And if you know anything about cats, you realize you’ll probably want to rectify any and all transgressions immediately.

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I mean, if your cat lets you pick it up at all, you’re ahead of the game. If you want to stay that way, then listen to what this cat expert has to say about the way your feline overlord wants to be held (sometimes, on her own terms).

The advice comes courtesy of veterinarian Dr. Uri Burstyn, and he’s even made a video sharing how to pick up a cat and make sure that it’s comfortable and calm through the process.

“When you approach the cat it’s nice to introduce yourself. Let them sniff your hand; notice I keep my fingers curled a little bit so if the cat doesn’t really want my company she can’t really chomp me.”

He gives you options for keeping a cat secure whether you need to move the cat quickly, or not. For the former, he proposes the “football carry,” with its body against yours, its head under your arm, with one hand under its body and one under its butt.

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Cats, it turns out, don’t like to feel as if they’re about to get dropped, and the bonus of the vet’s carrying advice is that they can’t get at you to scratch you if they feel inclined.

In the case the cat wants to escape (maybe it sees the carrier and knows a trip to the vet is in order), he’s got a bit of advice for that, too.

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“What we do when we have a cat that is trying to get away from us is squish the cat. Squish that cat down. All you need to know about cat restraint is squish the cat.”

It might seem counterintuitive, but squishing = security, and that’s never a bad thing for a feline friend!

Godspeed, cat owners. Here’s hoping you get the purrs and not the claws…