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I Can No Longer Scruff My Cat Without Her Hissing At Me

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by aforumuser, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. aforumuser

    aforumuser Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jun 14, 2017
    I don't think I am able to restrain her now. Whenever I scruff her she starts growling and meowing until she eventually is able to jerk out of the scruff. Once she gets out she would then hiss at me and try to lean up and paw me. I'm not sure what is going on. Before I was able to scruff her and move her without her reacting this bad to me at all. Now I can't even scruff at all and I'm starting to get a bit uncomfortable and nervous. I don't want to scruff too long because I'm afraid she will try to break free super forcefully and then bite me. I use to scruff her when I wanted to clip her nails and now I'm not sure how that is going to work. It seems that as she gets comfortable here she is beginning to get feistier. That doesn't sound good at all really. What has changed here? Why is she reacting so negatively to scruffing now?

  2. Alejandra Rico

    Alejandra Rico TCS Member Super Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    Asturias, Spain
    Does she show any other new behaviour? Is she uso g her litter tray propperly? Is there any signs of possible pain? Sometimes a cat that is ill or feeling pain for whatever reason will not let their humans pet, hold or pick them.

  3. aforumuser

    aforumuser Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jun 14, 2017
    she is using her litter box properly. just now she actually let me scruff her, however it is still difficult to cut her nails because she is not totally restrained. she tucks her paws in to hide them. if i try to get them out she will attempt to put both paws at me even while scruffed. she is very adamant of having her way. i'd prefer not to have to pay money to have her nails trimmed but i'm not sure what to do. i was thinking i can buy large gloves to protect my hands, then scruff her and try to clip the nails. that way if she tries to claw me or bit the hands even while scruffed i'll have some protection and won't need to pull back in order to get the job done

  4. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

    Sep 6, 2016
    Southern California
    Scruffing should only be used with kittens. Once they get older they don't have the extra skin and it is uncomfortable.

  5. aforumuser

    aforumuser Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jun 14, 2017
    How do I restrain my cat then?

  6. Miry-Mom

    Miry-Mom TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jul 5, 2017
    Jasper, Ga
    You could try wrapping her in a towel like a burrito. Then wrangle out one paw at a time. I haven't tried it yet, but there are some YouTube videos that gives some decent tips from what I can tell. Then when you are done, make sure you give her praise and treats so she can try to associate it as a positive experience.
    kittens mom and orange&white purraised this.

  7. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 11, 2015
    Naperville, IL
    Yes, don't scruff her anymore. Pick her up and tuck her under your arm while sitting in a chair. This will keep her from escaping, and you can do each front paw that way. This won't work for the back claws, but they don't need to be clipped as much. Mingo takes care of his own by chewing them.

  8. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 22, 2008
    I clip my cat's claws while she's napping and relaxed. Sometimes we only do a few at a time, but I never restrain her. If she starts to fuss over clipping, I just stop and do a few more later.

  9. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

    Sep 6, 2016
    Southern California

  10. arouetta

    arouetta Slave of Bastet's acolytes Top Cat

    Mar 31, 2016
    I do the same thing as DreamerRose does. I also am prepared to let go if a cat gets too squirmy (there's no law that requires all claws must be done during the same sitting). With Shadow I get help in the form of someone scratching her head non-stop since she HATES getting her claws trimmed. Distraction is awesome.

    There are very few times that a cat absolutely must be scruffed. Last vet visit Montressor tried to take the vet tech's arm off and right after that (30 seconds or so) when she inquired about scruffing him for the rabies shot the vet said no, just pet him, and the shot was done without him moving.
    kittens mom purraised this.

  11. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    Ummm when it comes to restraining my cats (like a necessary flea bath) I have found holding them loosely on their neck/chest (think of your thumb and forefinger in a c shape) and a gentle hand on their shoulders/back keeps them from jumping out the sink. When I clip their claws if they are starting to get wound up I stop (saying "all done") put the nail trimmers away and give them a couple of treats. I always give them treats when I'm done brushing/clipping their nails/applying flea medication/giving them a pill. If I don't get all their claws I will try again in a few days.
    You might want to start with just gently holding your cat's paws ... then when your cat gets used to it extending the claw and releasing their paw. Then clipping their claws. Be sure to reward them with lots of praise/affection/a treat when you are done with each step. Or you can try it while your cats are sleeping like some suggest :) I would caution using the kitty burrito method unless absolutely necessary since it will stress your cat out and make them feel more defensive/aggressive.
    PushPurrCatPaws, Miry-Mom and orange&white purraised this.

