Everyone gets cranky at times. And whenever this happens to us, it’s not unusual for us to lash out. Your cat is no different, no matter how sweet he can be. If your cat is prone to biting when he’s in pain or feeling aggressive, it’s important that you ensure his safety as well as the safety of others.
A cat muzzle can help you do that. It can prevent your cat from lashing out at you and others whenever he feels anxious or in pain. It can help calm him down during visits to the vet or the groomers. Those are not the only benefits of using a cat muzzle. This device can be used to prevent over-grooming in some cats. And then there are cat muzzles that are designed to help a cat learn to slow down while eating.
Of course, not all cat muzzles are made equal. It’s important that you choose one that suits your cat’s needs perfectly. To do that, you’ll need to know what features to look for. The most important thing to consider is the type of muzzle. As we’ve already mentioned, there are muzzles designed for visits to the vet or for grooming. They can also be used to train a cat to stop meowing. In addition, there are muzzles designed to help your kitty to slow down while eating. Make sure that you are looking at the right type before you buy.
The next factor you need to consider is size and adjustability. Cats come in all shapes and sizes. So do cat muzzles. You need to look for a size that would fit your cat’s head best. You would, for instance, use a different muzzle for a Maine Coon compared to an Abyssinian. You don’t want it too loose that your cat will be able to wiggle out of it and bite the vet. But you don’t want it too tight that it will make it difficult for him to breathe. Most cat muzzles come with adjustable straps to allow pet parents to get a good fit. When choosing the type of strap, experts recommend Velcro for ease of use.
When choosing the right cat muzzle, you’ll also need to take into account the material used. Nylon is the most popular material used to make cat muzzles. It’s tough, durable, comfortable, and easy to clean. Some cat muzzles are made out of synthetic fibers similar to those used in making protective gear in the medical industry. They’re more durable and breathable which makes them more comfortable for your cat. However, these tend to be more expensive. Take note that you should avoid purchasing cat muzzles made out of leather, plastic, or metal as these can pose certain risks such as low breathability.
How to safely use a cat muzzle
Unfortunately, it is probable that your cat isn’t going to be happy wearing a muzzle. Wearing one is a temporary necessity and should be the last resort, used only when you’ve already tried other methods of calming him down. Moreover, your cat should not wear a muzzle any longer than 20 minutes, as it might affect breathing.
It’s important that you slowly introduce the muzzle to your cat. Let them sniff it first before even attempting to place it on their head. Make sure to let them try the muzzle only when they’re relaxed and not stressed out.
When you think they’re ready to wear the muzzle for the first time, get a thick towel and some treats. Gently wrap your cat in the towel – like a burrito. Then, place the muzzle on their head. Let them wear the muzzle for just a few minutes before removing it. Give them a treat and a cuddle. Let them learn to attach affection and treats with the muzzle.
Repeat this process to get your cat used to wearing the muzzle. Slowly increase the amount of time that he wears it. Make sure that it doesn’t exceed 20 minutes. Don’t forget to monitor your cat while he’s wearing the muzzle. Not only for breathing difficulties, but also to make sure that they don’t get into accidents because their eyes are covered.
Another great way to “muzzle train” is by leaving the item out and about day-to-day, instead of pulling it out only when it is being used for something like a nail trim, leading to negative conditioning. Placing treats into the muzzle and allowing your cat to retrieve them on their own time is also helpful to your cat becoming accustomed to the idea of the muzzle in a non-stressful way.
Obviously, there’s a lot to consider when choosing to buy AND use a cat muzzle. It’s definitely no simple task. And with so many options to choose from, you’ll need to spend time learning the different features and benefits offered by each one. More importantly, you’ll need to determine which cat muzzle is best at ensuring your pet’s safety. That’s where we come in. With the help of some household cats, we tested several cat muzzles and came up with our top 3 picks.
As a veterinary technician, I have had my fair share of encounters with some not-so-happy kitties. Understandably, these cats are usually stressed out and fearful, leading them to lash out as they would in their natural environments. Unfortunately, the ones lashed out at are the ones trying the most to help. In these situations, it is best to utilize other fear-free tactics, such as covering with towels, getting the cat accustomed to the situation before proceeding, treats, etc. Often these tactics work and cats get vaccinated and on their way. However, there are some more dire times when the cat is simply not having it. In these times, it might be wise to choose a muzzle. Veterinary clinics usually have multiple types of muzzles on hand – either hard or soft.
