Ginger cat in S’pore hit & scolded till it peed itself, SPCA ‘in touch’ with owner

Our Advice to the Man Who Was Seen Scruffing Ginger Cat’s Neck in Viral Video

There’s a video making rounds on social media lately that is incurring the wrath of cat lovers.

The man in the video is seen grabbing the cat by the scruff of its neck.

The original video has since been taken down. In the video, the man scolded the cat, speaking in Mandarin, “If you pee, I will hit you.” He smacked the cat a few times. A woman, presumably the one taking the video, could be heard laughing.

It’s unclear why the man was disciplining the cat. From what he was saying, it could be a toileting problem.

But as the man was scolding the cat, it started to pee on the floor, seemingly out of fear. In the last frame it wanted to run away but the man grabbed the scruff of the neck tightly again, nearly lifting it off the ground.

SPCA has started investigation into the couple behind the video.

The video is indeed distressing to watch, but we want to give this man the benefit of doubt. He could be an uneducated cat owner instead of someone who was really intending to cause serious harm. The woman who was heard laughing, however, really needs to cultivate some compassion for animals.

So, here’s our advice to this man.

Should you discipline cats by holding its scruff?

Some people have the wrong idea that holding the skin at the back of the cat’s neck mimics the cat’s mother, and works as a disciplinary action.

However, mother cats only hold their kittens by the scruff to move them from places to places and not as a form of discipline.

It’s uncomfortable and frightening for an adult cat, and doesn’t solve any problem.

Holding it by the scruff, or scruffing, makes the cat immobile. Some old-school vets may still use it to offer medication or trim nails. But, most cat experts recommend the burrito method. Using a towel, you wrap the cat’s body so there is steady pressure around the cat, and you stay safe.

Ok that’s clear, so how should you discipline cats?

How should you discipline cats?

Cats usually act based on instinct. If there is an action that you don’t like, say, scratching the furniture or peeing out of the litter box, it’s more productive to see how you can meet the cat’s need rather than go for cold hard discipline right away.

You may want to re-train using the litter box with positive reinforcement (next section), or see if you can direct the cat’s need to something permissible, like a scratcher or more enrichment.

The internet is full of resources.

How should you train an adult cat to use the litter box?

The man in the video seems to be telling the cat not to pee.

So, we assume that the cat probably peed out of the litter box or somewhere it wasn’t supposed to.

Kittens definitely take to litter boxes quicker than adult cats who have not been litter-trained. But it’s not difficult to train either way.

If you have a cat that is having frequent accidents, try these ways to change up the litter box training.

Place the litter box in an area with privacy, perhaps behind a plant or at least not near doorways. Avoid using covered boxes in the beginning and make sure that the size is adequate for the cat to stand and turn. Use an unscented litter. The clumping type is the most fuss-free, but you can experiment with non-clumping ones too.

If you have an adult cat who is used to eliminating outdoors, mix the litter with some sand or soil, to help it understand the purpose of the litter box. You could even mix some of its old pee, so the smell signals to them that the litter box is a toilet.

You may encounter some accidents. Even human toddlers wet their bed! It’s perfectly normal and you need not be unduly worried. Don’t punish. Instead, clean the mess calmly with a pet-safe enzyme cleaner. If the cat is punished after some time has passed, it wouldn’t even know what it’s punished for!

Ultimately, punishment creates distrust between the cat and the owner. Use positive reinforcement by rewarding the cat with a treat after it successfully eliminates in the litter box.

Just like toilet training a dog, you may want to keep the cat in an enclosed space temporarily while it figures out how to use the litterbox.

Whenever you feel angry at your cat, take a deep breath, calm down and THINK of better solutions. Any other advice for this couple? Share them below!


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