The right way to Safely Restrain a Cat: Dr. Karyn Shares Her Ideas (with Video)

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Hello, I’m Dr. Karyn! Learn my introduction to be taught extra about me and meet my 5 hilarious cats: Clutch, Cyril, Alex, Zelda, and Zazzles.

Over the following few weeks, with the reluctant assist from my clan of cats, I might be bringing you a collection of “How To” articles. Trimming claws, cleansing ears, medicating, and bathing your cat are all issues chances are you’ll must do at varied occasions, and a few cats appear to make it tougher than others. Though there are cats who won’t ever be cooperative with these kinds of actions, many, and I might even say most, will reply effectively to assured dealing with.

Working as a vet, I do know that I’m responsible of sending a affected person dwelling with an inventory of directions for his or her overwhelmed proprietor, not realizing that not everyone seems to be assured with all elements of feline dealing with and husbandry. And many individuals are too embarrassed to ask for an illustration (however you shouldn’t be!).

Clutch, Cyril, Alex, Zazzles, and Zelda are going to help me in demonstrating some strategies for some widespread cat upkeep actions, beginning with how one can accurately and safely restrain your cat. These directions are meant solely for use by yourself cat, and solely whether it is obligatory and secure to take action.

You’ll be able to observe together with the motion on our YouTube channel here.

Pleasant and Agency

Cats know after we’re nervous. They will choose up on nervousness and spot your insecurity from a mile off. One thing I all the time inform folks is don’t ‘attempt’ to do one thing together with your pet; Do It! I’m certain Grasp Yoda as soon as mentioned one thing very related.

Rewards are the key to future success.
Rewards are the important thing to future success.

There are two ideas I need everybody seeking to safely restrain their cat to recollect:

Be Pleasant and Agency. By no means use Drive or Concern.

From simply selecting them up, to holding them for a remedy or process, if you happen to aren’t assured in your actions, your cat is not going to belief you to deal with them. To know the fundamentals of this, let’s begin with selecting up your cat.

Though I don’t encourage you to power your cat to have cuddles or be carried round if that’s not their model, it’s best to have the ability to raise and maintain your cat with out both of you turning into injured or distressed. We must always all the time respect the consolation and security of our pets, but when you have to do one thing for his or her well being and wellbeing, chances are you’ll end up preventing towards an unwilling participant, and the one option to win that battle is by being agency and pleasant. Preserve calm, be assured about what you might be about to do, however be ready in case all of it goes pear-shaped.

Selecting Up A Cat

That is undoubtedly getting again to fundamentals, but when you have to choose up and restrain your cat for one thing apart from a cuddle, it’s value understanding the quickest option to collect them right into a safe maintain.

Step 1: Strategy and Assess

Resolve if you happen to’re coping with a cooperative cat or cranky kitty, and strategy them accordingly, ideally giving them a pat or scritch to interrupt the ice. The extra relaxed your cat is, the extra relaxed and pleasant your method could be. If they’re pressured and prone to flee, you’ll must act extra shortly. The intention is to assemble them into your arms, pull them shut into your physique, and get up in a single motion, so get your self right into a place to do that.

Step 2: The Attain Round

For those who’re right-handed like me, strategy your cat side-on, with their head going through in the direction of the left. Attain your proper hand over their physique in a diagonal, coming over the haunches, then round and below the chest, spreading your hand so you may place your thumb on the surface of the chest, and grip their left elbow (the one closest to your physique) in your different fingers. Use your left hand to manage or stroke their head and pull their physique firmly towards yours as you get up.

Cyril showing us how to grip the elbow

Clearly, if you happen to’re left-handed, your strategy is the other.

Step 3: Be Pleasant and Agency

It is very important hold agency stress in your cat’s physique upon getting them on this maintain in order that they really feel safe, and never nervous that they’ll be dropped. In the event that they wrestle at this level, hold calm and experience it out. For those who don’t launch the stress, generally, your cat will calm down shortly. From right here, you may place them on a desk, right into a provider; wherever they must be subsequent.

Know When To Cease

In case your cat is getting actually pressured, panicking, or making an attempt to chew and scratch, chances are you’ll must cease. Though most cats will submit as soon as they notice that you simply’re holding them firmly, some simply is not going to tolerate restraint, and chances are you’ll want to speak to your vet about another plan.

The Query of Scruffing

I might be sincere and let you know that, every now and then, I’ll use a scruff maintain to restrain a cat. I do that when it’s obligatory to make sure the security of the cat and my staff members. I by no means use it to select up a cat, however there are occasions when it’s the solely secure option to maintain a cat to present an injection, examine a painful wound, or forestall them from injuring themselves or others. It ought to by no means be used for punishment or comfort, and if a cat must be restrained on this approach for greater than a minute to 2, no matter process is being tried must be deserted in favor of sedation.

Alex showing us a safe scruff hold, which should only ever be used if ABSOLUTELY necessary.
Alex exhibiting us a secure scruff maintain, which ought to solely ever be used if ABSOLUTELY obligatory.

In case your cat is preventing towards restraint and you’re feeling you have to allow them to go, chances are you’ll discover that the most secure approach to take action is to use a scruff maintain as you decrease them, nonetheless supporting them with the opposite arm, and releasing them solely as soon as their ft are on the bottom.

Protected Positioning

After getting your cat on the desk or countertop the place you’ll be clipping claws, cleansing ears and so forth., you have to proceed to maintain them held firmly towards your physique, or firmly towards the desk floor. Don’t power them towards the desk, however apply sufficient stress for them to really feel safe there. Relying on what you might be doing, use your physique and fingers to immobilize your cat, and apply a agency maintain to govern the realm in query.

For instance,

  • if you’re trimming claws, a safe maintain of the elbow can cease them pulling their paw away.
  • use your elbow to tuck their again finish towards your physique, leaving your fingers free.
  • use agency, flat-handed stress over the shoulders or over the neck to maintain them from turning their head.

What About A Kitty Burrito?

Personally, I don’t use the towel wrap until I actually should. I discover that the extra you attempt to wrap up a cat, the extra they’re prone to wrestle and panic, which is why I favor restraint strategies that permit them to really feel that they’ve some freedom of motion. Nonetheless, if you have to restrain your cat with all 4 limbs safely ensconced inside the confines of a towel, the important thing to creating this work is to make use of a big sufficient towel that lets you fold it up and over the entrance legs, then firmly gripping each side behind the top. From right here, you wrap all sides of the physique tightly, by no means releasing the grip in the back of the neck.

Dr Karyn demonstrating the cat burrito wrap method
The towel must be massive sufficient to fold within the entrance legs and should then be held very tight.

For a cat like Clutch or Cyril, who’re ridiculously relaxed and amenable to most issues, this methodology of restraint is absolutely resented, they usually actually combat towards it.

Set Your self As much as Win

If you realize you must do one thing your cat isn’t going to love, be sure you are utterly ready earlier than you get began.

  • Select a smaller room, and ensure doorways and home windows are closed.
  • Have every thing you’re going to want inside your attain.
  • Attempt to anticipate how your cat might react, and put together for the worst.
  • Don’t choose your cat up with out understanding how and the place you have to have them positioned.
  • Be pleasant and agency, don’t use power or worry.

Examine in with us every week to see Clutch, Zelda, Zazzles, Alex, and Cyril as they present you the way assured dealing with could make even essentially the most unpopular of duties much less hectic.