The Uses of Cat Towel Wraps

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By Debbie Gass, CVT

Towel wraps, also known as kitty burritos, help cats feel comfortable and safe, but not confined or scared.

A wrap designed for only one person to use gives a place for the cat to hide, while also preventing the cat from moving forward.


One person towel wrap. Photo courtesy of CattleDog Publishing.

The towel is loosely placed over the cat’s head and is held in place with one hand. This wrap works well for cats that are slightly nervous but are holding still. This can allow one person to keep the cat in place to give an injection, a vaccine, or examine the rear end. However, most wraps are designed for one person to hold the cat and the other to do procedures.


Burrito wrap. Photo courtesy of CattleDog Publishing.

The burrito wrap is helpful with cats that like to hide. This wrap covers the cat’s head and is wrapped securely around the body. While cats are in this wrap, handlers can listen to the heart, palpate the abdomen, perform cystocentesis, and draw blood from a rear leg. The half-burrito wrap allows cats to have their head out but perform the same tasks.


Scarf wrap. Photo courtesy of CattleDog Publishing.

The scarf wrap is like the half-burrito wrap in that the cat’s head is out and allows for all the tasks as the burrito wrap to be performed. This wrap goes around the cat’s front half of the body like a scarf.


Modified scarf wrap. Photo courtesy of CattleDog Publishing.

The modified scarf wrap allows for one front leg to be able to draw blood from a front leg or place an IV catheter.


Blanket wrap. Photo courtesy of CattleDog Publishing.

The blanket wrap is primarily for emergency situations or to catch an escaped cat. This wrap is also good for getting a cat that is highly stressed out of a carrier.

When a cat struggles while using one type of wrap for more than a few seconds, it’s time to change to a different method.

Cats are often frightened at the clinic. Making them feel secure by using these wraps helps the veterinary staff keep your pet and themselves safe. More information on these wraps can be found in the Low Stress Handling® Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats book and Towel Wrap Techniques for Handling Cats with Skill and Ease (Low Stress Handling Seminar) DVD.

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