Your cat is not a ticking time bomb. It’s okay to pick up your cat. What I often see is the DANGLE HOLD. This is when the owner picks up the cat and holds it in front of his body, as if he were disposing of a dirty, wet towel. The cat’s body does not come in contact with the owner’s body. The cat is forced to levitate in front of the owner, supported only by one hand on top of his body and one below it.
Naturally the cat will want to wiggle to safety. This confirms the owner’s suspicion that his cat “hates being picked up.”
When you pick up a baby, do you hold the baby twelve inches away from you? Cats are not babies, but they certainly are animals, and most animals won’t enjoy being propelled through the room in this way.
Try holding the cat against your body, with one arm under the chest. If the cat wiggles, use your fingers to clasp the front legs, and hug the cat a little more closely to your body.
Act as if you like the cat, because you do!