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Getting a Cat to Settle Down for Grooming

Cats can be tricky to handle, especially when you want to do something to them, such as groom them, trim their nails, or brush their teeth. Here are some tips to help

  • Gently does it - Remember that with cats minimal restraint is the name of the game. Take time, move like molasses, and hold the cat lightly.
  • Use discretion The use of physical force is most unwise. Even if it helps get the job done you will have a much harder battle the next time. If the going gets rough and your cat starts acting up, it is time to stop. Quit for a while and try again later.
  • Have patience You don't have to get the whole job done all at once. Sometimes it is best to chip at the problem, rewarding your cat along the way with praise, petting and treats. Pretty soon he will come to understand that you mean him no harm and will develop tolerance.
  • Get a (light) grip Cats' moms restrain their kittens by gently grasping the nape of the neck. If you use your thumb and forefinger to lightly pinch the loose skin behind your cat's neck you may find it has an immobilizing effect.
  • If all else fails Get a lesson from your cat's veterinarian on how to do what you have to do. She may prefer to trim the cats nails herself, perhaps using physical restraint (e.g. towel or cat bag) or a sedative.
  • Start young Whatever you have to do will be easier if you start while your cat is a kitten. That way grooming a tooth brushing become part of everyday life, as opposed to an imposition.

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