Angry Cat at the Vet – Fractious Cat Restraint


Hi, I’m Megan. Today we’re going to deal with an angry cat. This is Max, and he’s been vomiting and losing weight, and so he’s here today so we can examine him, and draw some blood. He has been fired from other veterinary hospitals, and so we know that he has a history of being angry. He’s in here kind of growling at us and preparing for the worst. So, we are getting set up. Since I know he’s angry, we’re just going to assume that we’re going to need some some pretty heavy restraint on him. So I’ve got a cat muzzle out. In my opinion, this is the best invention for cat restraint ever. It’s a really hard plastic, kind of patent-y and it goes over there, you know, his face is going to go in here and we tighten it down behind his ears but he can still open his mouth, he can scream, he can hiss, he can breathe unobstructed, which i think is a problem with other cat muzzles. When they can’t open their mouths, they feel like they can’t breathe. That becomes a real problem. So goal number one is going to be and try and get this on his face. I also have a big blanket. This is not a cat that a towel is going to help with, so we’ve got a big thick blanket. Sarah is going to help me, so there’s going to be two of us working on him, and the goal is just going to be to be as efficient as possible. I have everything ready. I have a thermometer, I have a scale, everything I’m going to need to draw blood work. We don’t want to anger him and then have to shuffle around and find our supplies. Also kind of on board with the doctor so she knows exactly the order that we’re going to do things. She’s got a plan in her head, we don’t want to get this angry cat, out do a bunch of stuff, put him back, and then have the doctor come back five minutes later, oh by the way, do you mind doing this? So just make sure there’s a lot of communication when you have an angry animal so that you can get everything done, get him put away, and on his way. This is a carrier that opens from the top, but I am going to just take the carrier apart. This is kind of a small hole for us to get our hands in and drag him out of, so I’d rather just you know we’ll kind of pop all these, and then when we’re ready we’ll take the top off, get the blanket on him, and pull him out. I’m not a big fan of dumping cats out the front, just in case he bolts and we lose him- that’s not a good situation. You don’t ever want to have to pull a cat out from under cupboards, or you know under a shelf, or under a cage or anything like that. Certainly excaping out the front door, running into some dogs. All bad news. So we want to be as controlled as possible. I don’t know, now something’s up buddy, okay. All right, he wants to go hide in there. Okay, so I am just gonna pay attention to where his head is. So I’ve got my hand just kind of around his neck, to control his head. This cat, it’s never going to do us any good to scruff him. I think a scruff is a really good tool when you need to kind of immobilize a cat if he’s struggling a little bit when you’re trying to get blood. But when a cat is really angry and you scruff them, and you pull tighter and tighter and they struggle more and more, they actually can’t breathe anymore. It puts enough pressure on their trachea. So when I have a really angry cat I don’t scruff at all. I’m just going to kind of pin his head down. So I know his head is right here. Just pin his neck down so that he can turn and bite through the blanket if he wants to, but, just control that head. We’ll kind of get his feet under the blanket as we need to and then just go from there. So a lot of angry cat restraint is just holding them down to the table, which Sarah is going to do. So now I’m going to turn him so his head is facing towards me and we’re going to get the muzzle on. There we go. Okay, So just kind of feed his head in there, make sure the straps get behind his ears, and then cinch it down. It’s not impossible for him to get this muzzle off, if he gets his back legs up there, he can certainly flip it off over his head. But now I know