How to Physically Handle an Aggressive Cat

An aggressive cat can be difficult to handle because it can bite or scratch with any of its paws. This can be extremely dangerous, so caution must be used. You may even need to enlist help if you can't handle the cat on your own.

Transporting an Aggressive Cat

The easiest way to pick up an aggressive cat is to toss a towel or blanket over him and use that to scoop him up. Make sure all four feet are within the material or he might be able to get out or fight back. You can also use a pillow case to scoop him. Just be sure that the material is not air-tight so you don't smother the cat.

Either before or after the cat is in the pillowcase or towel, you can also cover him with a box, slide a top underneath, remove the pillowcase and transport him in the box as long as there are holes in it for him to breathe.

Restraining an Aggressive Cat

If you must handle the cat, there are several ways you can accomplish this.

If you only need to give the cat a pill or observe his ears, leave his body in a tight pillowcase or towel. Hold the cat by the scruff of the neck or hold your fingers firmly around his neck to avoid being bitten.

When picking up or restraining a cat, you will usually have to hold him by the scruff of his neck or around his neck. You can also apply a cat muzzle, which covers the cat's mouth and eyes and usually serves to calm them down. Since mother cats often transport their kittens holding them by the scruff of their neck, this is often calming as well.

Depending on what you need to do to the cat, you can hold the cat upright by the scruff and use your other hand to hold onto their hind legs with their front legs pointing outward. You can also use your free hand to secure the front legs instead of the hind legs, by securing one foot between your middle and ring finger and the other leg with your ring finger, pinky and thumb. This separates the cat's legs at an awkward angle so it can't scratch.

At this time, you can position the cat tightly against your body or on a table on his side, depending on what you need to do. Most cats will calm down once completely restrained.

You can also use a leash or rope, which you can loop around the cat's neck and one front leg in order to lift it or tie one end to something if you just need to give an injection in the back leg.

Restraining an aggressive cat is difficult and dangerous and should not be attempted unless absolutely necessary. Cats are just as likely to cause injury to their owner as a stranger, so use caution and tools such as a pillowcase or leash to help you if necessary.