A substantial body of work has been reported in which the mechanical properties of adherent cells were characterized using compression testing in tandem with computational modeling. However, a number of important issues remain to be addressed. In the current study, using computational analyses, the effect of cell compressibility on the force required to deform spread cells is investigated and the possibility that stiffening of the cell cytoplasm occurs during spreading is examined based on published experimental compression test data. The effect of viscoelasticity on cell compression is considered and difficulties in performing a complete characterization of the viscoelastic properties of a cell nucleus and cytoplasm by this method are highlighted. Finally, a non-linear force-deformation response is simulated using differing linear viscoelastic properties for the cell nucleus and the cell cytoplasm.