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Withers (Cats) – why is it needed, where is it located, how is it arranged, features

Animal care

Withers (Cats) – why is it needed, where is it located, how is it arranged, features

why is it needed, where is it located, how is it arranged and its features – Many medicines for cats (in the form of drops or injections) are prescribed to do in a special part of the body – the withers. But not all owners understand where the withers are located, how to find it correctly and follow the instructions of the veterinarian. Details and important information about the cat’s withers – in the article.

Where is it located?

The withers, which is sometimes simply called the “scruff”, is located behind the head of the animal – in the area where the neck passes into the back. You can visually determine the location of the withers by observing the cat-mother. She transfers her kittens from place to place, holding their teeth precisely by the “scruff”.

Important! This method of carrying is suitable only for small kittens. If an adult is raised at the withers, this can lead to injury. Below you can read about why you can still raise an adult cat or cat by the “scruff” and how to do it as safely as possible.

Structural features

The withers have a bone base, which is formed by the first five thoracic vertebrae. Each vertebra has a spinous process, which differ in height. Therefore, the withers have such a special, curved shape.

Important! The skin in this area is very thin and elastic in pets. That is why kittens are not hurt when a cat mom grabs their withers with their teeth and carries them.

Under the skin there is a layer of adipose tissue. And under it various muscle groups are “hidden” – trapezoid, rhomboid and others. There are no joints at the withers – they are located directly in the spine of the animal.

Interesting! The withers are “surrounded” by the neck and shoulder blades. They are attached to the body of an individual only with muscles and tendons. Therefore, this entire part of the body – the neck, withers and the area of ​​the shoulder blades, is incredibly flexible and mobile. This allows the cat to arch its back, jump to great heights and perform other maneuvers.

Another unique feature

In the withers area, cats have many nerve endings and receptors. Exposure to some of them leads to … temporary paralysis of the animal. A signal during receptor irritation enters the brain, after which movement is paralyzed.

This feature is inherent in nature – often cats are forced to move their kittens to safe places, without attracting other people’s attention to them. Therefore, kittens should behave as quietly as possible and not resist. Of course, they will not understand the “explanations” of mom. But biting a cat’s withers with a cat causes him to be temporarily immobilized, and you can transfer it without risk of being noticed.

Withers and training

The withers area can be used not only to treat the animal. With its help, you can influence the behavior of the cat and “educate” her. Correctly acting on the area, you can stop the aggression of the animal and show “who is the boss in the house.”


  1. Carefully, but firmly and confidently grab the cat’s fingers by the withers. It is very important not to worry in order to demonstrate your strength and authority.
  2. Without releasing the withers, gently press the animal to the floor. This will show the cat that the owner is “more important.” At the same time, you can also confidently and clearly pronounce a command or a ban – for example, “no”, “no”, etc. You don’t need to raise your voice, but hissing like an angry cat or cat is very effective. So, the pet will understand that the owner is dissatisfied with his behavior.
  3. A cat can be released only when its muscles are completely relaxed. After that, you can “talk” with the animal a little more, release your grip, stroke and praise.

Important! The withers are a fairly sensitive area, so you can not show too much power and cause pain to the animal. It is important to do the above actions imperiously, but carefully.

But it is impossible to raise an adult individual by the “scruff”. It is especially important to explain this to children. If you raise your hand at the withers, then the second hand must definitely support the body of the pet. And in case of any suspicion of injury to the withers, the animal must immediately be taken to the veterinarian.

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