You should squish your cat because your cat will like it according to a popular online veterinarian who is also described as the “world’s most helpful vet”. His video strongly indicates that he is a very sensitive and decent veterinarian. And he has some good ideas about how to handle your cat. I like the way he picks up cats. He clearly understands the domestic cat. I would fully endorse everything he says except ….his use of the English language.
Cats like to be squished, he says. It’s the use of the word “squish” which I think is poorly chosen. Young people might be encouraged to apply too much pressure to their cat. Using the phrase “apply gentle pressure” might be better.
He does use the word “gentle” once during the video but he uses the word “squish” far more often. He applies downward pressure to a cat on his consulting table at his clinic as a restraint. Cats perfectly accept and even like it. I tend to agree with him because applying gentle pressure to a cat is comforting.
There is a product on the market called the Thunder Shirt which is based upon this principle. I calms cats. Placing a harness on a cat also has a similar effect on cat behavior. I think it goes back to the newborn kitten and perhaps being in the womb or when being nursed with his litter mates. I don’t know for sure but they like gentle pressure.
As humans are much bigger than cats we can tend to use our superior strength inappropriately so gentleness should be the byword. Everything should be done with sensitivity because cats can get a little bit jittery. As I said, they live in a land of giants which by default can make even the most loving domestic cat a little bit anxious sometimes.
It doesn’t surprise me that this veterinarian, whose name is Dr Uri Burstyn, not infrequently encounters clients who mishandle their cat in the consulting room. They carry their cat without supporting the rear half. I must add, though, that this may happen when the cat’s owner removes their cat from the cat carrier if it opens at the top. Top loading cat carriers discourage providing support to the lower half of the cat which is a point I wish to make.
In the video he says “if you’re trying to hold a cat down, whether it’s to trim their nails, or give them a pill……squish your cat. What you think about that? I would say, “if you’re trying to hold a cat down apply gentle pressure as I am doing in this video”.
While on the subject of the video, the doctor demonstrates the shoulder carry. He also applies pressure to a cat on his shoulder. I wonder what percentage of domestic cats like to be carried like this? I know some cats like it a lot. They receive maximum warmth and support simultaneously. A lot of cats like to spread out like that with their forelegs dangling and their hind legs spread out as well. My boy does it on my lap.
He has a very interesting football hold for a cat that needs to be carried at the end of the video. I have never tried that or even seen it. It’s a squish your cat hold.