Friday, January 30, 2009

Make your own cat bag!

Depending on what you are having to restrain your cat for you may want to make your own cat bag. A cat bag is a device used to restrain your cat for different procedures. You will want to use the least amount of restraint possible since cats tend to see restraint as a battle of the wills and will fight harder. In other words, if you don't need a cat bag to trim your cats nails, don't use one. The size of the cat bag you need will depend on the size of your cat/s. Measure your biggest cat around his or her biggest area and add 2 inches. This will allow some room for the seams and some to get the cat in. The bag should still be snug. You will also need to measure their neck. If they are wearing a collar you may want to remove it and just measure from the latch to the hole that is being used. You will want the neck fairly tight, not tight enough to choke the cat but will want it tight enough to not allow the feline to pull their front paw through the neck. The bag's cutout will probably be bigger on one end then the other, like the picture to the right. Several zippers are advised but one will suffice. Sew a long zipper between the two edges to bring the pattern into a bag with both ends open. Sew a seam down the big end (back end) to finish the bag. The bag can be used like this, simply unzip and open the bag, set the cat on their rump and fold the bag around him/her and zip up all the way to the neck with all four legs inside. If more zippers are available you may want to make a cut in the bag towards the bottom and insert a zipper on either side of the main zipper to allow access to back paws (such as the picture shows) for claw trimming or blood draws. Front paws can be accessed by adding a hook at the neck of the bag to keep the head secure and unzipping the bag as little as possible to slip one front leg out. Then replace that leg and remove the other front leg. There are several other methods of restraining a feline as well. You can wrap the feline in a towel, which would be easier and quicker than making a cat bag; pillowcases will also work and can be redone into a cat bag quickly and easily. Just make sure you have the towel wrapped tightly or the feline may squirm out of it. You can also create a cat muzzle and essentially blinfold the cat. This can work extremley well with some felines and will give you access to all parts of the cat except the eyes and mouth at the same time. If trimming claws I would recommend trying this method first since you can lay the feline on one side and trim all 4 paws without having to readjust. A simple cat muzzle can be made by taking a paper cup and removing the bottom and tying ribbon, string, or yarn to the top of the cup on either side. To use the cup simply tie around the back of the head behind the ears. Some felines will object to this though so please be careful and if your cat objects get some help or choose a different method.

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