Most domestic cats are friendly, peaceful animals who love their human family more than anything. But just like people, each cat has its own distinct personality – some are very calm, others are quite stubborn, some are bold and others are intolerant. No matter what your cat may be like most of the time though, there are situations that can make even the most peaceful cat quite aggressive. Although you may see such situations as normal (such as a visit to the vet), your feline pet may perceive them as dangerous or somehow threatening. And what does a cat who has been put in a dangerous situation do? She bites and claws, trying to get out of there as fast as possible. Obviously, no one wants to get bitten or scratched (people and furniture included!), but that’s exactly what happens when you have a scared and aggressive cat on your hands. Unless, of course, you have a cat muzzle laying around. You don’t? Then this article is for you.
A reliable feline muzzle could be thought of as first aid kit for cats who are either in pain, are injured or are acting aggressively towards everyone and everything around them. They can help you, the pet owner, calm your cat down and keep everyone around you safe and sound, including your kitty. To help you find such a device, our research team has read advice on cat muzzles by multiple veterinarians, as well as hundreds of reviews on the internet. The result is the list of the best cat muzzles money can buy.
Best Cat Muzzle Buying Guide & FAQ
While your kitty may be a perfectly well-behaved pet most of the time, vet visits tend to provoke even the calmest of animals. This is because cats, always on the lookout for something dangerous, perceive things that are out of their ordinary as threatening. As a result, they can become nervous, scared and even very aggressive. This can lead to loud meowing, scratching and even biting. In fact, if you have ever taken your kitty to a groomer or a vet, it’s likely you already have scars to prove it. Unfortunately, it can be hard to teach a cat to behave differently when she’s scared for her life (those routine vaccinations? Life-threatening situations for your cat). In those cases, the best thing you can do is try to calm her and physically prevent her from attacking you and other people around you. And the product that can help you with that? Yep, cat muzzles.
The only issue is, with so many different feline muzzles on the market, it can be difficult to find the right product for you and your kitty. That’s why we created Our Top Picks – whichever muzzle you choose from that list, you won’t regret it as long as you buy the right size. But if you want more information about these cat masks, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we talk about what to look for when looking to buy a cat muzzle, what the benefits of using them are, as well as how to safely use them and keep your kitty calm in the process. We also answer some of the commonly asked questions about feline muzzles, so be sure to check out that section as well.
Features To Look For When Buying a Cat Muzzle
If you want a reliable, durable and comfortable muzzle for your cat, it’s important to pay attention to details. For instance, if you need a cat muzzle for meowing, you want different features from someone looking for a muzzle that helps slow down the eating process of his pet. So, to find the right muzzle for your pet, pay attention to the following features.
- The type of the muzzle
As mentioned, it’s important to buy the product that fits your and your cat’s needs. A muzzle for grooming should have different features from a muzzle for eating. For this reason, it’s crucial you first decide what the mask will be used for. And if you’re looking to correct several behaviors with a muzzle? Purchase a couple of masks. Practically speaking, one cat muzzle made of washable nylon is all you need for proper grooming and regular vet visits as it stops the cat from meowing and biting. But if you need to slow down the eating process of your kitty, then you most definitely need to buy a muzzle specifically designed with that goal in mind. Luckily, most muzzles are budget-friendly, so it’s not hard to find even several cheap quality products.
- Size and adjustability
When purchasing a cat muzzle, it’s crucial you buy the right size – normally, small sizes will fit most cats, but medium and even large masks may be necessary depending on your cat’s breed, head size and weight (overweight cats need either medium or large size muzzles). Besides size, adjustability is super-important too. Even if you end up buying a slightly larger or smaller muzzle, adjustable Velcro straps and /or belts can help you make the right fit. Therefore, look for adjustable muzzles only (you’ll find that every mask featured on our Top Pics is adjustable).
- Material and fit of the muzzle
Nowadays, most cat muzzles are made of nylon, which is exactly what you want as nylon is quite tough, meaning pretty impossible to get out of, but also really comfortable for the cat. Plus, most nylons are super-easy to wash and some masks can even be tossed in the washing machine. Besides nylon, muzzles made of breathable meshes are very good too. Of course, if fast eating is your primary concern, then nylon and mesh are out of the question – in this case, you want muzzles made out of rubber. Speaking of different uses, you should also consider the fit of the muzzle – masks that cover the cat’ eyes are considered safer than those that do not, as they have a calming effect on the animal. Our advice? If you’re looking for a muzzle to help with grooming and vet examinations, only buy masks that cover your cat’s eyes.
- Price and brand
We already mentioned that most muzzles are quite affordable. While this is true, you can always find super-expensive… well, anything, including feline muzzles. But don’t fall for expensive cat muzzles – these masks are pretty simple devices made out of basic materials and they shouldn’t cost a lot. Choose a muzzle that fits your and your cat’s needs and preferences and pick something that is made out of a tough, durable material and you should be set for years. Saying that, it’s a good idea to buy from reputable brands, as they have plenty of experience, plus, they have good customer support service in case you need it. Avoid homemade cat muzzles at all costs.