  12. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Apr 17, 2016
    Sydney Australia
    Your cat is hissing at you to tell you that she does not like being scruffed - so you should respect her wishes.
    With all best wishes,
    kittens mom and PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  13. MissMolly08

    MissMolly08 TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jul 3, 2017
    I have been using a calming spray + kitty burrito to trim nails. I spread out the towel, spray it with the calming spray and just let kitty lay on it for a minute while I pet her and she sniffs the spray. Once she seems content there, I wrap the towel over her and tuck her paws in...then just pull out 1 paw. I've only been doing a little at a time. One day I got just her dew claws since they are hardest to clip. The next day go back and do the other 4 nails on 1 front paw. Repeat until every paw is done. I still need to do her back paws but it's been working great for us.
    Alejandra Rico purraised this.

  14. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    I remember warning that scruffing is not a great idea. It should only be done in certain, more emergency-like circumstances -- cats really can up the level of aggression with you if you overuse it.

    I'm sorry you are going through this! It's very difficult to trim a cat's nails when they don't want it done, and if you continue when the vibes between the two of you aren't great, unfortunately you are just perpetuating a negative experience. You could also accidentally clip too far on her nails and cut the quick, which is painful. It needs to be as gentle and calm a process as possible. Sometimes cat owners can only clip a few nails here and there (not all at once) when their cat is calm and dozing in a sunbeam, for example. It takes a few days, if so. It has to sort of become a team effort between you and the cat.
    orange&white and kittens mom purraised this.

  15. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

    Aug 27, 2015
    Moriarty, New Mexico
    My cat vet does not advocate scruffing and does not allow it period within her practice. Another vet that I will still use and like had a vet tech grab my cat during a struggle in the middle of the back. Lets say it didn't end well for the vet tech and it wasn't my cat she was afraid of.
    The kitty burrito is by far the best way also be aware a cat may struggle more if they are placed on a slick surface. Once the feet start sliding around you aren't going to win any battle.
    Pick calm times and make sure you stay calm getting one nail done without a fight is better than getting them all with an all out war.
    I usually just go for the tips it's quicker and easier as I can simply press and spread their toes and get the tip without having to worry about getting the quick.
    maggiedemi, PushPurrCatPaws and orange&white purraised this.

  16. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

    Feb 20, 2011
    There are also cat bags you can zip the cat into and then unzip a single leg at a time to do nails.

  17. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    Hm. I could see my own cat taking a mere two times of hearing that zipper to know what was ahead of her!
    Poof, she'd be gone into a hiding place...

    kittens mom purraised this.

  18. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

    Feb 20, 2011
    The key is to have the bag open and ready for the cat before you approach them. I had a very large, bad tempered long haired Siamese. Used to have her shaved until she developed kidney disease and bagging her was the only way to groom her without being scratched up.
    PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  19. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

    May 22, 2015
    I'd have to take the bag three blocks away just to prep the bag and unzip the zipper, hoping she wouldn't hear it.
    danteshuman and kittens mom purraised this.

  20. Purr-fect

    Purr-fect TCS Member Super Cat

    Apr 20, 2017
    With patience and practice (for both our previous cat and us), we were able to clip our cat's nails with her simply lying in my wife's lap.

    I dont know much about scruffing, but I doubt its suitable for any cat other than a young kitten. Never tried it on our boys, but I think they would be rather upset if I did. They also trust us not to hurt them and I do not want to ever loose that trust.

    Greg will lie somewhat patiently in our arms while we clip knotted fur from his tummy or chest. (Arnold's fur doesnt matt as much). Both cats, being long haired sometimes need a wipe on their behinds. While they both look confused and uncomfortable when we have to do that, they never attack or try to hurt us.... and we never have to scruff them to restrain them.
    orange&white and Alejandra Rico purraised this.

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