Grabbing a cat by the scruff of the neck can cause serious pain and stress to the cat, and can also have consequences for humans. When breaking free, a frightened animal may bite or scratch its owner.
When a cat has done a mischief in the house by turning over a flowerpot, scratching the wallpaper or leaving puffs on the curtains, some owners, in a fit of anger, grab the animal by the scruff of the neck (or in common people by the scruff of the neck) in order to punish it in this way or move it away from the scene of the incident. However, veterinarians strongly advise against doing this. Seizing a pet in this way is fraught with consequences. What experts say about this is collected in her blog by writer and home economics expert Martha Stewart.
According to veterinarians, cats are grabbed by the scruff of the neck only in limited cases: by their mothers in childhood, when carrying kittens from place to place, and during mating. In the wild, a predator may grab a cat during a fight in such a way as to immobilize it. For her, this is associated with danger, so people are categorically forbidden to do this.
Do not forget that kittens have elastic skin on the nape, but this will not always be the case. That’s why cats don’t wear them by the scruff of the neck after two months. As animals grow older, they gain weight, and their skin becomes rougher and loses its original elasticity. If you grab a cat by the scruff of the neck and lift it off the ground, you can harm it not only physically, but also psychologically.
While you may see it as a way to scold or restrain a naughty cat, if you pick her up by the scruff of the neck, it can cause her a lot of stress.
“This human action takes away the cat’s ability to control its environment and movements, which can cause fear and anxiety and cause it to brush you off or run away,” says Whitney Miller, Petco’s chief veterinarian.
If you grab a cat by the scruff of the neck, it may not have a disciplinary effect, but quite the opposite effect, making the animal aggressive. Grabbing the scruff of the neck can make your cat angry, frightened, and hurt. A much better way to restrain your cat is to approach her slowly and carefully, holding her still, explains Dr. Garry Richter, founder of Ultimate Pet Nutrition.
Not only is scruff grabbing a counterproductive way to restrain or immobilize it, but it can also lead to a lack of trust between you and your pet.
“People should never hold or hold a cat by the scruff of the neck, as this may jeopardize their trust in the person handling them. Over time, your cat may associate the pain it feels with you, and this will make it fearful of you.” , added Dr. Miller.
If you grab an adult cat by the scruff of the neck, he will experience pain. The weight gained increases the tension. A sharp grip leads to painful pinching of the neck muscles and tearing of the skin, which can cause damage to the spine and squeezing of the throat.
Risk of injury
A struggling cat that is held by the withers can harm not only itself, but also its owner. Trying to protect himself and escape from pain, he actively hits with his paws with sharp claws and uses his teeth. Because of this, a person risks getting lacerations, which often leave deep scars.
Against the background of stress, persistent unsociability and deep depression can develop. Animals experience these states in different ways. Some become apathetic, do not respond to calls and refuse to eat, while others actively demonstrate their dissatisfaction by leaving marks, damaging furniture and scratching their hands. Scolding a cat for such behavior is completely pointless, since in this case the fault lies solely with the person.
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