Why is it not good to hold a cat by the fur of the neck? Experts answer
Know if it’s a good idea to grab a cat by the scruff or how best to hold them, according to information from veterinary behaviorist Lore Haug
It is common to see mother cats carry their kittens from one place to another while holding them by the neck , which is why it has always been believed that this way of holding a cat is the most correct. However, recently the question has been raised about what happens to cats when they are grabbed by the neck , after seeing the press officer of the Brazil team abruptly lowering a cat in the middle of a Vinicius conference .
So what is the best way to restrain a cat? This question has been answered by certain specialists, so this time we offer you the information from the behavioral veterinarian Dr. Lore Haug , who sees the pros and cons of grabbing a cat by the skin of the neck , a practice that only mothers cats are certain to dominate.
What happens to a cat when they hold it by the skin of its neck?
It has always been believed that holding a cat by the scruff of its neck is the best way to hold them since that is how their mothers do it since they are little. However, Dr. Lore Haug has explained that “There is no magic ‘easy’ button on the back of a cat’s head, and the analogy of a mother carrying her kittens is inaccurate.”
That is when a cat immobilizes and “calms down” when being held by the neck, it is actually acting relaxed by reflex. Feline mothers transport their young in this way only in the first weeks of life, with the intention of moving them around and not disciplining them as many interpret.
The risk that people run when holding a cat by the skin of the neck is not knowing the exact pressure to apply in order not to hurt or stress them, something that their feline mothers know by nature. Cats have pressure sensors in their teeth, which explains their ability to carry a mouse in their mouths without killing it.
In the case of adult cats and as happened with the press officer of the Brazilian Football Confederation, it is different. When they are older, cats can experience fear and stress from being held by the scruff, depriving them of their opportunity to back off and their sense of control. These negative effects increase when held by an unknown person or in strange surroundings.