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How to Properly Restrain a Cat

May 5, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Tips & Advice

I was describing “respectful” feline handling to a group of people.  The most common question was, “What?! You are not suppose to scruff cats? That’s how their mother’s disciplined them when they were kittens”

Great place to start.  Mother cats do carry their kitten by the scruff.  They do not discipline them in this manner.

With some cats, this restraining manner can have the opposite desired effect.  There are other more respectful methods and scruffing should be a last resort.  Having your body weight dangled does not make good common sense.

Most of us do not need to restrain their cats at home. Occasionally it is necessary for medical care or nail trimming.  Towels are an excellent method of restraining.  When we use this at the clinic we call it a “purrito.”

There were also questions about how to “punish” a cat for “bad” behavior. Cats on a whole respond better to leaning with positive reinforcement.  Yelling and punishment teach your cat nothing and may be counter productive.

Most of the “bad” cat behaviors that occur at home are normal for cats. Unfortunately the cat’s human companions are not always appreciative of these behaviors.

One of the most important aspects of working with your cat is for you to go outside your human box and think like a cat.  Not easy, but not impossible.  You will be amazed at how more enriched your life and relationship with your cat will become.


Dr Marcus Brown

Dr. Brown, founder of the NOVA Cat Clinic and co-founder of the NOVA Cat Clinic, received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1986 from the University of Illinois. Currently the medical director for Alley Cat Allies and is an active supporter in local, state and national feline organizations such as: American Veterinary Dental Society, American Association of Feline Practitioners, American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Brown also contributed the creation of the Association of Feline Practitioners’ 2009 Wellness Guidelines for Feline Practitioners.

Dr. Brown enjoys continuing education and regularly attends seminars and conferences across the country focusing on the advancement in feline veterinary care. Dr. Brown also utilizes on-line discussion groups and veterinary networks to assist the clinic in maintaining the highest level of care and providing the newest treatments available in feline medicine.

NOVA Cat Clinic
923 N. Kenmore St.
Arlington VA 22201

Phone: 703-525-1955
Fax: 703-525-1957
Email: novacatclinic@gmail.com

Website: http://novacatclinic.com/
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