Cats were already the world's most widely kept pet before the Internet, but there's no question social media only served to amplify our kitty love.
So with all this increased attention, cats are getting snuggled left and right! But unfortunately for our finicky furry feline friends, most people have no idea how to properly handle them.
That's probably why a video by Vancouver-based veterinarian Dr. Uri Burstyn has already amassed nearly 5 million views since being uploaded this past May. In his video "How to pick up a cat like a pro - Vet advice on cat handling," Dr. Burstyn goes through several ways humans can carry cats safely and comfortably.
Check out the video above for Dr. Burstyn's or use the .GIFs embedded below for quick reference.
1. The Approach — Make Friends
The stakes are high when you pick up a cat.
If successful, a human-kitty bond is formed in which the cat lays comfortably in your arms or across your shoulder. You become buddies forever (except in the instance of a noise, a bird or if something cat dislikes enters the area).
If unsuccessful, the cat will run away, scratch you or even hiss. You are banned, just like that cat toy that somehow wound up under the refrigerator (except in the instance of can of wet food being opened).
It would never occur to most people to roughly grab a pussy cat, but some need to be reminded that manners are important! Before you pick up a cat, you need to approach it so that it doesn't get scared away.
Show the cat that you mean no harm, offer your hand before petting it; pet the cat, and if it sticks around, you're off to a good start!
2. Two-Handed Carry
The cat must feel supported at all times. Think about how it would feel if someone picked you up using just a hand around your chest with the rest of your body flopping around. It would be hard to breathe and probably hurt your back.
Dr. Burstyn recommends picking up a cat gently with one hand around under its chest and another under its abdomen, offering full support.
3. Hold Them Close (Squish Them)
If you're carrying a cat for an extended period, as opposed to just moving it off a piece of furniture where its not allowed, pick up the cat with two hands (like above) and "squish" it firmly into your torso so it's supported between the length of your forearm and your torso.
If you need use of your off-hand while carrying a cat, this is a great way to do it.
4. Football Carry — Urgent Use Only
If you need to carry your cat and you can't mess around, use the "football carry"! The football carry is a great way to get your cat into its carrier for an annual visit to the vet or to split the defensive line and pick up some extra yards.
If done correctly, your cat probably will not think this is awesome, but it won't hold a grudge either.
5. Shoulder Carry
Some cats like to be up high, even when they're being held. Dr. Burstyn calls these cats "shoulder cats." Many shoulder cats will mount up without being taught, but keeping a shoulder cat in place, and keeping it from scratching upon dismount, requires you to employ the same principles as the other cat carry techniques: hold them tight around the bottom and they will stay put.
To dismount, support the cat's upper body, lean forward and let the cat right itself on a nearby surface like Dr. Burstyn does in his video.
Thumbnail Photo: Getty Images