Why Do Cats Go Limp When You Pick Them Up?

Cats are arguably the most beloved animals in the world.

They’re playful and adventurous and seem to enjoy playing with you as much as you do. However, they’re also prone to certain medical conditions.

When these health problems aren’t addressed, cats may act differently. So, why do cats go limp when you pick them up? Cats are full of energy and love to play all day.

They want to interact with you and keep you busy. When they’re happy, they’ll leap and pounce at you like a furry little spring and chase around after your feet and hands.

However, when they feel sick or hurt they may act differently. Cats typically won’t show that they’re hurt or in pain until it’s nearly too late and they’ve suffered for a long time without treatment.

One of the most common symptoms that cats exhibit when they’re ill is limpness or weakness in their hind legs or tail when they’re picked up or petted.

Why Do Cats Go Limp When You Pick Them Up?

The reason cats become limp when taken up is unknown, and however it might stem from a neurological or musculoskeletal condition.

When the mom cat takes her kittens in her mouth to nurse, the mother cat’s mouth exerts pressure on the kittens’ sides and backs.

This is due to a reflex that is triggered in the mother cat when she gets close to her kittens.

As previously noted, the Ragdoll is a dominant breed that responds well to training and interaction.

The Ragdoll cat will inherit their characteristic traits and physical characteristics from their parents.

However, it is also possible to have kittens with a Ragdoll-like appearance who are completely unrelated to Ragdoll cats or their ancestors and still carry the Ragdoll gene.

It is also possible for a cat to carry the Ragdoll gene without having the characteristic appearance or personality of a Ragdoll cat.


Indoor cats are at an increased risk of developing health problems, and because indoor cats are indoor cats.

Although the Ragdoll adapts fast and well to almost any environment, the breed’s docile nature makes it particularly well-suited for living indoors.

Regardless of whether the cat in issue is a purebred or a crossbreed cat, it is possible for the cat to suffer from many of the same ailments as purebred cats.

Ragdolls are also susceptible to many of the same health problems that affect other domestic cats.

Obesity is caused by eating too much and too little exercising or moving around.

After a period of hard exercise or heat exhaustion, the cat can become weak and tired, and this can lead to a condition known as collapsing trachea.


When cats are too lethargic or too heavy, they are unable to get the oxygen they need to survive and they can go limp due to collapse of the trachea (the windpipe) when they lie down.

While physical rest is required, extra warmth and fluids are recommended for a kitten, who just needs time to rest and recover while adult cats can recover over a shorter period of time.

Anxiety is common among pet cats with separation anxiety being the most common form.

It may be triggered by a change in environment or the introduction of new pets or people in the home or other animals such as dogs or birds.

An Indication of Trust

Going limp is generally an indication of a physical problem in your cat’s body.

When a cat falls limp in your arms, it can be an intimidating experience for the novice cat owner.

Showing the stomach as a sign for trust is an expression among cats that shows a submissive behavior.

It indicates that the cat feels at great ease around its companion and is receptive to being picked up without resistance.

A Yearning For Human Affection

Ragdolls are known for their devotion and would lay down their lives for their owner.

Picking them up is in their nature, and if they feel unwell or are too light, they might do so limply to let you know they are in need of care.

The transient limpness is caused by a temporary exaggeration in the muscles of the neck or throat which alleviates when your cat regains its breath.

Nostalgia and Reverting to Kittenhood

Ragdolls, unlike most other cats, have a relatively long childhood and adulthood.

By the age of four, they should have gained full adult size and it should be possible to spot the difference between the ragdoll kitten and the adult ragdolls.

When a Ragdoll is picked up, it is akin to being picked up as a toddler being carried in a parent’s arms.

Going limp is a characteristic trait of a kitten being held in the arms of his parent.

It guards against rough handling from humans or other animals, and relinquishes its independent movement when it feels secure in the arms of its caregiver.


Ragdolls are known for their devotion and would lay down their lives for their owner.

Cats’ natural hostility is bred out of them by breeders, and Ragdolls generally show no hostility at all.

You may attribute a portion to the genetic disposition for friendliness in Ragdolls, but the majority can be attributed to their loving and gentle mothering.

It’s much more noticeable in kittens since they are so compliant with their caretakers.

It makes them complacent, since there is nothing that intimidates them when their caretakers are around.

Also Read: Does Dry Cat Food Go Bad?


Cats often limp when picked up because they’re injured or ill and need help from their owners to get better quickly.

For example, if a cat’s spine is injured or they’re suffering from spinal disc disease, they may feel pain or discomfort when the president is touched or moved.

Spinal disc disease can cause the discs that enclose the vertebrae in the spinal column to become inflamed and damaged.

This can cause severe back pain and damage to the spinal cord and nerves. Cats with spinal disk disease may also have difficulty walking or moving normally as they age.

Another condition that can affect the spinal discs to cause the spine to “go limp” is osteoporosis, or a condition in which the bones lose density and strength.

n conclusion , when your cat does a limp when you pick them up (especially if you lift them off the ground), your kitty is probably sick and in pain, and needs help right away.

Don’t leave them alone and pick them up gently. If you can’t pick them up on your own, take them to the vet immediately.