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Rhino[_3_]
December 30th 10, 08:11 PM
I was recently advised by one of the assistants at my vet's office that
picking up an older cat by the scruff of the neck was very painful for them.
However, when I asked the vet about it a few minutes later, she just
admitted that she didn't know if it was bad to do that. My first vet
enouraged me to pick them up by the back of the neck and said it was a way
to get their attention and let them know you were serious.

Naturally, this conflicting information has gotten me confused and I don't
know if I am doing something very bad by picking my cats up by the scruff.
They don't cry or bite or scratch when I try to pick them up that way but
they don't seem to be crazy about it either.

Is it possible that it is okay to pick up kittens by the back of the neck
because the fur and muscles are looser but that they tighten up in older
cats, causing them pain? If that is true, it might help reconcile the advice
I've received: perhaps it's okay to pick up cats by the scruff if they are
still young - up to 2 years perhaps? - but not a good idea after that.

Since the professional advice I have received has been so contradictory, I
thought I'd ask here to see what other experienced cat owners feel on this
issue.

--
Rhino

December 30th 10, 08:36 PM
On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:11:36 -0500, "Rhino"
> wrote:

>I was recently advised by one of the assistants at my vet's office that
>picking up an older cat by the scruff of the neck was very painful for them.
>However, when I asked the vet about it a few minutes later, she just
>admitted that she didn't know if it was bad to do that. My first vet
>enouraged me to pick them up by the back of the neck and said it was a way
>to get their attention and let them know you were serious.
>

I don't know about picking them up with their full weight dangling.
I've been told that gripping them tightly by the scruff triggers the
same response as when their mothers picked them up as kittens and they
become passive. Once they calm down, I keep a tight grip on the scruff
and then lift with the other hand.

It worked for me over a number of years when I worked in animal
rescue. It especially worked when I used to play Santa Paws and have
pictures taken with people's pets.

MLB[_2_]
December 30th 10, 10:21 PM
Rhino wrote:
> I was recently advised by one of the assistants at my vet's office that
> picking up an older cat by the scruff of the neck was very painful for them.
> However, when I asked the vet about it a few minutes later, she just
> admitted that she didn't know if it was bad to do that. My first vet
> enouraged me to pick them up by the back of the neck and said it was a way
> to get their attention and let them know you were serious.
>
> Naturally, this conflicting information has gotten me confused and I don't
> know if I am doing something very bad by picking my cats up by the scruff.
> They don't cry or bite or scratch when I try to pick them up that way but
> they don't seem to be crazy about it either.
>
> Is it possible that it is okay to pick up kittens by the back of the neck
> because the fur and muscles are looser but that they tighten up in older
> cats, causing them pain? If that is true, it might help reconcile the advice
> I've received: perhaps it's okay to pick up cats by the scruff if they are
> still young - up to 2 years perhaps? - but not a good idea after that.
>
> Since the professional advice I have received has been so contradictory, I
> thought I'd ask here to see what other experienced cat owners feel on this
> issue.
>
> --
> Rhino
>
>

Thinking about this logically, I would say it depends on how heavy the
cat is. IMHO you should leave it up to the mother cat to lift her
kittens that way. And if you pick up the mother cat, put your one hand
under her bottom and the other around her body -- if she will let you.
Happy Mew Year. MLB

Gandalf[_2_]
December 30th 10, 10:23 PM
On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:36:31 -0500, wrote:

>On Thu, 30 Dec 2010 14:11:36 -0500, "Rhino"
> wrote:
>
>>I was recently advised by one of the assistants at my vet's office that
>>picking up an older cat by the scruff of the neck was very painful for them.
>>However, when I asked the vet about it a few minutes later, she just
>>admitted that she didn't know if it was bad to do that. My first vet
>>enouraged me to pick them up by the back of the neck and said it was a way
>>to get their attention and let them know you were serious.
>>
>
>I don't know about picking them up with their full weight dangling.
>I've been told that gripping them tightly by the scruff triggers the
>same response as when their mothers picked them up as kittens and they
>become passive. Once they calm down, I keep a tight grip on the scruff
>and then lift with the other hand.
>
>It worked for me over a number of years when I worked in animal
>rescue. It especially worked when I used to play Santa Paws and have
>pictures taken with people's pets.

Yes, t've done the same thing. I ALWAYS take virtually ALL their weight
under their hindquarters, with my other hand.

