Why Does My Cat Meow When I Pick Her Up? (Explained)

Cats will often react to being petted and/or picked up. It is a natural instinct that is different from other animals as they are more independent with their feelings about contact with humans. Some will purr, while others are going to hiss at the idea of being lifted up. In a lot of cases, you may ask, why does my cat meow when I pick her up?

Cats will meow when picked up because they are unsettled or uncomfortable. It could be how suddenly you picked them up or general discomfort with the idea of not being in control. However, sometimes cats may also be dealing with pain that is triggered by being picked up.

It’s recommended to pay attention to the cat’s behavior over the course of the day if this happens. If a cat meows when you pick them up, it is best to observe their mannerisms.

This can tell a lot about whether or not the issue has to do with pain.

Key factors include:

  • Bond with the Person
  • General Personality
  • Setting

When asking “Why does my cat meow when I pick her up?” you will have to start by understanding the cat itself. Is this a cat that is always uncomfortable when it comes to being picked up? Is this a cat that has just been adopted and brought into the house?

These are important variables that are going to dictate how the cat feels about being picked up.

Learn more about the query “Why does my cat meow when I pick her up?” while understanding what could cause a cat to meow when you pick it up.

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Reasons For Meowing When Picked Up

1. Unsettled or Uncomfortable

If a cat meows when picked up, it might be unsettled.

Cats prefer being in control of what is happening to them. This is common with both indoor and outdoor cats. You will often see them try to dictate what is going on whether it has to do with being petted or held.

When this is taken out of their control, the cat will either lash out or show visible discomfort. This can include trying to wriggle out of your hands.

When this happens, you will wonder “Why does my cat meow when I pick her up?” but sometimes it is just about the cat’s perception of not being on the ground where they want to be.

why does my cat meow when i pick her up

2. Lack of Bonding

How long has the cat been around you?

This is a key detail to think about when asking “Why does my cat meow when I pick her up?” because if the cat isn’t familiar with you, they will meow when picked up.

It is just a natural reaction to being unsure of what is happening.

Adopted cats can display this behavior in a new home as they are still adapting to the various scents and sights around them.

If you continue to bond with the cat, you will get them to ease up a bit.

They will become comfortable with your presence, scent, and general behavior. Otherwise, there will be a learning curve for the cat as they get used to being held by you.

why does my cat meow when i pick her up

3. Medical Distress

Another factor when asking “Why does my cat meow when I pick her up?” is about the cat’s health.

Is the cat healthy?

There are times when a cat might be dealing with a medical condition and that is what causes them to meow when picked up.

They just don’t want to be held.

Cats suffering from a broken bone and/or ligament injury might meow when picked up due to the pressure placed on that part of the body.

If a cat meows when held, you will need to figure out where the pain is. This is a real issue to consider if it is a cat that has been around you for a long time and didn’t meow before.

This might be a new development that has to be taken seriously.

Related Questions

1. Why Does My Cat Meow When I Touch Her?

Cats can meow when you touch them due to discomfort or feeling unsettled. Some cats prefer initiating contact and don’t like being swarmed by a human or lifted up until they are comfortable.

2. Why Does My Cat Meow When She Sees Me?

Cats will meow to communicate with you, show interest, and/or let you know they are present. Each situation is unique and it often depends on your bond with the cat.

Final Thoughts

“Why does my cat meow when I pick her up?”

Most cats will meow because they are unsettled and/or uncomfortable with being held. This can take them out of their element, which isn’t good when it comes to their mental well-being.

It is best to bond with the cat first in this case.

Here’s more on cats – female cats when breeding, mice eating habits for cats, protecting cats from reclining sofas, and reasons to always trim a cat’s nails.