Towel wrapping to gently restrain your cat August 07, 2017 13:28

Cats are agile and flexible little creatures, and “sometimes” they prefer not to sit still when you need to do something for them. Something like giving them a 
tablet for example. Or putting ointment into in an ear or an eye. Or trimming their nails, looking at their teeth, brushing their teeth or brushing out little knots
behind their ears. Anything really! 
The secret to effectively, gently and safely restraining your pet is not more force. Nor is it leather gloves and a full face helmet. It is knowing how to
wrap them in a towel properly, practising doing this often and giving them treats or favourite rewards while wrapped. 
There are many methods of towel wrapping, and some allow more access to different parts of their body than others, but I think the most versatile and useful wrap 
from a pet owner’s point of view is the “Scarf Wrap”. To effectively use the scarf wrap you need a medium to large sized towel and a clear bench. Lay your towel 
out first, then place the cat on the towel. Stand or sit so that you are up against the bench. The cat should be positioned so that their hindquarters are sitting
up against your belly. This stops them from going backwards at all. Use one hand to hold gently over their neck to prevent forward movement, and that forearm should 
rest along their spine to keep them from jumping upwards. This is gently preventing them from moving upwards rather than squashing them down. Grab the far corner and wrap 
around the cats neck just like a scarf. Switch hands, smooth the back of the towel over the cat if needed, and repeat with the other half of the towel. Then pick up 
your little scarf wrapped cat bundle and fold the open back under them to close it. That all takes a while to explain but in practice it is quite a quick wrap. 

Check out the video of me with Crumpet, so you can see how it looks: 
 
Remember you should do this when your cat is relaxed, and you should have some positive reward or treat ready. If you only ever do this when you do something that
hurts or tastes bad then you are going to find that your cat objects and struggles more and more, but if you mainly pair it with positive experiences, most cats are
quite happy to be wrapped. And that keeps you uninjured and less stressed. If at all possible start this when they are young.
Good luck!
Dr Amy Coles