Your Cart:
0 Items
Subtotal: $0.00

Free shipping on orders over $75, some restrictions apply.
Better Business Bureau Accredited Business
Scruffing Your Cat PDF Print E-mail

cat_scruffingKnowing how and why to scruff your cat provides a valuable method of containment when you need to restrain her for medical treatment, training or safety reasons.

Scruffing is simply the act of grasping the loose skin high on the back of the cat’s neck.

We need only look to nature to find perfect examples of its use. Mother cats use scruffing when first transporting their young. The mother cat picks up her kitten by the scruff and the kitten instinctively hangs quietly while being carried.

As the kittens grow and are too big to carry, the mother cat may employ scruffing for disciplinary reasons. For most instruction, a mother cat may use her voice or push the kitten with her body. In certain situations, such as a fight between littermates or when safety is a concern and more authority is needed, she may scruff the offender. The kitten will be still and cease the undesirable behavior.

Scruffing can also a be useful tool for us. Many cats retain the scruffing instinct into adulthood and will go limp in recollection. Scruffing is an intense form of control, and it should be used carefully and only for specific situations when other methods don’t work such as:

  • Trimming nails
  • Combing out matts
  • Giving medications
  • Administering first aid (link to article)
  • *Stopping bad behavior

*Use extreme caution when attempting to scruff a cat who is angry or agitated. Rather than stopping the bad behavior, this firm rebuke can easily make the situation worse, and you will get bitten or scratched. Scruffing should be used only for cats with calm temperaments whom you know and trust very well.

How to scruff your cat:

  1. Gently and firmly grasp the loose skin on the back of her neck as close to the ears as possible.

  2. The closer to the ears you scruff, the more control you will have over your cat's head and any struggling or biting.

  3. If the cat is to be restrained for examination or administering medicines, gently push her head toward the floor or table and kitty should lie quietly on her tummy. Use your free hand to lightly hold her butt down or control her rear legs.

  4. If you are scruffing for discipline, firmly say "no" while holding her down until she relaxes.

  5. If the cat must be lifted while being scruffed, you need to support her weight by placing your free hand under her rump or back legs as you pick her up and place her where you want her to be.

To continue reading, please visit

Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.

Newest Cat Articles

Cat Articles (all)

All Pets Articles (all)





Become an Affiliate