Cats have been internet stars for decades, and a viral TikTok video shows that felines are still capable of stealing hearts after a shelter employee demonstrated effective ways to hold them.
In a video shared by Texas cat shelter The Cattery, shelter president Scott Person speaks to the camera while holding various cats in different positions.
The different holds are designed, Person says, to prevent the cat from becoming “all squiggly,” which he insists is “a technical term.”
The video, titled “All about the butt,” has proven to be enormously popular on TikTok, having received more than 8.1 million views, 1.6 million likes, and nearly 10,000 comments as of Friday morning.
“When holding a cat you always want to support their butt,” says Person. “Never hold a cat without supporting their backside.”
Person then moves on to the “football hold,” in which he scoops up a cat and holds it as though it were a football, with the cat’s backside supported by his elbow.
“The key to carrying a cat is to make sure the cat is comfortable and well-supported, so their body isn’t dangling—that’s when they get all squiggly,” Person concludes.
The aptly named football hold is one also recommended by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which states that the hold allows the cat’s weight to rest securely on the handler’s forearm if carried out correctly.
The ASPCA notes that the hold is best used on calm, socialized cats. More information can be found on the ASPCA website.
Other holds recommended by the ASPCA are the taco and burrito holds, both of which involve wrapping the cat up, either inside of a towel with its head poking out the front—the burrito hold—or tucked inside of its cat bed, which is the taco hold. Both holds are demonstrated here.
It’s not the first time that cat-carrying advice has gone viral. In May 2018, Vancouver-based vet Uri Burstyn of the Arbutus West Animal Clinic and Vancouver East Veterinary Clinic released the YouTube video “How to pick up a cat like a pro.”
The video soared in popularity, with users endeared by the video’s light-hearted nature and by one particularly large cat, Mr. Pirate, used by Burstyn to demonstrate a shoulder-hold.
“The key to picking up a cat safely is to make them feel supported,” Burstyn says. Like Person, the Vancouver vet states people should carry cats so that “they’re not hanging down, they’re not flopping about—that way, they’ll be comfortable.”
That video had more than 16 million views and 634,000 likes as of Friday.