Asking the owner to try to muzzle the cat happens first so they feel safer with someone they trust. If unable to, veterinary technicians or the veterinarian will step in to, as gently and calmingly as possible, place the muzzle. The word “muzzle” can sound scary and unfavorable, but the reality is that it can be the safest option for the cat and for the people involved. Muzzles don’t always have to have negative implications and, if you are the owner of a fearful or aggressive kitty, it may be a good idea to muzzle train from an early age to avoid stress and anxiety in the future.
As for choosing which muzzle is best, it usually depends on the specific cat’s personality, stress level, anatomy, and skin type. If the cat is somewhat anxious and only hissing, a more breathable material is suitable. However, if the cat is highly anxious and offering to bite, a more durable muzzle is required. Muzzles that cover the cat’s eyes may also be beneficial in these situations, as it may reduce stress.
The Top Picks for Best Cat Muzzles of 2022
Best Overall Cat Muzzle: Downtown Pet Supply Cat Muzzle
Our top pick for best overall cat muzzle comes down to the Downtown Pet Supply cat muzzle. The right choice doesn’t need to be flashy or expensive. In fact, our best overall is simple and affordable. But it fits all of our requirements to a T.
We wanted to find a cat muzzle that our resident cat would not mind wearing. One that’s easy to put on and off. Made of a material that he won’t be able to tear his claws into. And one that will be comfortable as well as breathable enough for him. The Downton Pet Cat Muzzle checked all of our boxes during testing.
This cat muzzle is made out of tough nylon that our little tester wasn’t able to chew through or rip apart. It completely covered his face which ensured he stayed in place. It seemed to be breathable; the hole in front of the mask was big enough to allow his cute little nose to breathe in air.
We noticed some reviews mentioning that the hole wasn’t big enough to allow the cat to be fed while wearing the mask. We’d like you to note that this is not that kind of cat muzzle. This is designed to prevent your cat from hiss-terics and causing you or anyone else any harm while grooming him or her.
Speaking of fit, this cat muzzle comes in three sizes – small, medium, and large. If your kitty is less than 6lbs, get a small size. Medium is for cats weighing 6 to 12 lbs and large is for cats who weigh more than 12 lbs. There’s a velcro strap that makes it easy to adjust the mask you got and create the right fit. It also made us realize how easy it was to put on our cat’s head. It also made us feel better about how easy it was to take off. This is an important feature especially if your cat starts to have difficulty breathing while wearing the mask. In fact, in all of our tests, this muzzle was the easiest to put on and take off.
Most Breathable Cat Muzzle: Zoopolr Breathable Cat Muzzle
The Zoopolr Breathable cat muzzle out performs our aforementioned muzzle, making it our pick for most breathable. While our first pick was breathable, its design limited the amount of airflow your kitty got. Its purpose, after all, is to prevent your cat from biting anyone. But if your goal is to simply train your cat to stop over-grooming himself or from scratching any allergies/wounds on his face, then this is the cat muzzle you want.
The Zoopolr Cat Muzzle is made of strong nylon as well. However, the difference between this and the Downton Pet Supply Cat Muzzle is the pattern of the fabric. It features a mesh design that promotes better airflow which makes it more breathable in comparison. But there’s still a front hole big enough for your kitty’s nose to remain uncovered.
The fabric is thin and soft, making it more flexible and comfortable to wear. It definitely felt easier to fit the muzzle over our cat’s head during testing. The Velcro fasteners enable you to adjust the fit of the muzzle.
Another big difference with this design is that it allows your cat to see through the fabric. While keeping a cat’s eyes covered can make him feel calmer, it doesn’t always work. Some cats become traumatized when they can’t see. This cat muzzle can help prevent that. In addition, letting your cat see his surroundings can make it safer for your cat to move around the house while wearing the muzzle. In our testing, we’ve found that this is the best solution if you plan to use the device for behavior correction.
However, there are certain drawbacks with this muzzle. It is not impervious to the claws of tiny tigers. Some cats are able to use their claws to remove the muzzle. In fact, our own little hairy Houdini was able to snag his claws on the mesh fabric and loosen the muzzle a bit. Not enough to take it off, but enough that a much bigger or stronger cat may be able to completely take it off.
Also, since it allows your cat to still see his surroundings, we don’t recommend this as a muzzle for taking your pet to the vet. Your cat can still find her target and use her claws instead of her teeth.
Best Fabric Cat Muzzle: Proguard Pets Softie Cat Muzzle
Not all cats are the same and nylon or similar products may cause irritation to cats, so we chose Progaurd Pets Softie muzzle as the best choice for fabric.
