|Genghis Khan kitty...meet the binder clip. You'll see it again next nail clipping time.|
Sounds crazy. Sounds cruel. Actually, veterinarians at the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine tested the technique of using binder clips on the scruff of a cat's neck to get them to relax. They found in their examination that 30 out of 31 cats responded favorably to the clip technique than to other kinds of restraints. In fact, some cats would lie down and purr when they saw the clips coming!
The idea is simple: the vets took a two inch binder clip, the same kind found around any home or office, and placed it on the scruff of the cat's neck. It's the same spot where a mother cat would hold her kittens to carry them.
The vets speculate that the clip induces the same limp, totally relaxed state in adult cats overcomes kittens when Mom cat grabs them by the scruff. It's a simple automatic reflex that can save a kitten's life when the mother cat needs to move her babies out of harm's way. The same reflect can be harnessed in adult cats to simplify veterinary procedures or even help cats relax while their nails are clipped.
I actually do "scruff" my cats during nail clipping. I place the cat on our bed, and grasp the scruff firmly but gently while John uses nail clippers to trim all of the nails on all four feet. It only takes a few seconds, but the person doing the clipping has to have a very steady hand. Once kitty is done, he's released. All of our cats scream and growl while we clip their nails, but it's all bluff. Once scruffed, they're calm as can be.
It's good to know that my scruffing technique on the cats works with clipnosis!
Here's a video showing a vet using a binder clip. Neat, isn't it?
Cats are amazing!