Is it safe and not unkind to pick up an adult cat by the scruff of its neck?
Scruffing a cat is rarely justified and may even be dangerous to you and your cat. As a vet, I’ve found that on routine visits most cats do just fine with a minimal hands-on approach. They are more relaxed and, frankly, just don’t need to be restrained with this approach. Most even take injections without so much as a flinch – if they are handled properly in the examination room. On rare occasions, with particularly aggressive cats, we must restrain them through a variety of means in order to avoid hurting the owner, the patient, and ourselves. There’s just no choice – but, in my experience, this applies to less than 10% of all feline patients. Scruffing a cat is based on the antiquated notion that it isn’t painful or distressing – but it almost certainly is for adult cats. (This may not be true for kittens.) Furthermore, I’ve had plenty of experience to know that when a cat wants to, they can turn around to bite and claw you, even with a very firm grip on their scruff. Scruffing a cat is by no means a sure fire way to avoid getting bitten. Therefore, if you truly respect your cat and want to avoid causing it undue distress, please properly pick it up by supporting its entire body with two hands/ arms.
While chocolate, and especially dark chocolate or baker’s chocolate is quite dangerous to your pets, you can give them that chocolaty taste you love without the poisonous after-effects by buying them treats made with carob. The reason carob products are so much safer for a pet is because the levels of methylxanthines in them are quite low.