Why a Full Grown Cat Should Never Be Picked Up by the Scruff of the Neck

Dr. Uri Burstyn, aka the Helpful Vancouver Vet, who previously demonstrated several different ways in which to properly pick up a cat, responded to viewers questions about picking a cat up by the scruff of the neck. The short answer was no. While they are kittens, it’s an okay thing to do, but as they grow older and get bigger, that area of skin isn’t enough to support a cat’s full body weight.

Once you get over about eight, ten, twelve weeks of age what happens is they grow and the volume of their body their body mass grows much much faster than the surface area or the strength of their neck skin. So once they’re past that eight to ten week age …it no longer becomes appropriate to lift their whole body weight by this little patch of skin.