I don't think you should EVER pick up and adult cat by the 'scruff': you
can tear tissue, internally.

Kittens weigh so little, so it's safe for them...and the momma kitty has
no other way to transport them.

But an adult cat, suspended by a few square inches of skin and
muscle....I'd be surprised is something DIDN'T tear, sooner or
later....or the FIRST time you did it, with a full grown cat!

A very good question that I can't remember ever seeing asked here
before, too.

jmc[_2_]
December 31st 10, 12:40 AM
Suddenly, without warning, Rhino exclaimed (12/30/2010 2:11 PM):
> I was recently advised by one of the assistants at my vet's office that
> picking up an older cat by the scruff of the neck was very painful for them.
> However, when I asked the vet about it a few minutes later, she just
> admitted that she didn't know if it was bad to do that. My first vet
> enouraged me to pick them up by the back of the neck and said it was a way
> to get their attention and let them know you were serious.
>
> Naturally, this conflicting information has gotten me confused and I don't
> know if I am doing something very bad by picking my cats up by the scruff.
> They don't cry or bite or scratch when I try to pick them up that way but
> they don't seem to be crazy about it either.
>
> Is it possible that it is okay to pick up kittens by the back of the neck
> because the fur and muscles are looser but that they tighten up in older
> cats, causing them pain? If that is true, it might help reconcile the advice
> I've received: perhaps it's okay to pick up cats by the scruff if they are
> still young - up to 2 years perhaps? - but not a good idea after that.
>
> Since the professional advice I have received has been so contradictory, I
> thought I'd ask here to see what other experienced cat owners feel on this
> issue.
>
> --
> Rhino
>
>

I've scruffed cats for control when needed, but would never pick up an
adult cat by the scruff without supporting that weight with my other
arm. A kitten is much lighter than a grown cat. I imagine for an adult
it's quite uncomfortable.

jmc

Bill Graham
December 31st 10, 04:21 AM
Rhino wrote:
> I was recently advised by one of the assistants at my vet's office
> that picking up an older cat by the scruff of the neck was very
> painful for them. However, when I asked the vet about it a few
> minutes later, she just admitted that she didn't know if it was bad
> to do that. My first vet enouraged me to pick them up by the back of
> the neck and said it was a way to get their attention and let them
> know you were serious.
> Naturally, this conflicting information has gotten me confused and I
> don't know if I am doing something very bad by picking my cats up by
> the scruff. They don't cry or bite or scratch when I try to pick them
> up that way but they don't seem to be crazy about it either.
>
> Is it possible that it is okay to pick up kittens by the back of the
> neck because the fur and muscles are looser but that they tighten up
> in older cats, causing them pain? If that is true, it might help
> reconcile the advice I've received: perhaps it's okay to pick up cats
> by the scruff if they are still young - up to 2 years perhaps? - but
> not a good idea after that.
> Since the professional advice I have received has been so
> contradictory, I thought I'd ask here to see what other experienced
> cat owners feel on this issue.

My vet, who has been scratched many times before, routinely picks up the
cats by the scruff of their necks. But only for the few seconds it takes to
put them in a cat carrier. I think time is the important thing here. If you
had to carry the cat across a football field, or somewhere that took some
real time, then you wouldn't want to carry it that way. I don't pick up my
cats that way, because they know me and won't scratch me. A few seconds
being carried like that won't hurt any cat.

Bohgosity BumaskiL
December 31st 10, 11:06 AM
I do not advize picking up cats over a year old at all, unless they are in
some kind of trouble. In that case, it might even be advisable to pick them
up by the scruff of the neck, asserting that you are the cat's mother....and
your owner probably knows that is a lie.

In the vast majority of situations, let them come to you. If they like your
scratching them before the ears, behind the ears, and the occasional
full-body stroke, then they will come back for more.

When I picked up my stray, she would not put up with a full-body stroke
until about a week had passed, and she still does not like being picked up,
although she will tolerate it, sometimes.

The one I've had since she was a baby will let me pick her up, and if I do,
then it will be a long time before she approaches me for attention.

So, as a rule, do not pick up a cat unless it is in trouble: Wait for your
owner to seek you, or give it a stroke wherever it is.