Unlike our two other picks, this one is made of patented Dupont fabric which is a mixture of canvas and Kevlar. Now, while that doesn’t sound soft, trust us, it is. In our testing, this fabric had the softest texture, possibly because canvas is typically made of cotton. The addition of the Kevlar just makes this the most durable option because it’s more resistant to abrasions, punctures, and tears. Your cat won’t be able to claw this off or chew the muzzle to pieces should he find it somewhere in the house.
Durability and comfort are not the only two things we liked about this muzzle. When we tested it, we found that its design was a little different compared to our other picks. Proguard Pets’ muzzle features a cone design instead of a wraparound. What’s great about this design is that you don’t need to make sure that your cat’s nose fits the hole in the front of the muzzle like with the other picks. Instead, the shape of the muzzle as your pet wears it ensures there’s always free-flowing air, allowing him to breathe normally.
We loved using this muzzle because our feline tester didn’t seem to mind wearing it. And it looked less scary than all the other designs we’ve come across. Groomers seem to love this type of muzzle as well.
By the way, there are three sizes to choose from: small for kitties weighing up to 6lbs, medium for cats weighing 6 to 12lbs, and large for bigger felines weighing more than 12lbs. Velcro straps made it easy for us to attach the muzzle and adjust the fit.
So, what’s the catch? It costs a couple of bucks more than our overall pick. This may not be such a big deal, but it might be more than some pet parents are willing to shell out. In addition, this is not machine-washable. While you can clean it using wipes, we’re not so comfortable with the idea that you can’t wash it thoroughly with water. Pets can get smelly and so can their “gear.”
|Best Overall||Downtown Pet Supply Cat Muzzle|
|Best Breathable Muzzle||Zoopolr Breathable Cat Muzzle|
|Best Fabric Muzzle||Proguard Pets Softie Cat Muzzle|
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Our Top Picks for Best Cat Muzzles: Reviewed for You FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is there a muzzle for cats?
Contrary to popular belief, muzzles aren’t just for dogs. There are muzzles for cats too. And they perform a similar function. A cat muzzle is a device that can be placed on your cat’s face to get him to calm down and prevent him from biting anyone. It features a small hole in the center that will allow the cat to breathe while preventing his mouth from opening. Some cat muzzles completely cover the eyes because it can sometimes calm cats down if they can’t see anything.
This device is typically used in veterinary clinics to prevent cats from biting when they’re feeling anxious or in pain. Groomers also use cat muzzles for anxious customers. Cat muzzles can also be used to correct certain behavior such as training a cat to stop meowing or to eat more slowly.
Are cat muzzles cruel?
To use or not to use? Obviously, a cat muzzle is not something that you should be using frequently. It is designed for temporary use and only for extreme situations where other solutions are not working such as training. It is important that you monitor your cat closely while he is wearing a muzzle to make sure that he has no difficulty breathing. Wearing a cat muzzle improperly can also cause a cat to vomit.
That being said, there are certain situations where using a cat muzzle is inevitable – where the benefits outweigh the risk. For example, if you come across an injured cat, it’s important that you use a cat muzzle to prevent you from getting bitten or scratched which can result in you getting rabies or other dangerous illnesses. It’s also ideal if your cat will be unable to cope with a necessary procedure at the vets. It will help keep them calm and enable the vet to proceed without any delays.
Simply put, the use of a cat muzzle is not cruel when done with good intentions and the safety of the pet in mind like keeping him calm during grooming or training them to stop meowing. But if used improperly, then yes, it can be cruel.
It can also be considered cruel if you choose to use an improperly made cat muzzle. You can certainly DIY one if you want something with a more fashionable pattern, for example. In fact, anyone can make and sell one online. There are currently no regulations for it. But a responsible pet parent should make sure that any muzzle they use on their cat is made by a reputable brand – one who knows what they’re doing – to ensure your pet’s safety.
What is the best cat muzzle?
According to the experts and based on our testing, the best cat muzzle is one that fits the following criteria:
- tough nylon
- available in different sizes
- machine washable
- adjustable Velcro strap
- easy to use
- covers the cat’s eyes
- made by a trusted brand
It might be tempting to make your own DIY cat muzzle. There are plenty of instructions floating around online and you can even choose your own pattern. However, there is a risk that your homemade muzzle can endanger your cat. For example, there needs to be a big enough hole in the muzzle to ensure that your cat is able to breathe and pant. This is not something that you can leave to chance. Your design, while beautiful, has the potential to cause harm to your pet. It’s best to stick with cat muzzles that are recommended by your vet.