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Too Old to Scruff Him?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Raymond is a 10 lb 11 month old Siamese. He's quite the hunter, and is not even allowed in the room where my gerbils are kept because on many occasions he has "gotten into them" (never harmed one, but I'm sure he would if he had the time).
Last night, my boyfriend and I were in the room with the gerbils, and so was Ray. After he nearly knocked a tank over, I picked him up by the scruff and carried him outside of the room and shut the door.
My boyfriend thinks he's too big to be scruffed now. When I worked at the animal shelter, this is how we were taught to handle a lot of the more aggressive cats, adult and kitten, so it never occurred to me that maybe Ray is too big now for me to be doing this.
What do you all think?
post #2 of 10
My understanding is that its a very safe way to handle cats--I've used it to handle aggressive cats, I use it on my boys both about a year a half old 9lb cats when I cut nails.

post #3 of 10
Yes and no. If you support their back end when scruffing them at the neck, that's fine. But to let all the weight dangle will hurt them. Only mom can carry the kits this way because they don't weigh very much.

If you've ever seen a mom trying to scruff an older kitten, she has a tough time as the butt will be dragging on the floor

I've scruffed cats when washing them to get them to "freeze" still - but their back feet were on solid ground.
post #4 of 10
As long as you support the cat's weight when you lift them, it's fine. Just know that if you use it when your cat is in trouble that's what they'll associate it with - not that it's a bad thing for a cat to know it's been bad or that you want them to "chill" out.

Be very careful with aggressive or spooked cats. If your grip isn't good enough you can be bitten.
A vet tech had a close call when my Tomas when he was a kitten. She didn't think she needed to scuff him as firmly, when the vet went to take some blood he proved otherwise. She was lucky that he didn't break the skin. I think someone else on here was bitten during giving their cat some fluids? from a similar reason.
post #5 of 10
My vet "scruffs" the girls if they get a little out of control but they are always on the table or other stable surface. A mama cat uses scruffing to reprimand or control a kitten by grabbing them by the back of the neck. I definitely would not carry a cat by the back of the neck unless thier body is supported.
post #6 of 10
I don’t know anything about this at all so I cant answer. I do know that Bugsy loves when his daddy scruffs him. It’s the cutest thing, his body will go limp, he will close his eyes and start purring… he is such an odd boy.
post #7 of 10
When actually held by the scruff this is an effective mode of handling a cat; especially one that is frightened, or aggressive. I scruff many of the cats I groom, mainly because it keeps teeth away from me! When I carry them, I will support them under the bum area, so they aren't just 'hangin' by their scruff.
post #8 of 10
I, too, use a scruff on occasion as a reprimand, but it's always been while he was laying beside me or on a steady surface. I agree, though, with the others that as long as you support the rest of his body weight, it should be fine.

It's rare I have to resort to it, as luckily a sharp "hey" usually suffices. When I do scruff him, it sure does get the message across without him getting angry or trying to nip at me in retaliation.
post #9 of 10
I just started volunteering at the humane society and they told us to always carry the cats by scruffing them and carrying under our arm and if we want (or the cat is too heavy), supporting them with our other hand. It's so that if they get freaked out, we don't lose them or get hurt by them.

I do it to Chloe when I am brushing her teeth.

It feels weird to do it to an adult cat. You have to make sure you are really holding them by the scruff and not just skin on their neck.
post #10 of 10
Riley gets scruffed when we brush his belly but his back end is always on the surface, supporting his weight.
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