Bohgosity BumaskiL
December 31st 10, 11:44 AM
"Bill Graham" > wrote in message
...
(...)
> My vet, who has been scratched many times before, routinely picks up the
> cats by the scruff of their necks. But only for the few seconds it takes
> to put them in a cat carrier.
(...)

I do not remember the last time I used a scruff.
1. I put my right hand under a belly.
2. Lift until rear paws are off ground.
3. Put my left hand (from the far side) under
rear paws.
4. Then I move my right hand to secure forepaws,
instead of belly, bouncing a cat a bit.
5. If the cat resists, and I insist, then I tighten my
grip on rear paws, ready to hold them upside-down
if front paws escape.

To drop them in a carrier, the easy way is to set the carrier facing
upwards, then the cat goes in feet first. Again, no scruff necessary. I did
it with a black stray about three years ago. He fought like hell when he
realized he was going to be in the carrier until morning.

She would normally prefer falling to extending her claws to my shoulders.

Most of my scratches in the last year came from a cat that once liked to
literally jump on my back. She was very good at this; no claws. But she did
it a few times at too much distance from my fridge, and perhaps when she was
angry. I got angry and obstructed the top of my fridge with bottles. I am
actually sorry to see her stop jumping on my back: She will sit on top of
the fridge, and she is no longer willing to walk onto my shoulders.
_______
Cats like to lit'rally get high.

Tim[_2_]
January 1st 11, 07:19 AM
Rhino wrote:
> I was recently advised by one of the assistants at my vet's office that
> picking up an older cat by the scruff of the neck was very painful for them.
> However, when I asked the vet about it a few minutes later, she just
> admitted that she didn't know if it was bad to do that. My first vet
> enouraged me to pick them up by the back of the neck and said it was a way
> to get their attention and let them know you were serious.
>
> Naturally, this conflicting information has gotten me confused and I don't
> know if I am doing something very bad by picking my cats up by the scruff.
> They don't cry or bite or scratch when I try to pick them up that way but
> they don't seem to be crazy about it either.
>
> Is it possible that it is okay to pick up kittens by the back of the neck
> because the fur and muscles are looser but that they tighten up in older
> cats, causing them pain? If that is true, it might help reconcile the advice
> I've received: perhaps it's okay to pick up cats by the scruff if they are
> still young - up to 2 years perhaps? - but not a good idea after that.
>
> Since the professional advice I have received has been so contradictory, I
> thought I'd ask here to see what other experienced cat owners feel on this
> issue.
>
> --
> Rhino
>
>
>
Dont do it with cats that are 4mths old or more. There is to much weight
for their necks to bear. It can also cut off their air-supply. A full
grown cat can get quite frightened.

Tim

SJ
January 2nd 11, 04:02 AM
"Rhino" > wrote in message
...
> I was recently advised by one of the assistants at my vet's office that
> picking up an older cat by the scruff of the neck was very painful for
them.
> However, when I asked the vet about it a few minutes later, she just
> admitted that she didn't know if it was bad to do that. My first vet
> enouraged me to pick them up by the back of the neck and said it was a way
> to get their attention and let them know you were serious.

Don't pick up any cat older than 10 years old, by the scruff of their neck.
My cat, as a young cat, didn't object, and yes it got her attention. It's
what the mother cats do with their baby kittens. But notice that I said
"baby".

My cat as an older cat, would cry when picked up by the scruff of her neck.
Yes, it hurts older cats. Cats get arthritis. Their skin gets less flexible.
Their muscles are thinner.

Easiest way to understand this is to ask yourself: Can you bend over and
move as easily as you could do when you were a child?

SJ
January 2nd 11, 04:07 AM
"SJ" > wrote in message >
> Don't pick up any cat older than 10 years old, by the scruff of their
neck.
I will correct myself, having read other poster's notes....and I agree with
them,that it should only be done with a kitten, or very young cat. It does
scare older cats, they don't understand why the person they love and trust
is hurting them.

