Categories: product reviews

Cat muzzles: some vets like them while some cat owners hate them

It is not unusual to place a muzzle on a dog in a veterinary clinic. Some vets and vet techs really like them for the obvious reason they can go about their work without fear of a nasty bite.

Cats are a bit different but they can bite hard so why are a lot of cat owners vehemently opposed to a muzzle? They do come in different shapes and sizes. The one below (black) is on Amazon and it looks horrible to be honest. I am sure that most cat owners would agree but I’d appreciate your input.

Pics: Amazon (left) and and air muzzle by NCGI (right)

Another type is open and larger. It would seem to remove the possibility of inhibited breathing if the cat is panicking and panting.

I think I’d be disturbed if my vet insisted on putting a muzzle on my cat because it might make matters worse (he is a wild child). But I have never tried it so I don’t know what would happen.

The cat or dog muzzle is not only recommended by some vets but by groomers also. I don’t know the percentages i.e. the percentage of vets and professional groomers who like and use muzzles.

From the veterinarian’s perspective muzzle’s make sense because the cat or dog is in a strange place with strange people and other cats and dogs with strange sounds. It is all designed to make a cat very anxious. Anything can happen including a moment of aggression against the vet who is trying to do an examination which requires some firm handling. Drug sedation is an alternative but is it better?

It is not enough for cat owners to say that their cat has never bitten anyone at home. An animal hospital is not home. It is a potentially scary place for cat and owner. Unpredictable behaviour is foreseeable.

One vet says that “pets usually don’t react at all to them, although a few will make attempts to remove them. In the vast majority of cases the patients just sit there…”. But what about the minority of patients who react badly? For the owner it would be distressing (and for the cat).

So what do you think? Do you take the side of the vet, vet tech or groomer or the indignant cat guardian who insists their cat never bites and who simply cannot stomach seeing their cat in a scary looking muzzle?

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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