How to Gently Restrain Your Cat For Grooming
Most individuals don’t think it is necessary to groom cats. They are, after all, very fastidious creatures. Seldom is a moment that goes by that we don’t see them grooming themselves. But cats do need our assistance when it comes to a more thorough grooming. The unfortunate thing is that some cats can be fidgety if humans try to assist them in their grooming chores. If your cat happens to be super-anxious during grooming, then you may want to learn how to restrain it in a gentler and more “humane” manner.
Acclimatize Your Cat to the Sensations of Grooming
One of the best ways to keep your feline grooming sessions fuss-free is to acclimatize your cat to the different sensations of grooming. Some cats don’t take too kindly to holding and carrying, however. As such, you have to be patient, persistent, and consistent.
Let your cat sit or lie on your lap. Glide your hand over its back using gentle strokes. Do this many times until your cat feels right at home to your strokes. Put your hands in other parts of your cat’s body and give gentle strokes. The point here is for your cat to learn to accept these “strokes” as pleasurable.
By the time you can hold and carry your cat without it squirming in your hands, you can start introducing the different items for cat grooming. Introduce your cat to the best cat brushes you can get. Let it investigate these brushes and combs until it considers them as part of its care. You can then hold the brush in your hand while stroking your cat’s back with the same hand. The idea here is for the cat to associate the sight of the brush to the wonderful feeling of your gentle hand strokes. If your cat reaches or rubs against the brush, praise your cat and give it a treat. Do this several times until your cat is consistent in trying to rub its body against the brush. This is your cue for the next step.
Glide the brush over your cat’s body in a gentle manner. It should mimic the gentle strokes of your hand. Give your cat time to acclimatize to the sensation. Before you know it, your cat will already be enjoying the feeling of the cat brush stroking its body.
The same is true when bathing your cat. You can start by introducing it to the best cat shampoo you can buy. This should already be easy if you’re able to teach your cat to accept your strokes as pleasurable and comforting.
If you can manage to do this, you may not need to restrain your cat all.
Wrap Your Cat in a Towel
There will always be instances when your cat will not cooperate. Fidgety and anxious cats can be challenging to groom. One way you can groom them without causing further anxiety is by wrapping your cat in a soft towel. You can also spray some feline pheromones onto the towel to help your cat relax and stay calm.
Lay the towel on your table or any other flat surface. Pick up your cat while caressing its back and place it on the towel. You can also place your cat’s favorite food or treat on the towel. If your feline friend is more excited about its toy, then use this instead of food. The important thing is to use an item that your cat has positive feelings about. This way, it will also learn to associate the towel with those positive feelings.
Once your cat is comfortable on the towel, pick up one side of the towel and fold it over your cat’s body. Pick the front edge of the towel and pull it towards your pet’s neck. Tuck the front edge under the towel beneath your cat’s neck like you would a scarf. Pull the other side of the towel over your cat’s body, but make sure that it is snug.
It is important to understand that this method covers your cat’s body so it may not be a good method for brushing its coat. It is great for clipping its nails and for cleaning its face, however. You can also use the towel method for grooming its legs.
Use a Restraint Bag
This contraption is like using the towel method since you will only have access to your cat’s head. As such, it is ideal for grooming this part of your pet’s body. Depending on the design of the restraint bag, you can also access your cat’s legs, paws, and other body parts through zippers.
The good thing about using a restraint bag is that restraining your cat is easier than the towel method. It is still crucial to introduce your cat to the restraint bag and wait for your cat to associate the bag with positive feelings.
These bags come in either canvas or nylon construction so that your cat will not be able to puncture the sides with its sharp nails.
Enlist the Help of Someone Else
Enlisting the help of another person can also help. He or she can hold your cat while you’re grooming it. This person can also soothe your cat and help it to relax. A setup such as this can make cat grooming easier.
Ask your family member to hold the cat by the back of its neck. He or she needs to do this on a gentle manner, though. Applying soft pressure on the nape of the cat mimics the way mother cats carry their kittens from one location to another. The natural reaction of kittens to such an action is that they will hold still. If you can ask your family member to hold the cat by its nape, you can also elicit the same response. This can make grooming your cat a lot easier.
Grooming our cats is important to keeping them clean and healthy. While not all feline pets like their human owners to groom them, you can use these methods to restrain your cat during grooming.