Benefits of Using a Cat Muzzle
Most domestic cats are pretty chilled out pets– calm, peaceful and affectionate with pretty much everyone around them. Until something upsets them. If you’ve never seen a cat go from super calm to ballistic, consider yourself very lucky. Unfortunately, many pet owners know the struggles of having a one-minute-peaceful, another-minute-crazy cat, whose sudden change in behavior is usually triggered by an event that the animal perceives as dangerous. So, anything from going to the pet groomer to getting a regular vet examination to a stranger walking into your apartment can trigger such behavior. And when it happens, it can be a nightmare to deal with!
But that’s why we have cat muzzles – these simple devices are meant to calm your pet down and control inappropriate behavior – if used responsibly, of course. So, without further ado, let’s get into the most important benefits of using cat muzzles.
- No more biting
Whether your cat hates her visits to the vet or getting her nails clipped or being around other cats, biting is unacceptable. Unfortunately, calming a frenetic cat down can be incredibly difficult – unless, of course, you have a cat muzzle with you. A snug little muzzle prevents a cat from biting and chewing on things, so it’s a must for aggressive cats who cannot be otherwise calmed down.
- No excessive meowing
Some cats can become restless for no apparent reason which can lead to excessive meowing, especially difficult to deal with if you live in a small apartment. If you’ve tried everything to calm your kitty down but nothing seems to work, it’s a good idea to use a muzzle. Bear in mind, it’s not wise to leave the muzzle on your cat overnight, no matter how much your neighbors complain – a muzzle should only be used for short periods of time, or until the cat calms down.
- Weight management
If your kitty is overweight and has digestive issues due to fast eating, a cat muzzle specifically designed for slowing down the eating process (such as the rubber muzzle from The Company of Animals) can greatly help. These muzzles are designed to prevent digestive problems by preventing gulping. They also provide stimulation, which can help indoor cats become more playful and energetic.
How to Safely Use a Cat Muzzle
Animals are not fans of things that restrict them, and cats are no exception. That’s why you’d be hard pressed to find a cat that actually likes using a muzzle. However, sometimes a situation will call for it and it may, in fact, be the only choice you have to keep your pet calm and well-behaved. Saying that, a muzzle should be treated as a last resort only – always first try to calm your pet down with words and maybe some cuddling, and then, and only then use the muzzle if you must. Usually, a visit to the vet or a pet groomer will require you to put a muzzle over your cat’s face. Occasionally, you may have to use it when at home too – if your cat is a stubborn furniture chewer, or won’t stop meowing in the middle of the night for example. Whatever the reason, there are safe and unsafe ways to use a muzzle. Let’s cover the basics so your kitty can always be safe and comfortable.
- Introduce the muzzle slowly: a new device, no matter what it is, may make your cat suspicious and scared at first, which is why it’s wise to introduce it slowly. Use the muzzle for very short periods of time (no more than 5 minutes) and always reward your kitty afterward with a cat treat. As your cat gets more and more used to the muzzle, increase the amount of time she’s wearing it.
- Use the right size: we already mentioned how important is to choose the right size of the muzzle. If you get a mask too large for your pet, she’ll paw it right off. But if you get a size too small, she’ll be uncomfortable and will dread wearing it in the future.
- Use the muzzle for short periods of time: no matter how good a muzzle you use is, something that covers your cat’s entire face and prevents her from meowing for long periods of time cannot be comfortable. Therefore, use the muzzle for short periods of time, or until your furball calms down. Generally, it’s not wise to keep the mask over your cat’s head for more than 20 minutes as it can affect her breathing.
Q: What is a cat muzzle?
A: A cat muzzle is a form of a pet mask that is used to prevent the biting, chewing and excessive meowing. It goes over the animal’s face, especially the snout, often covering the eyes as well (it has a calming effect on cats).
Q: Can I use a cat muzzle on my kitten?
A: If your kitten gets aggressive during his visits to the vet, it’s wise to use the muzzle to prevent biting (your vet will be thankful!). As long as you find the right size, something small enough for a kitten, it’s fine to use it when a situation calls for it. Still, the kitten should be older than 10 weeks.
Our Top Pick
Whichever muzzle you choose from Our Top Picks list, we’re sure both you and your kitty will be satisfied. These are all strong, comfy and durable muzzles and the only thing you need to worry about is picking the right size – that’s it. But because many of you like when we share our very own Top Pick, we decided to make it a practice. Here, this would be the Downtown Pet Supply Cat Muzzle. Here’s why:
Made out of tough nylon, this muzzle is strong but comfortable for the cat. It’s also washable;
- It comes with an adjustable Velcro strap, making the fitting a piece of cake;
- It covers the cat’s eyes, which has a calming effect;
- It’s perfect for both vet visits and grooming;
- It’s very affordable and is made by a reputable brand.
Since it checks all the important features we outlined in our Features To Look For and then some, it’s a clear winner!