RESTRAINING A CAT
Remember a cat has five weapons, its mouth and four paws. Cats are also just as
likely to injure their owner as a stranger. Its teeth are the biggest risk. The fine teeth can
penetrate joints or bone. An angry cat may also use its claws to drag a hand in reach of its
teeth as well as creating nasty scratches.
If you can get anywhere near a cat without it running away it usually will be co-operative
enough to at least pick it up.
- Approach the cat slowly, talking to it then sit down beside it.
- Pet the cat, scratching its ears and stroking it under its chin. At this point rub around
the back of the neck. Most cats will allow you to scruff them but some passionately hate it
and won't allow it.
- Choose how you are going to pick up the cat.
A. The most common method is to gently scruff the cat in your left hand to
stop the cat moving its head. (For cats that don't allow you to scruff them just hold the
neck to support the head.) Reach over the cat with your right hand and pick the cat under the
Your forearm should end up partly under the cat's body taking much of the weight. The
top of the front legs of the cat can be grasped with the fingers but don't hold the leg if it
is injured. Once the cat is in your arms bring it against you so it is secured between your
forearm and your body. Once it is comfortable in your arms you may be able to let go of the
scruff but it is a good idea to wrap your fingers lightly around the cat's neck, maybe even
scratching it under its chin.
B. Grasp the loose skin on the back of the neck just behind the ears and lift. The hind legs
can be held in the right hand to stop the cat kicking.
C. The above technique but the right hand is put under the pelvis (between the back legs).
Most of the weight is taken by the left hand. This is particularly good for breaks in the
D. The final technique is again to scruff.
However this time lay the cat's body onto your right forearm. This technique
is good for breaks in any of the legs or suspected injuries to the spine.
HOW TO PICK UP AN AGGRESSIVE CAT
Throw a thick towel or blanket over the cat then scoop it up so all the paws and the head
TRANSPORTING A CAT
Place the cat in a box, basket or carry bag. Pillowcases tied at the top make ideal sacks.
We have seen cats brought in inside laundry baskets (the type with the lid) or even the plastic
variety used for hanging out clothes. Either the owner has tied a towel over the top or more
successful is two tied securely together rim to rim.
Also cats have been brought in within sports bags.
Whatever you use remember they need plenty of ventilation to breathe and to remove excess body
Plastic bags are totally unsuitable. As are eskies (car fridges). This may seem stupid but we
have had cats die in transport after been placed in garbage bags or airtight boxes. It is also
illegal to carry any animal in the boot (trunk) of your car in Australia.