that his teeth are covered, and he still has a lot of room to breathe in there. He’s still growling. Oftentimes just getting things dark, it’s going to help him. He’s not going to, you know, be able to see us moving around and, you know, anticipate movements toward him. So we’ll just kind of leave him in the dark, and next we’ll get a weight. Max, he’s just kind of gone limp here, which is in our favor. Okay, no bolting. All right, 14 pounds. Okay. All right, now that he has a correct weight, if we do get in trouble and we need to move to sedation, we’ve got that important piece of information and we can just move right to it. So Sarah’s got his front half, I just have some hands on his back feet. These cats can do some really good damage with back claws when they start bunny kicking, so it’s my job to protect the doctor, and so far so good. All right, so we got a quick physical exam done. He gave us a good urine sample, so that’s always helpful. He has been able to get out of his muzzle. This is, you know, we all need to be talking to each other. If I see that happen, I need to make sure Sarah knows his teeth are out so she’s going to be careful with that. If he’s struggling and I’m close to losing his back legs, if Sarah’s restraining him for something and she’s about to lose control of him, just let everybody know. You’ve got to yell it and say I’m losing it, so whoever is close to his face can step back if he does escape and get off the table, that’s better than, you know, having one of us get bit by a cat. You know, we can find him, retrieve him, and get him back. But nobody wants to go to the hospital. So I’m going to draw blood from this cat. I don’t anticipate him behaving very well so I’m going to use a butterfly catheter. This is a 23 gauge butterfly catheter. The reason that I like these is that it gives him the opportunity to struggle a little bit, and I’m not gonna lacerate his vein. You know if I’ve got this syringe on it and he moves around it’s pretty easy to cause some trauma there. Okay, so we’re gonna move him into a kennel now, and that’s where he’ll hang out until his owner is ready to come get him. So we’re not going to take any of the blankets or anything off of him, we’re just going to pick up the whole mass, and just move him into his kennel. So Sara’s still got a good hold on his head, so I’m just going to kind of help with the back end here and we’ll use an entire queen’s bed worth of laundry to get him picked up. All of that bedding in there will be helpful and it’s time to pull him back out again. We’ll use all the same big blankets and then get him out of here. So we’re back with Max, and after further discussion with the owner, we do want to do a good oral exam on him. There’s some concern for dental disease, and he obviously is not going to let us get a good look without some heavy sedation. So we’re going to give him some dexdomitor, and in order to do that we’re going to need to get him out of the cage. So he is already aware that I’m going to do something that he doesn’t like. The key to getting angry cats out of a kennel is to just do it very quickly and be very decisive about it. The more I flinch and kind of move around he’s going to learn very quickly what’s going on and he’s going to be able to get around it, and perhaps escape or cause injury. So I have another nice thick blanket I’m just going to go in, cover him with this blanket, again find where his head is going to kind of put my hands on either side of his neck and then just scoop him up and go from there. Okay and now we’re just gonna kind of wait, until he calms down enough. So we’ve done our oral exam, and we reversed his dexdomitor, and he’s now picking his head up and moving around on his own. So I’m going to let him recover the rest of the time in his own carrier so that we don’t have to get him out of a cage again. Oh buddy, okay, all right so he’s looking good, he’s definitely aware of his surroundings. Lock him in here, and now he is ready to go. We have successfully treated him and none of us got injured and he is no worse for the wear.

