An Easy Way to Calm your Cat
As a cat lover, I’ve come across more than my fair share of crazy felines. You know, those cats that constantly freak out, run around or scurry away every time someone who isn’t their owner nears them.
My boyfriend’s cat Athena happens to be like that. She’s a lovable and ridiculously soft little furball, but she becomes pretty agitated when someone she isn’t familiar with tries to approach her. It actually took her a few months to even get used to being around me.
Luckily there’s an easy way to calm an anxious kitty: grab it by the scruff of the neck. Yes, it sounds harsh, but it’s not. Cats are grabbed there as kittens by their mothers, so they are used to the feeling. I tried it the other day on Athena while she was running around panicked and it worked. I approached her slowly, then knelt down and grabbed her firmly (but not roughly) by her scruff. She immediately seemed more at ease and relaxed. She didn’t try to claw her way out of my arms, unlike the previous times I tried to grab her while she was nervous. She was fine as long as I held her gently in one arm and used my other hand to grip her scruff.
So the next time you notice your cat flipping out, try this technique. Be careful though. Stay calm and be as gentle as possible when you approach. Walk up to them slowly and gently to calm them. That’s what I did with Athena, and it was much more effective than those times when I chased after her as she ran away. Extend your arm toward them and immediately grab the scruff. Hold it firmly, but don’t squeeze incredibly hard, just enough to get a solid grip. Most cats will then calm down and remain that way for as long as you hold them. Also, be prepared for the cat to jump away from you the moment you let go.
Here’s a quick youtube video of a variation of this technique. A veterinarian discovered that applying a large office clip to the scruff of a cat’s neck eases agitated cats.