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Why Your Cat Squeaks When Picked up!

After publishing our article going over why some cats squeak instead of meow, we have noticed a number of people reaching out and asking various questions about why their cat squeaks when picked up.

This can be a little different that a cat who just generally squeaks as it is usually an indication that there is a potential problem with your pet cat that may need attention.

Most cats who squeak when picked up usually squeak due to being in pain either due to being picked up incorrectly or due to being injured or they will squeak due to not wanting to be picked up.

If your cat is squeaking due to it not wanting to be picked up then the squeaks will usually turn into hisses at you before your cat may try to scratch you to get you to put it down.

Even experienced cat owners can accidentally pick their pet cat up incorrectly putting pressure on the cat’s rib cage causing it to squeak in pain.

In addition to that, pregnant cats, cats who have injuries or older cats can be more prone to pain when picked up causing them to squeak.

If you do suspect that your cat may be squeaking when picked up due to being in pain then we would recommend that you book a video call with a veterinarian to have them offer you professional advice regarding the specific situation for your cat after inspecting them via your smartphone camera and asking you a few questions.

Why Do Cats Squeak When You Pick Them Up?

The most common reason that a cat will squeak when picked up is due to the cat not wanting to be picked up and the squeak being an early warning to you to put the cat down before the squeaks turn to hissing and scratching.

Other reasons that your cat may squeak when picked up include the cat being in pain due to being injured, pregnant, old, or picked up incorrectly.

A small number of cats prefer to communicate by making various squeaking sounds rather than the traditional meow so your cat squeaking when picked up maybe totally normal for your cat.

You can usually work out if this is a normal behavior for your pet cat or not due to cats who do this squeaking when not picked up rather than meowing when trying to communicate with you.

If you do have a cat that seems to prefer to squeak at you rather than meow then there is generally no need to worry about it squeaking when you pick it up as it is just the cat’s normal behavior.

If you notice that your cat is squeaking and then starts to hissing then it is probably a good indication that your cat just doesn’t want to be picked up and you should put it down but it can be more difficult to work out if your cat is squeaking due to being in pain.

How Can I Tell If My Cat Squeaks Because It’s In Pain?

Most cats who squeak when picked up due to being in pain are senior cats who are starting to show the signs of their age with issues like arthritis setting in that will commonly have other symptoms such as your cat waking sightly differently or speaking when it jumps on or off the sofa too.

If your cat squeaks in pain when picked up due to being pregnant then you can usually notice the cat’s stomach getting larger as her kittens grow.

If your cat is squeaking when picked up due to being injured then it is not always easy to see what is wrong with your cat.

If it is a surface injury such as a scratch or cut to the skin of your cat then you can usually see the injury or feel it when you touch the cat with blood matted fur often being an obvious giveaway.

These are often easier to treat too as some anti-septic to try and prevent an infection and time will often be able to treat the issue but stitches may be needed in some cases.

If the issue is within your cat such as broken ribs, tumors or other internal problems then it can be very difficult to diagnose without getting a vet involved.

Some vets may scan your cat with various equipment to get a better idea of what’s happening internally and be able to show you exactly what’s wrong.

If the cat is in pain due to a break or fracture to a bone then in time the cat may heal but if the issue is due to a tumor then the cat may require an operation to correct the problem.

How Can I Make Sure My Cat Does Not Squeak When Picked Up?

If your cat is squeaking due to being in pain then treating the source of the pain is the best way to make sure that your cat does not squeak when picked up.

Treatments can range from time allowing the cat to heal its injury naturally to having to have an operation at the local veterinarian’s office depending on exactly what’s wrong with the cat.

If your cat is in pain when being picked up causing her to squeak due to being pregnant then waiting for her to give birth to her kittens before trying to pick her up again is often the best option to take.

Not all cats will have this issue when pregnant and it is usually only cats who are having their first pregnancy, cats who are carrying their kittens low or cats who are having a large litter of kittens who will squeak when picked up due to pain issues.

Unfortunately, many of the problems that can cause a senior cat to squeak in pain due to their old age can’t be treat and although there are some pain management options available for cats, they tend not to be very food.

If your cat squeaks due to having arthritis or other problems with its bones and joints then you may want to just stop picking it up if possible.

As with most things, as they get older, cats naturally develop problems and weak spots that change the way that they have to be interacted with.

Should You Avoid Picking A Cat Up That Squeaks?

A cat squeaking when picked up is an obvious sign that something may be wrong with the cat ranging from the cat not wanting to be picked up to the cat being in pain when picked up.

You should consider not picking your cat up if it is squeaking until the underlying problem causing the cat to squeak has been treat or the cat wants to be picked up.

This is why we would recommend that you book a video call with a veterinarian if you notice that your pet cat is squeaking when picked up as it is usually a solid indication of there being a problem with your cat.

The vet will be able to assess your cat and talk to you about potential other symptoms causing your cat to squeak to help you work out potential problems and offer advice on how to treat the issue moving forward.

You know your cat better than anyone and some cats are just anti-social and don’t like to be handled or picked up.

This is relatively common with cats and could be the reason that your cat squeaks when picked up and it is usually a good idea to avoid picking a cat like this up as they can quickly become unpredictable and start to scratch you to get you to let them go.


That brings our article going over why your pet cat squeaks when picked up to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you. There are some less common issues that may cause a cat to squeak when picked up that we have not covered in our article due to being so rare and the majority of problems usually falling into one of the issues that we have covered. In some situations such as your cat having arthritis, it may squeak when picked up from now on but in some other situations, the problem can be treat allowing you to pick your cat up as normal without it squeaking.