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is picking up a grown cat by the back of the neck dangerous?

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.

  
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Eva

979471
 
 
Purred: Tue May 12, '09 6:24pm PST 
I was wondering if anyone could tell me if picking up a grown cat by the back of the neck is dangerous for the cats health. I know their mommas did but to me it seem that the extra weight and the long bodies would make it bad for the spine. I'm asking this because my step son keeps picking Eva up by the neck and I just hate it. His daddy taught himto do it and told him it was ok and that it wouldnt hurt the cat. He just picks her up and holds her in the air. Nothing else but just to pick her up that way. Sometimes he even totes her around that way. It seems so mean and disrespectful to me!!! How can I make them stop doing this to her. she is already a very nervous cat. Can anyone give me a link for truth to this? I need proof for my husband.

Edited by author Tue May 12, '09 8:15pm PST

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Chloe ~ Itty- Bitty Angel- Kitty

Itty bitty Chloe- kitty
 
 
Purred: Tue May 12, '09 6:28pm PST 
Its definitely going to cause her to mistrust and fear your stepson, and probably everyone else, as a cat in a "scruff" is vulnerable. Holding an adult cat in the air by the scruff -is- dangerous because they weigh a lot more than a little kitten and it can hurt! Not to mention your son is in very real danger of being scratched and/or bitten by the cat.
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Wally♥Forever Loved

Sophie\\\'s- Forever Love
 
 
Purred: Tue May 12, '09 6:31pm PST 
In one word? YES! It is dangerous.

Edited by author Tue May 12, '09 6:32pm PST

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Athena (In- Memory)

Purrs and Love- to Mom and- Toulouse

moderator
 
 
Purred: Tue May 12, '09 7:28pm PST 
You state on Eva's page that she is moody, prefers to be a loner and your family has to chase her down just to love on her. Carrying her around by the scruff of her neck is painful and is what is creating this negative personality. Besides being disrespectful to Eva, those who continue to do this will reinforce her distrust of your family. For Eva's sake, please stop.

Edited by author Tue May 12, '09 7:29pm PST


Chloe ~ Itty- Bitty Angel- Kitty

Itty bitty Chloe- kitty
 
 
Purred: Tue May 12, '09 7:45pm PST 
Chasing a cat will also increase their fear and mistrust. Declawed cats often show negative social behavior, as well, because they no longer have their first line of defense.

The way to a cat's heart is to let them approach you, at their own pace, however slow it may be.
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BooBoo

headed for the- light.
 
 
Purred: Tue May 12, '09 8:45pm PST 
The cat expert at about.com says..
Warning: Although veterinarians may pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck, notice that they also support the cat with the other hand. Never pick up an adult cat by the scruff, as it can do serious internal damage. Always support the full weight of the cat underneath its body with the other hand.

Wikihow says...
Improper technique will result in choking your cat. It may become scared and panic or regard the scruffing as a type of punishment. You don't want that, because your cat will lose its trust in you. ".

Ask a Vet says...
In general, dogs and cats should not be lifted primarily by the scruff of the neck because it is a dominant behaviour. They should be lifted with two hands to support the weight – i.e. one under the animal’s arms, and the other under the rump. Particularly, as the animal ages and gets larger, it should not be lifted off the ground using only its scruff because the heavy weight of the rest of the body will cause excess strain on the loose skin and may be painful. In adult animals, scruffing should be done gently for training or restraint purposes, and only by those that know what they are doing. It would be best to consult a trainer or your veterinarian for a demonstration.



But...Eva, as to a "reason", even without a concrete reason your female human's husband and stepson should stop carrying you that way out of respect for HER, because she asked them not to, even if it really wasn't hurting you--that's what Meowma says anyway!

Edited by author Tue May 12, '09 8:46pm PST

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Oliver

Named for the- other famous- green tractor
 
 
Purred: Wed May 13, '09 5:44am PST 
Uhhh.. this is YOUR cat? And this is your Stepson?

Seems to me the answer is obvious.. while a step parent is typically not a disciplinarian, you can require that the stepson not do this to what is YOUR property?

I have no idea the age of the stepson, but it sounds to me like letting him know the cat is off limits would be a good idea. NO is a complete sentence.. even to a very young child.

Picking up a full grown cat by the scruff of the neck and letting the cat dangle is cruel beyond measure. It is painful to the cat and leaves the animal feeling helpless.

Good grief.. my advice is to get a back bone and lay down the law. You don't need "proof" beyond this is your cat and your rules cover your cat and one of the rules is NO CHASING the cat and NO PICKING UP BY THE SCRUFF. Period.

My goodness, I have a German Shepherd dog who has been taught not to chase the cats or pick them up. If a DOG can be taught, it seems to me a child could grasp the concept too.

I am sorry if this is harsh but Golly Gee Wiz I really hate to hear of animal abuse and this is absolutely abuse and you are letting it happen.
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Boris

I'm cute and I- know how to use- that :)
 
 
Purred: Wed May 13, '09 7:44am PST 
I'm with Oliver: your cat, your rules.

Like everyone else said, this behavior is contributing to her unsociableness. I understand that you don't want to be the bad guy, especially since you're a step parent, but you can always tell the husband that what his son does is upsetting your cat, and therefore upsetting you. You need not give a medical reason, although you might as well toss that in there, now that you know.

As a rule, as the adult you need to guide the interactions. I don't have kids, but my cat Boris is fearful of kids, so whenever we've had friends with kids over, I've taken the lead in explaining to them that my cat is shy, and approaching him doesn't work, so they need to let him come to them. I tell them that if they want to play with him the best way to do so is through feather wands, which allows everyone to play without touching one another. If you don't have a wand, invest in one, and teach your stepson to use that to play with the kitty. I guarantee you both of them will have more fun that way.

Edited by author Wed May 13, '09 7:45am PST

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Spooky

Master of the- silent meow
 
 
Purred: Wed May 13, '09 11:39am PST 
I'm sure your husband was taught that scruffing was fine, and no distinction was ever made between kittens and adults. I learned it that way too, and it was by seeing the pain it caused that I learned adults cannot be picked up that way. I will use the scruff to restrain a cat if necessary, for example when I had to express Spooky's bladder. I will also use it for discipline, but never pick the cat up all the way - just enough to get its attention and not enough to hurt.

Oliver, I understand your frustration but it's a little beyond the pale to say Eva's mom is letting abuse happen. She's asking how bad the practice is and how to go about stopping it.
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Bumpurr

RESPECT The- Star!
 
 
Purred: Wed May 13, '09 3:17pm PST 
Scruffing a cat, is a disiplinary measure, and should only be done by
very knowledgeable people, who know what they are doing. Done
incorrectly, it can harm the cat, and the cat has no idea why he is being
disiplined and can lead to mistrust and fear.

Scruffing is a tool, and just like any tool, that is used correctly, it does the
job it was intended for, done incorrectly, can lead to damage.

And, when one scruffs a cat, the cat is always supported by the back end.
Not supporting the cat, can lead to alot of medical issues.

Here are some links to help you.

http://cat-care.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_pick_up_a_ca t

http://cats.about.com/od/behaviortraining/ht/ScruffingCat.htm

I didn't read your page, just don't have the time, am in the middle of
show season with 2 kittens. But I do agree with Oliver.

Please teach the step child the proper way to handle a cat and ask your
husband to read these posts and the links I and others have provided.

Still need help convincing your husband? Give me your address and send
me a ticket, be glad to show him the light. Mis-treating kitties, is a
hanging offense in Texas. Don't mess with Texas. big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin
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