Soft, cute, cuddly, and sassy. No, we aren’t describing your high school crush. We’re talking about cats. Cat lovers will give their life for their furry four-legged feline friends.
But taking care of a cat is not an easy task. They might get scratchy and irritated when handling them. This can especially be a problem if you take them to visit the vet. Vets and cats aren’t the best of friends, to say the least.
If you know how to wrap a cat in a towel, you can calm them down significantly. Plus, it’s generally a good thing to know if you own a cat. This guide will walk you through everything you should know about wrapping a cat in a towel.
Why Would You Want to Wrap a Cat in a Towel
Let’s start with the ‘why’, and then we can move on to the ‘how.’ If you don’t have a cat or are thinking of getting one, you might be wondering why I would ever want to wrap my cat in a towel.
There is one primary reason to do it. Wrapping a cat in a towel or making a cat burrito (which is so much better to say) calms them down. This action restraints them and makes them easier to handle and work with.
Animals (including us humans) have what’s called a fight or flight response. When cats are stressed or in fear, it triggers this feeling. They will try to hide and protect themselves by fighting you.
You’ll see this behavior during visits to the vet. As cool as it’ll be, you can’t talk to your cat. When you take it to the vet, it doesn’t really know that you’re trying to help it.
This might cause your beloved cat to feel vulnerable or cornered. Imagine what it felt like going to the dentist when you were young. The feeling for some cats is akin to that.
Trained vets have an arsenal of tricks and tools to help calm cats down. One of them is wrapping it in a towel. It protects them from scratches and/or bites and generally makes the cat easier and safer to handle.
You don’t have to let the vet wrap the cat in the towel only, either. Doing it yourself will also help you calm the cat down when it’s a little bit of a menace. And we all know that can be more often than not.
Wrapping a cat in a towel allows you to do a lot of tasks easily. You can clean its teeth, ears, groom it and also give it medicine. So, how do you wrap a cat in a towel then?
Wrapping Your Cat in a Towel: a Simple Step by Step Guide
Making a cat burrito isn’t as tough as it sounds. You don’t need a vet license to burrito your cat. Having said that, you must do it properly and handle the animal with care. After all, it’s your best buddy we’re talking about here.
Step 1 – Prepare the Towel
First thing is to prepare the towel. On a flat surface, lay the towel longways. A large countertop works best here. But you can also use the floor. With the slight inconvenience of getting up, the floor will do just fine.
Step 2 – Pick Up the Cat and Lay It on the Towel
Now comes the main part, picking up the cat and placing it on the towel. Pick up the cat using both of your hands. This is applicable all the time. Cat behavioral experts around the world advise placing one hand under their front legs.
Put the other hand so that it supports their back legs. While you pick up the cat, it’s also a wise idea to speak to it calmly. This helps it know everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about.
One of the oldest tricks in the book you can use is giving treats. Some cats are very food motivated. Treats will keep them calm and eager to follow instructions.
Related: How to Wrap Towel Around Head
Then place it one on the towel. Leave about a foot of space free from the side edge. And make sure the head stays lined up with the long edge.
Step 3 – Get the Cat to Lie Down and Wrap the Towel
To wrap the cat properly, you need the cat to lie down. Place your hands over the back of its neck and apply gentle pressure. This will work most of the time. Other times the cat might just not want to lie down.
Don’t worry if your cat refuses to lie down. It isn’t the end of the world. You can still wrap him/her. You’ll just need to adjust how you wrap the towel around.
Take the shorter end of the towel and wrap it firmly over its back. You want to keep only the head exposed. Put the tail to its side in a way that it’s inside the towel. The same goes for those cute little paws as well. You also need to keep maintaining the pressure on its back.
Step 4 – Switch Hands and Wrap the Remaining Towel
You might need to switch your hands at this point. Wrap the remaining part of the towel over its back firmly. Of course, don’t wrap it too tight. You don’t want to suffocate it.
Step 5 – Hold the Cat Against Your Body
Lastly, once your cat is completely wrapped up, brace them against your body. You can do whatever you need to at this point. Give the cat medicine, clean its ears or trim its nails. Remember to keep the cat held against your body wrapped up in the towel.
Otherwise, the cat will try to escape. One thing to note here is if you want to trim its nails, you can leave the paws exposed. This applies to the rear end as well. Basically, whatever part you need access to can be left exposed. If you’re still a bit confused, you can take a look at this video.
Don’t Handle the Cat If It’s Too Stressed
Knowing how to properly handle a cat is one thing. But knowing when not to and when to leave it alone is another. If your cat shows visible signs of extreme stress, it’s best to leave it alone for a while. Let it calm down.
When your cat is explicitly vocalizing, hissing, or biting, these are telltale signs of extreme stress. In moments like these, you want to back off a bit and keep an eye on it from afar.
In extreme situations, some cats will be sedated. This is for the safety of both the cat and the handler. You should bring it to the vet if your cat is continuously stressed out. Best let trained professionals take over from here.
Hopefully, now you know how to wrap a cat in a towel. Make sure to follow the proper steps for your and the cat’s safety. Keep an eye for signs of extreme stress. That’ll tell you when you need professional help.
Other than that, if you follow the steps mentioned and handle the animal calmly, it should be fine. It isn’t a particularly difficult task and is a very useful thing to know. Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world. So, it pays to know to handle them.