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100 thoughts on “Angry Cat at the Vet – Fractious Cat Restraint

  1. A cat fired from a vet, ive never heard anything so crazy. Surely they understand the cat isnt being like that to be nasty but because its scared.

  2. Wow, someone really knew how to handle him. Some people are good with cats. Poor kitty really is not liking a visit to the vet. Probably the way he is is because someone really traumatized him in one of his visits to the other vets' offices. Great video.

  3. Reminds me of my old tabby "Wilson" who weighed in at 23 lbs, but a real gentle baby.
    Sure miss my lil "Fat Bastard".

  4. Oooo I love him he's a handsome lil foof, I wonder if he ever got to a home and became more friendly with peoples

  5. Poor baby .. he actually did very well aside from making a lot of angry frightened noises. My little guy woulda been out of there in a flash!

  6. Been a shelter volunteer for years. Very good video, this cat is angry and your staff did a great job with him! Been scratched many times and agree about the scruffing

  7. hello!!!??? it's a cat, not Hannibal Lecter… did you see how angry he was when they said that he was 14 pounds? He was like "I'm not 14 pounds,… your scale is wrong!!!"

  8. Thank you for dealing with this Kitty….With my previous baby, (all muscle+like 14lbs at least)…After his 1st visit, I was given pills and told to medicate him at least 30 min before bringing him in or (basically don’t bring him), because He was more than a handful…(although they did say after released in a dark room by himself, he settled down & was always sweet)..so, I’m glad this cat owner found a place willing to work with him & Y’all did a Fabulous job in handling & dealing with Max…Bravo!..& Love Your Calm Professionalism…Thank Your for sharing how to properly deal with difficult kitties..I hope Max is doing Fabulous now…

  9. That was truly incredible. That kitty was probably scared out of his mind causing that anger. I felt so bad watching him. The way he was handled, with compassion, safety in mind (for him and the team) along with respect was VERY impressive!! All of you need a raise!

  10. Yes the cat does sound similar to a demon. I had an experience with a demon in our home because of Ouija board usage before people knew the dangers. The one time I heard it, it sounded similar to a very loud crying cat.

  11. Plenty of people in this world need help but everyone is too busy wasting all of their money on cats and dogs. If every Veterinarian went to medical school and became an actual real doctor, people (ie: humans, remember them?) could actually get proper healthcare.

    The pet industry is the most ridiculous industry in the world today. Cats and dogs now receive better healthcare than humans.

  12. I feel like that's exactly what a demon would sound like. I don't think I've ever seen a more angry cat in my life.

  13. Did they say what was causing the cat to have a hard time breathing and also throwing up? Is that a secret or something? I went back over it to see if I missed it.

  14. The very first vet that I used to take my animals to my animals were petrified to go inside of this vet clinic but when I changed clinics they walked in and were like they were at home just goes to show you that the first vet clinic was not very nice to them which I totally agree with because they did things that were unnecessary

  15. Poor baby! Mind you 14lb is large for a domestic cat – mine is 9lb, but he wasn't fat – I wonder what breed he is? If I was one of the nurses, I think I'd have worn gloves, or at least something to protect my arms.

  16. I feel bad for both the vet staff and the cat; he's probably a total lovebug at home, and the people helping to keep him healthy, unfortunately, never get to see that side of him.

    I'm lucky that my cat's vet think her angry-cat act is cute and funny, because she'll be growling and hissing and yowling… WHILE she rubs her head against their hand for loves.

  17. The nurses at my cats vet office need to watch this video. My cat litteraly sliced the vets and nurses arms. She twists and gets out all their "special" holds…scruffing does NOTHING for her…YALL did amazing. Wish I could bring her to y'all…they couldnt even listen to her heart lol. As soon as she sees the vet she jumps and attacks.

  18. Compassion for the vet?! Compassion for the owner. Could you imagine the visitors to the owners home? I bet you that cats name is either Lucifurr or Ouiser

  19. Great job on the female doctors/nurses part the animal owner was mostly over joyed to finally find a hospital for his pet that wouldnt bann it? That's sad but the work by the doctors/ nurses is incredible more people should handle furious animals like that instead of being put down or hurt.

  20. I was under the impression that you're going to make this quick not keep the cat under stress and the blanket for 10 minutes while you explain what you were doing. What's the point of having everything out and ready to go if you're just going to take your time to do it. After you got going you finish the job but meanwhile….

  21. Holy crap an angry cat can make some truly evil noises! Great job handling him with a minimum of drama and struggle. Very well done. These ladies know their stuff!

  22. Wouldn't it be better to have Max's owner give him a sedative before taking him to the vet? That's what my vet did when my cat needed to go have her stitches removed. And if he couldn't ingest a pill because of the stomach trouble then I would just sedate him right away before starting any examination. They did an amazing job when it comes to protecting the staff from getting hurt. But it was still extremely stressful for Max. I doubt he was fine after the owner brought him home. It wouldn't surprise me if he refused to eat or sleep and worsen his condition. And even though it looks like his aggression against doctors couldn't get any worse at this point he might actually outdo himself next time because of this bad experience, and find a way to be even worse and uncooperative patient because he definitely doesn't want to come near that Hannibal-mask or the treacherous blanket ever again.

  23. Impressive contol planning and execution ladies…..Saras well cute…..have you thought about having a blanket with sleeves and hands made for your protection?

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