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Cat SittingOn certain occasions such as nail trimming or administering medications, you may find it necessary to restrain your cat in order to protect yourself and your pet from harm.  Experts say that wrapping your cat in a towel may be the simplest, safest and most effective way to do so.  Cats are generally less social than dogs, and have a natural tendency to use their claws and dexterity to escape.  A large bath towel is a safe and humane solution to restraining your cat when necessary.

Here are a few tips for properly restraining your cat in a towel, offered in an article entitled “Toweling Your Cat,” in the February 2011 edition of Catnip. 

  1. Introduce your cat to the towel in a passive way, using positive reinforcement.  For example, entice your cat to sit or lay down on the towel by offering a can of cat food or a toy to play with while on the towel.
  2. Gently wrap the towel over the cat’s back while he is distracted by eating or playing.
  3. Allow your cat to feel free to leave the towel whenever he likes.
  4. Your cat is able to sense your frustration and nervousness.  So, remain calm throughout the process.
  5. When you are ready to wrap your cat, gently place your cat on the towel, near the center, with his head just a few inches from the edge of the towel.
  6. Wrap one end of the towel around the cat’s neck like a scarf, allowing his head to be free while his paws are wrapped snuggly inside the towel.
  7. Continue to wrap the towel around the cat’s back, so only your cat’s head is exposed.
  8. After one half of the towel is wrapped all the way around the cat’s body, continue the process by wrapping the other half of the towel around in the other direction.
  9. Make sure the wrap is snug, so as to protect yourself and your cat from any attempt to escape.

A large bathroom towel is a common household item that will allow you to restrain your cat safely and humanely whenever necessary.  When used properly, it will enable you to trim your cats nails or administer medication much more easily.


Information provided by “Toweling Your Cat,” Catnip, February 2011.