> My cat as an older cat, would cry when picked up by the scruff of her
neck.
> Yes, it hurts older cats. Cats get arthritis. Their skin gets less
flexible.
> Their muscles are thinner.
>
> Easiest way to understand this is to ask yourself: Can you bend over and
> move as easily as you could do when you were a child?
>
>

Bill Graham
January 4th 11, 06:27 AM
Bohgosity BumaskiL wrote:
> "Bill Graham" > wrote in message
> ...
> (...)
>> My vet, who has been scratched many times before, routinely picks up
>> the cats by the scruff of their necks. But only for the few seconds
>> it takes to put them in a cat carrier.
> (...)
>
> I do not remember the last time I used a scruff.
> 1. I put my right hand under a belly.
> 2. Lift until rear paws are off ground.
> 3. Put my left hand (from the far side) under
> rear paws.
> 4. Then I move my right hand to secure forepaws,
> instead of belly, bouncing a cat a bit.
> 5. If the cat resists, and I insist, then I tighten my
> grip on rear paws, ready to hold them upside-down
> if front paws escape.
>
> To drop them in a carrier, the easy way is to set the carrier facing
> upwards, then the cat goes in feet first. Again, no scruff necessary.
> I did it with a black stray about three years ago. He fought like
> hell when he realized he was going to be in the carrier until morning.
>
> She would normally prefer falling to extending her claws to my
> shoulders.
> Most of my scratches in the last year came from a cat that once liked
> to literally jump on my back. She was very good at this; no claws.
> But she did it a few times at too much distance from my fridge, and
> perhaps when she was angry. I got angry and obstructed the top of my
> fridge with bottles. I am actually sorry to see her stop jumping on
> my back: She will sit on top of the fridge, and she is no longer
> willing to walk onto my shoulders. _______
> Cats like to lit'rally get high.

Yes. When I said my vet picks them up by the scruff of their necks, I didn't
tell the whole story. She just gets them off the ground that way, and then
she supportws their weight with her other hand. Also, she usually already
has a cat carrier on its back, with its door open and waiting for the cat.
She then grabs the cats rear legs with her supporting hand, and places the
cats rear legs in the open door of the carrier, and then feeds the cats
front end through the door, and slams the door shut with the supporting
hand. The only exception to this is my B-K. The cat I picked up as a
yearling in the Burger King parking lot. B-K loves the vet, and will come
running when she gets here. If he doesn't, all I have to do is blow my dog
whistle, and he will come within a few minutes. He recognizes the vet's van
and rubs up against it and says, "Take me! Take me!". I just picked him up
the last time, and put him in her arms, and she took him to get his shots
and blood work done. He is one cat in a million.

dgk
January 4th 11, 04:01 PM
On Mon, 3 Jan 2011 21:27:28 -0800, "Bill Graham" >
wrote:

>Bohgosity BumaskiL wrote:
>> "Bill Graham" > wrote in message
>> ...
>> (...)
>>> My vet, who has been scratched many times before, routinely picks up
>>> the cats by the scruff of their necks. But only for the few seconds
>>> it takes to put them in a cat carrier.
>> (...)
>>
>> I do not remember the last time I used a scruff.
>> 1. I put my right hand under a belly.
>> 2. Lift until rear paws are off ground.
>> 3. Put my left hand (from the far side) under
>> rear paws.
>> 4. Then I move my right hand to secure forepaws,
>> instead of belly, bouncing a cat a bit.
>> 5. If the cat resists, and I insist, then I tighten my
>> grip on rear paws, ready to hold them upside-down
>> if front paws escape.
>>
>> To drop them in a carrier, the easy way is to set the carrier facing
>> upwards, then the cat goes in feet first. Again, no scruff necessary.
>> I did it with a black stray about three years ago. He fought like
>> hell when he realized he was going to be in the carrier until morning.
>>
>> She would normally prefer falling to extending her claws to my
>> shoulders.
>> Most of my scratches in the last year came from a cat that once liked
>> to literally jump on my back. She was very good at this; no claws.
>> But she did it a few times at too much distance from my fridge, and
>> perhaps when she was angry. I got angry and obstructed the top of my
>> fridge with bottles. I am actually sorry to see her stop jumping on
>> my back: She will sit on top of the fridge, and she is no longer
>> willing to walk onto my shoulders. _______
>> Cats like to lit'rally get high.
>
>Yes. When I said my vet picks them up by the scruff of their necks, I didn't
>tell the whole story. She just gets them off the ground that way, and then
>she supportws their weight with her other hand. Also, she usually already
>has a cat carrier on its back, with its door open and waiting for the cat.
>She then grabs the cats rear legs with her supporting hand, and places the
>cats rear legs in the open door of the carrier, and then feeds the cats
>front end through the door, and slams the door shut with the supporting
>hand. The only exception to this is my B-K. The cat I picked up as a
>yearling in the Burger King parking lot. B-K loves the vet, and will come
>running when she gets here. If he doesn't, all I have to do is blow my dog
>whistle, and he will come within a few minutes. He recognizes the vet's van
>and rubs up against it and says, "Take me! Take me!". I just picked him up
>the last time, and put him in her arms, and she took him to get his shots
>and blood work done. He is one cat in a million.

