Cats – handling

Information about handling, training and showing cats.

Schools that use cats must have the use of suitably constructed cages that secure the animals. These pens may be portable but must be solid in construction and erected in a way to be safe for both humans and cats.

Approved activities Category
Observation of normal animal behaviour 1
Observation of pets under the owner’s control 1
Animal welfare organisations bringing animals to the school 2
Capture, restraint and handling 2


In the classroom situation, it is unlikely that students will be able to observe the normal behaviour of a cat. Observation may be an appropriate homework activity.

Image: Kittens will be very active and should always be given a good supply of toys to keep them entertained.


Cats need to be handled calmly and with care to prevent distress and injury to both the animals and the handlers. Cats should be lifted by supporting their chest and rump. They should not be pulled up by the front legs and the scruff should not be used to lift adult cats. Cats should be transported in a secure wire, plastic, wood or a strong, cardboard container.

When handling cats in the classroom always ensure that all windows and doors are closed to prevent cats escaping. Take care not to handle cats excessively as this may cause stress and may provoke aggression. Students should always be supervised when handling cats.

Capture, restraint and handling

Students must be instructed on appropriate methods of handling. Do not allow too many students to handle a cat at the same time. This will provoke stress and aggression.


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