Cats can be violent towards other cats for a number of reasons. Some assert their authority over the new cat by fighting with them at every given opportunity, while others are jealous of attention that another cat is receiving. One way to deal with a particularly aggressive cat is to scruff the cat.
Queens Scruff Kittens
Scruffing a cat is nothing new to cats. In fact, this is the method that queens use on their kittens to teach them how to behave themselves when they are small. A queen will pick up her kittens by the scruff of the neck to remove them to another location to offer a rebuking hiss in order to discipline them. A cat owner that scruffs their cat is in fact taking on the role of “mother”, that the cat will readily understand.
When to Intervene
If two cats are fighting, do not try to physically separate the cats, as you could be scratched or bitten. Wait for a safer opportunity to intervene when the cats are fighting. If the cats persist, throw a soft blanket over them and pick up the aggressor cat by the scruff of the neck, or throw a soft toy to distract the aggressor cat before you pick him up.
How to Scruff a Cat
Do not pick up the cat just by the scruff of the neck, as this is a dangerous move that could damage the cat’s internal organs. Instead, use one hand to pick the cat up by the scruff and the other to support the weight of the cat’s body. This is the way vets pick up cats. Remove the cat from the aggressive situation and if you can offer a convincing hiss, this will further alert the cat to the fact that you are unhappy with the way he has been behaving. Continue to hold the cat by the scruff of the neck and then hold the cat on the ground for a minute or longer, or until you feel the cat’s body begin to relax. Use a firm voice to say “no!” to the cat. But do not use this as an opportunity to administer harsh discipline to the cat, and be careful of the amount of pressure you apply as you hold the cat. The cat should not be in an uncomfortable position. Be firm, but kind, offering praise as the cat calms down.
Cat owners should not handle their cat roughly when they scruff them. Pick the cat up by the scruff of the neck and support the cat’s body with your other hand. Offer a hiss to rebuke the cat and then place the cat on the floor, still held by the scruff of the neck, until the cat calms down and relaxes. Repeat the procedure each time the cat shows signs of aggression. Scruffing a cat should eventually curb the cat’s aggression.
How to Scruff a Cat, by Franny Syufy