Now that is unusual. Yes, one in a million. But they're all so weird
that it isn't surprising that one likes the vet.

Bill Graham
January 5th 11, 02:21 AM
dgk wrote:
> On Mon, 3 Jan 2011 21:27:28 -0800, "Bill Graham" >
> wrote:
>
>> Bohgosity BumaskiL wrote:
>>> "Bill Graham" > wrote in message
>>> ...
>>> (...)
>>>> My vet, who has been scratched many times before, routinely picks
>>>> up the cats by the scruff of their necks. But only for the few
>>>> seconds it takes to put them in a cat carrier.
>>> (...)
>>>
>>> I do not remember the last time I used a scruff.
>>> 1. I put my right hand under a belly.
>>> 2. Lift until rear paws are off ground.
>>> 3. Put my left hand (from the far side) under
>>> rear paws.
>>> 4. Then I move my right hand to secure forepaws,
>>> instead of belly, bouncing a cat a bit.
>>> 5. If the cat resists, and I insist, then I tighten my
>>> grip on rear paws, ready to hold them upside-down
>>> if front paws escape.
>>>
>>> To drop them in a carrier, the easy way is to set the carrier facing
>>> upwards, then the cat goes in feet first. Again, no scruff
>>> necessary. I did it with a black stray about three years ago. He
>>> fought like hell when he realized he was going to be in the carrier
>>> until morning.
>>>
>>> She would normally prefer falling to extending her claws to my
>>> shoulders.
>>> Most of my scratches in the last year came from a cat that once
>>> liked to literally jump on my back. She was very good at this; no
>>> claws. But she did it a few times at too much distance from my
>>> fridge, and perhaps when she was angry. I got angry and obstructed
>>> the top of my fridge with bottles. I am actually sorry to see her
>>> stop jumping on my back: She will sit on top of the fridge, and she
>>> is no longer willing to walk onto my shoulders. _______
>>> Cats like to lit'rally get high.
>>
>> Yes. When I said my vet picks them up by the scruff of their necks,
>> I didn't tell the whole story. She just gets them off the ground
>> that way, and then she supportws their weight with her other hand.
>> Also, she usually already has a cat carrier on its back, with its
>> door open and waiting for the cat. She then grabs the cats rear legs
>> with her supporting hand, and places the cats rear legs in the open
>> door of the carrier, and then feeds the cats front end through the
>> door, and slams the door shut with the supporting hand. The only
>> exception to this is my B-K. The cat I picked up as a yearling in
>> the Burger King parking lot. B-K loves the vet, and will come
>> running when she gets here. If he doesn't, all I have to do is blow
>> my dog whistle, and he will come within a few minutes. He recognizes
>> the vet's van and rubs up against it and says, "Take me! Take me!".
>> I just picked him up the last time, and put him in her arms, and she
>> took him to get his shots and blood work done. He is one cat in a
>> million.
>
> Now that is unusual. Yes, one in a million. But they're all so weird
> that it isn't surprising that one likes the vet.

The other four hear the van a block away, and scatter. I won't see them
again until over an hour after she's gone.

Kelly Greene[_4_]
January 15th 11, 12:05 AM
"Rhino" > wrote in message
...
> Since the professional advice I have received has been so contradictory, I
> thought I'd ask here to see what other experienced cat owners feel on this
> issue.
>

When I worked in an Animal Clinic years ago we stabilized/controlled them by
the back of the neck but supported their rump with the other hand. Picking
up an adult cat by the skin at the back of it's neck alone is painful.
Please don't do it.

Kelly Greene[_4_]
January 15th 11, 12:07 AM
"ingold1234[at]yahoo[dot]com (Gandalf)" wrote in message
...
>
> Kittens weigh so little, so it's safe for them...and the momma kitty has
> no other way to transport them.

The mother is actually picking them up by the neck, which is strong in
kittens, not the skin alone.