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Approach a cat slowly, and do not grab it. Ideally, let it approach you. Begin your contact with a gentle stroking, then when the cat is used to your touch, pick it up.
1. Hold the cat with one hand under its chest and the other under its hindquaters. Let the sternum rest in the hand.
2. Lift the cat gently, drawing it toward your chest. Give full support to its hindquaters.
Guru's note: This is a good start to holding a cat for carrying a cat. Eventually, you need to put the cat's front feet in one hand and the back feet in the other, and allow the cat to 'stand' in your hands.