gently lower me to the floor and put me down, I NEVER have to jump from way up in their arms. I do appreciate that! I also know that when they pick me up that probably means we are headed to the clothes dryer, where my food is kept. I like eating way up on the dryer. All this started when my sister, Sweet Pea was alive. She was an overeater and only was allowed to eat twice a day, but because I'm so slim, trim and attractive, I can eat ANYTIME I please. They also keep MY food in the cabinet just above the dryer, so it's so convenient for me to poke my head into the cabinet to HELP choose my food.

  2. Dear Tigger and George
    I don't really tolerate "pick up cuddles" from my human care givers either - I have mostly used wriggling or clearly putting up with it but not joining in to let them know its not on. If they are doing something awful like fixing my collar I squeal because I can't stand being restricted or trapped. I do like it when they lie down and I walk up and down them being stroked, I have to be on top though.
    Currently my male care giver is working away from home so I'm getting a lot of lie down strokes, which I like. However, the female seems to be spending a lot of time with a horse called Seamus - this I'm not so approving of. You will remember that I have previously corresponded on stopping the humans moving house - I followed all your sounds advice and you will see from the papers (better for sleeping on I know) that I also initiated a credit crunch/ sub-prime mortgage issue - that seems to be working nicely!
    Your friend

  3. Our four cats remind us that we have picked them up and it isn't exactly the right moment with a huge, strong paw pressed mightily over the human jugular vein in the neck. This ensures that if the offended cat is not put down immediately, claws will be unsheathed. The humans here, know their place ;)


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online