Why do cats like to be scruffed?

Some individuals advise scruffing your cat to deter bad behavior, although cats are rarely grabbed for the scruff around their neck, and neither of these scenarios is helpful to emulate in a house, veterinarian office, or cat shelter. Everyone wants the best for their cats, but there are more efficient and considerate ways to discipline our feline pets. Learn how it is not advised that you scruff the cat to deter misbehavior.

What Does Scruff Mean?

Cat Scruff

Scruffing is a collective word for a hold or grip of the loose skin at the back of a cat's neck. The act of squeezing the scruff on the neck can range from a light squeeze to a firmer grip on a wider fold of skin, and it is occasionally combined with lifting the cat or severely restraining it in some other way.

The Causes of Cat Scruffing

Cats are only ever grabbed through the scruff of their necks when mating or by their mothers when they are kittens. Any of these scenarios shouldn't be imitated in a domestic setting. Predators and combatants will also grasp cats by the neck, but this is distinct from scruffing because it's a tactic to render cats helpless.

1 - Like Kittens

Kitten Scruff

Kittens arrive with an instinct to become limp when being carried in this way, but this instinct disappears during puberty. Mother cats will naturally stop scruffing behavior after the cats are approximately two months old.

2 - Mating


A male cat will stand over the female from behind and grab her through the scruff on her neck using his fangs during mating. As female cats frequently attack male cats during mating, it is thought that doing this will render the female immobile, provide the appropriate direction for mounting, and be a defensive action on the side of the male. In order to stimulate female ovulation, male cats' genitalia are covered in tiny keratinized spines that can be unpleasant for female cats, which is why female cats frequently assault the male cat while mating.

3 - Utilizing Scruffing to Prevent Rude Behaviour


It's a frequent misconception that scruffing will make your cats behave better. Mother cats are not scratching their young to chastise them, as was already mentioned; instead, it produces worry and terror. Using punishment and dread to train your cat is not advised for a number of reasons.

Why shouldn't you scruff cats?

1 - Can it heighten tension, worry, and terror?


Behaviour always has an explanation. When cats engage in unwanted behaviors, they usually do it out of instinct rather than out of malice. Cats who are punished may experience increased anxiety and feelings of insecurity. Stress and a lack of safety in your own surroundings are frequently the root causes of undesirable behaviors.

2 - Can interfere with your interaction with your cat.


We may respond in a manner that frightens our cats when they engage in behavior that we do not approve of. This includes yelling, shoving, hurling objects, and water spraying. As a result of increased dread and anxiety, these techniques can make your cat feel frightened and worried around you, lose trust in you, identify the punishment for you rather than the behavior, and worsen behavior problems.

3 - Aggression is a possibility.


Fear is one of the most frequent causes of cats' aggressive behavior towards people. Many of us would automatically become hostile if someone grabbed us while we were terrified, pushing them away or perhaps hitting them; animals do the same thing.

Does not sufficiently communicate your wants to your cat and does not successfully educate your pet on the desired behavior.

Punishment might stop the cat from behaving as they are currently doing, but it won't make them do what you want them to. Since it is exceedingly challenging for punishment to prove effective, cats frequently do not understand the behavior they are punished for, begin participating in the undesirable behavior while you are not around, or intensify the already-present behavior. In order for punishment to be effective, it must be administered within a second or two of the unwanted behavior, take place each time the behavior takes place, and be unpleasant enough to deter the cat from repeating the behavior again but not unpleasant enough to scare the cat.

You owe your kitty better.


You are the only person who can care for your cat. Their behavioral issues should be dealt with sympathetically and constructively.

Discovering the cause of your cat's undesirable behavior and then providing a better remedy are the best ways to discourage it. Cats frequently let us know when anything is wrong by engaging in undesirable behaviors like scratching or using the toilet outside of its designated area, so as their guardians know they are not fine, we must pay attention to them. This may be brought on by health problems, environmental stressors, a lack of sense of security, a lack of resources, and other factors.

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