Any cat, no matter how docile, can bite and/or scratch when it is very sick, scared or in pain. It is important to recognize these symptoms and take the necessary precautions to avoid unwanted bites or scratches. To do this, it is essential to always have its head and claws under control.
There are several effective ways to retain a cat and it is understood that we will only do it in cases of necessity: veterinary visits and emergency situations at home. The decision of how to do this will depend on whether the cat is calm and cooperative or if it is scared and aggressive.
The five most important points that we must control are its mouth and its four claws.
We must always try to grab him when he is on the ground, since a face to face will make him not want to cooperate and he will be more aggressive.
- If they cooperate, we will use both hands to grab them, avoiding immobilizing them by the neck, since although they stay completely still when you do it, it is something that stresses them out and makes them very uncomfortable due to the loss of control that it entails. In these cases it will be good to insert a hand under its body and immobilize the two front legs with it from below. When we have it restrained, we will bring it closer to the body, hugging it and immobilizing its hind legs, if necessary, with the forearm.
- Although he is participatory and allows himself to be manipulated relatively easily, it does not mean that for him it is not a stressful situation and after a while he will try to get away from us. In that case, at the first sign of stress (sudden movements, snorting, grunting, tail movements from side to side, etc.) it is advisable, without completely letting go (ideally keeping it held with both hands by the sides), to let it go. Let him step with his four legs on the ground or on the flat surface where we are manipulating him. This will temporarily reset it and we can continue; If we must handle it for a long time, it is advisable to do this periodically and even let it walk freely around the room at times, because even if the cat does not show obvious stress that does not mean that it is not feeling it.
- If he is very scared, we can pick him up by covering him with a towel. After a few seconds, when he is calmer, we will pass the towel under his body and pick him up like a bundle. This method will also work for aggressive cats, as long as we wear leather gloves and the towel is thick. In extreme cases, we immobilize its head by grabbing the neck so that it does not bite us, but remember that this is something we will only do in very justified situations. This procedure may also be useful when we have to medicate a cat orally that is not used to taking medication, or to cut nails when they are not used to it and it is absolutely essential to do so, but it will be important to have everything ready to that the process is quick and the cat does not become unnecessarily stressed.
- It is recommended that we always try to medicate them, when it comes to oral medications, camouflaging the medication with food so that it is not necessary to manipulate it and scare it.
In any process of animal manipulation, our state of mind will also be very important: if we appear tense, stressed, shout or speak in a higher tone than usual, etc. we will not be helping our cat. It is important to do everything in the most natural and relaxed way possible, safely and with the purpose of our mission clear.