Many people, including veterinary professionals, have been told to grab a cat by the scruff when they need to be confined. Despite being long believed to be a secure way to supply restraint and resemble how a mother cat picks up her kittens, scuffing is not a secure means of restraint, it is violent, and most cats experience fear and anxiety when it is employed.
What Does Scruff Mean?
The term “scruffing” refers to a variety of grips on a cat’s neck skin. It is occasionally accompanied with lifting the cat or severely constraining it in some other way. The act of squeezing the scruff of the neck can range from a small squeeze to a tighter grip on a wider fold of skin.
The reasoning behind this restriction is that, similar to how holding a kitten by the scruff makes a kitten limp, a tight grip on the cat’s loose shoulder skin will have the same result. Mother cats don’t pick up and carry their kittens until the first few weeks of life. The reason cats can carry a mouse in their mouths without scratching it is because they have pressure sensors on their teeth. Mother cats are adept at applying the correct amount of pressure to the skin on the back of the neck.
What Exactly Is Wrong With Scruffing?
- A cat’s mother will only take them by the scruff of their neck if they are being attacked by a predator, during mating, during a fight, or during the first few weeks of life. In a home, veterinary, or shelter setting, none of these tense situations ought to be repeated.
- A cat’s scruff should never be raised or suspended since it might hurt. It is not a respectful response to pick up your cat.
- The cat’s sense of control and capacity to retreat are completely destroyed by scratching, which may cause aggressive behavior.
How to Hold a Cat Safely and Comfortably
Without using harsh restraint or scruffing, cats can be handled and confined in a number of ways. These cat-friendly methods apply constraint strategies that allow the cat to hide, pay attention to the cat’s body language, and adhere to the less-is-more maxim.
- Respectfully approaching a cat when doing so Avoid approaching straight or staring. Before the exam, lift the carrier on a high platform and cover it with a pheromone-impregnated towel. Move carefully, and keep your voice low. Remove the top to let the cat to exit the carrier if it won’t do so on its own rather than trying to drag it out or tip the carrier.
- Handling techniques for towels: Many towel techniques, including the burrito, half-burrito, and scarf wraps, can be used to restrain cats. Due to the range of approaches, several procedures can access various areas of the animal. Each towel restraint method requires time and repetition.
- supporting the cat securely By placing your hands, arms, and body in the appropriate places, the cat shouldn’t feel as though they are about to fall or are out of balance.
- adjusting your handling in response to the cat’s response to constraint and creating an environment that considers the cat’s point of view This includes the senses of smell, taste, touch, hearing, and pheromones.
- Distractions include things like food, grooming, and other rewards.
- Determining the preferences of the cat (owners lap, cat carrier)
Since each cat is different, we must interpret their body language and modify our handling techniques to suit their preferences. Keep the cat in its selected position, and alter your contact depending on how the cat responds.
Benefits of Humane Cat Handling
When traveling, cats and the people who look after them are less anxious. reduce or eliminate the dread and anxiety associated with anticipating a visit to the vet.
A 2014 study by Bayer HealthCare and the American Association of Feline Practitioners found that more than half of cats in the US did not receive routine veterinary care. If cats suffer less stress while being transported and have a better experience in the examination room, more cats will see the veterinarian, which will boost compliance.
It decreases the likelihood of fear and anxiety in cats, which reduces the possibility of bites, scratches, and other injuries to handlers and carers.
Your veterinarian will do complete examinations using modern medical technologies, including more precise blood testing, temperature readings, and blood pressure checks.
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