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Handling Kittens and Adult cats

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
As I've mentioned in other posts, I am new to the cat world. Just got two kittens.

I heard that the best way to handle a squirmy kitten is to hold them by the scruff of their neck, like their momcat would move them around. Is this true, and will I be able to do this into adulthood? Does it hurt them? They look uncomfortable, but aren't necessarily squirming out in pain either. Thus far I've found it's about the only way I can bathe and apply their allerpet treatments.

Thanks for feedback!
post #2 of 4
if you do it gently, scruffing the neck is a way to handle kittens. But it is not the ideal way to hold them, and you will not be able to carry them this way as they grown into adulthood without seriously ticking them off! I find that a kitten responds better held in the crook of my arm, with my one hand firm but gentle over the middle of it's back. Maybe it feels more secure? Or you can wrap the kitty up in a soft towel so only the head is exposed and carry it around until it gets used to being handled by humans.

I don't know the age of your kittens but baths shouldn't be done at an early age unless absolutely necessary. Kittens catch cold easily. When you do bathe them, put them inside a tall bucket with a little bit of water, this keeps them warm and stops them from trying to scratch their way out. Bathe them quickly and have some towels cycling in the dryer to warm them when you are done. Snuggle with them until they stop trembling then using a flea comb, comb them out till they dry.
post #3 of 4
I disagree with "scruffing" a cat at all unless it is absolutely necessary. The fact is that we are not "the mother cat" and we are not able to hold them the same way a mother cat would. "Scruffing" by humans can cause all sorts of injuries to a young kitten, and older cats should never be scruffed!

Snip, I don't know your reasons for giving your kittens frequent baths, but you really shouldn't need to unless they have rolled in spaghetti sauce or something ... a thorough wipe-down with a warm, damp wash cloth is all they need to reduce dander and shedding fur.

Frequent baths are bad in that they cause the cat's skin to dry out and actually create MORE dander than they would if not given a bath. It is nearly impossible to remove ALL the cleansing agent you use and it will cause the skin to dry out and in sluffing off, create even more of the allergen you are trying to eliminate.

If you feel you MUST give them baths, then limit it to once every other month, with a good, thorough wipe-down once a week. If your allergies bother you, then get one of those air purifiers and make your bedroom a "no cat zone". That way, you have at least one room of your home where you don't have to subject yourself to the allergens you are trying to avoid.


post #4 of 4
Ack!! No, don't carry cats by their scruff! What gayef said. Yes indeed, it hurts them. You can really hurt an adult cat that way. Cats need to have their body weight supported when being lifted or carried. Mother cats only carry tiny infant kittens when they feel the need to move them from danger or to a new nesting site. Even they don't do it much. The mother meows to call the kittens or the kittens just go where mom goes (don't want that food source to go too far!)

No need to bathe cats, as was also said. Just put the allerpet on a washcloth and wipe the cats down with it, as it says on the bottle. If you insist on bathing them, do not have water running next to them as it scares them.

Now if a cat is on the ground, holding them gently by the scruff to keep them still for some necessary reason is fine. Gently holding onto the scruff while the cat is firmly planted on a surface does help them to act more submissive so you might do that while using your other hand to wipe them with the allerpet wetted washcloth.
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