There is nothing unnatural about a dog wearing a muzzle, it is normal that if your dog misbehaves, you put it on to calm him down and make sure he doesn’t bite anyone. but about cats? have you ever seen a cat muzzle? If you think there is no such thing, you couldn’t be further from the truth. just look at sites like aliexpress where you can find hundreds if not thousands of those. you can even choose its color and style.
People say that a muzzle is a perfect way to prevent your cat from biting someone. but is it really? and most importantly: is it safe to wear a muzzle on a cat? read on to find out.
what is a cat’s muzzle?
As you can read on the pet place website, a cat muzzle is “a device that fits around a cat’s face and is used to prevent it from biting.” It is generally used during vet visits and in veterinary hospitals when the cat is behaving aggressively or is in pain. hairdressers also tend to use it.
You can also use it at home, but it can be difficult as they don’t like to have anything on their face and will try to take it off as soon as you put it on. the best, if you choose to buy it, is the one that covers both the eyes and the mouth, since the fact that he cannot see can help to calm him down.
to use or not to use, that is the question
the reason people even wear a muzzle is to prevent the cat from biting. sometimes using one is unavoidable, especially in situations where veterinary treatment is not optional, but necessary. Your cat may be used to many things, but at some point there will be an exam or procedure that is too much for her to handle.
A muzzle can also come in handy if you come across an injured cat, as that way you can help it without the risk of being bitten and contracting rabies or another dangerous disease. it’s good to keep it in a cat first aid kit, or in your car with a towel and a cat carrier.
When cats are stressed, they tend to breathe through their mouths. however, they cannot do that when they have a standard muzzle on their face. if it moves a little, the muzzle can cover the nostrils and the cat will find it impossible to breathe, since it only has a hole at the end. there is a particular type of muzzle called an air muzzle that, although larger than a standard one, allows the cat to breathe, see and meow normally.
The problem with muzzles is that anyone can make, sell and wear them; vets have no control over them. people whose cat has trouble biting will be tempted to use it, and if the muzzle is not used properly it can do more harm than it can do. a misused muzzle can cause the cat to have trouble breathing or vomit.
if not a muzzle, then what?
always keep in mind that there are always other methods you can use, instead of looking for a muzzle. one of them is clicker training. how does it work? In short, a sound tells the animals that their behavior is correct and that they will soon receive a treat. this method is even used with animals such as chimpanzees or elephants so that they accept treatment and examination. and cats are much easier to clicker train than an elephant.
the best approach would be to start accustoming the kitten to a vet from a very early age. the easiest way to do this is, for example, by visiting the vet’s office from time to time, even if it’s to no purpose, just to get the kitten used to the people there. you can try to pet him very often, in different places so that he gets used to being touched.
A cat is not the same as a dog. when it comes to dogs, a muzzle is definitely beneficial, but a cat is not a dog. even the shape of the cat’s mouth is against wearing a muzzle.
Simply put, a cat muzzle should be a last resort, as it has more cons than pros. if misused, it can be not only traumatizing for your cat, but also very life threatening (especially if he starts vomiting or has difficulty breathing). proper training will be more effective than a muzzle.
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