Cats. Whether you love 'em or hate 'em, you've got to admit—they've got minds of their own. While this makes them incredibly entertaining at times, it can also cause tons of issues for their owners. Trying to "train" a cat is usually an exercise in futility.
This is because cats are solitary animals, so unlike a dog, your cat doesn't see you as the leader of its pack. Clipping its nails, getting it into a carrier, and taking it to vet appointments are activities that can result in a very grumpy kitty, and probably a few scratches (at least).
If you've tried everything short of sedatives to calm down your feline friend to no avail, you might be surprised to learn that the answer may have been sitting in your desk drawer all along.
All you need to hack your cat is a binder clip.
Now, before you freak out, a 2008 study by the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine deemed this to be "an effective and pain-free way to humanely hold cats that might otherwise put up a fuss."
If you've ever seen a mother cat carry her kittens around by the scruffs of their necks, this trick may not surprise you too much. In fact, that's why it works—it triggers the same instinctive response.
The clip is placed directly behind the cat's ears, right in the middle of its neck. It looks like it would hurt—and for a human, it would—but the study found that the intensity of the sensation from the clip was about the same as what you or I would feel from a blood pressure cuff. Actually, it would take 6 times as much pressure to do any damage.
The technique is called pinch-induced behavioral inhibition (PIBI), or "clipnosis," and there's even a patent-pending product made specifically for this purpose. 30 of the 31 cats in the study showed a positive response, and some even started purring after the clip was in place.
If you want to try this at home, it might be a good idea to talk to your vet first and see if you can get a demonstration on the exact placement. Again, you won't hurt your cat, but it may not be too happy with you if you don't do it properly.
If you don't have any binder clips, a few clothespins might do the trick.
Do you have any tricks that make nail trimming and car rides easier? Share them in the comments below.