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The FeLines, Issue #002 -- "Protect Yourself When Providing First Aid for Cats".
January 04, 2008
the FeLines News for Mews

Protect Yourself When Providing First Aid for Cats

If you've ever struggled with you cat at the veterinarian or during an emergency where you needed to control her, using a cat muzzle may prevent both frustration and injury.  It may be necessary to keep your cat from biting you because they are in pain or frightened.   We've tried a couple of methods to reduce fear and injury. 

Have you ever watched a bird handler work with wild birds, especially raptors like owls, falcons, and hawks.  Quite often the bird is wearing a hood.  When it can't see, the bird remains calm and under control.  The same concept works for cats. 

Muzzles are commercially available and can serve a valuable purpose.  They are made of a lightweight nylon, fleece or a mesh material. They should only be used short-term.

Handling cats even when they aren't injured or frightened can be challenging.  Place them in a situation where they are in pain or frightened and its like wresting a cross between an octopus and an alligator. A muzzle can prevent bites to the handler.  It also reduces you cat's ability to claw you.  The cat can't see you coming, so she can't lash out at you with her claws. 

If your cat requires frequent vet visits or is aggressive during treatments, then sedation may be preferred to a physical restraint. 

Sedation or muzzling is fine for scheduled vet visits, but is a muzzle really appropriate during an emergency? We've tried putting a muzzle on a cat when she's not experiencing a medical emergency.  It wasn't all that easy. 

For restraining a cat, we use a method described in our First Aid for Cats column.  We use it successfully every time.  Grab a thick towel or blanket and snugly wrap the towel around the cat, securing her legs inside.  Now her head does remain visible, but the rest of her is secured inside the towel.  

This method removes 4 legs and all her claws from the equation. This is also our favorite method to immobilize her so that we can pop a pill down her throat. 

Be prepared for emergencies by reading our First Aid for Cats

Thanks for inviting us in,

Coolest Cat Care ezine Team member

Coolest Cat Care the ";FeLines" Team eZine

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