Vancouver vet’s video tutorial on how to pick up a cat becomes surprise viral hit
A Vancouver veterinarian’s video tutorial on how to handle a cat has become a surprise hit, earning millions of views on YouTube.
Dr. Uri Burstyn, medical director of Arbutus West Animal Clinic and Vancouver East Veterinary Clinic, recently began posting online instructional videos about caring for cats in the hopes of answering questions he regularly hears from his clients.
His most recent video, entitled “How to pick up a cat like a pro – Vet advice on cat handling,” has become a surprise hit, with nearly three million views on YouTube as of Saturday morning.
Previously, Burstyn’s most popular video — about how to trim a cat’s nails — received nearly 125,000 views.
The combination of Burstyn’s soothing voice and the calm demeanour of his two feline co-stars — Clawdia and Mr. Pirate — seem to appeal to cat lovers and non-cat lovers alike.
The pop culture website AV Club dubbed it the “world’s calmest video,” calling it “a warm, pulsating light, a place to return to and call home amidst the harrowing corporate dystopia of the modern internet.”
Burstyn is both surprised and flattered by the online attention.
“A lot of people have commented on the fact that they find it very soothing, watching the way I handle the cat,” he said.
“A lot of people commented that the cat really seems to enjoy the interaction. That’s something that people find very compelling, watching a cat and a human interact in a positive manner.”
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Among Burstyn’s many tips is simply to “squish that cat.”
He says gently applying pressure to a cat helps it feel safe and secure.
“It’s the sum total of my wisdom when it comes to cat restraint… It works. It’s the nicest way to handle cats.”
Burstyn also shows how a hold a cat close to your body using a “football carry.”
He then brings in a so-called “shoulder cat,” who loves being slung over a person’s shoulder.
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“Cats always like being at a high vantage point… and some cats have figured out that the human shoulder is the best vantage point there is.”
Burstyn hopes the video will help cat owners improve their relationship with their animals and he’s grateful for his newfound audience.
“I’ve got three million views on that video,” he said. “If one-tenth of one per cent of the people who watch it are motivated to adopt a cat, that’s 3,000 cat lives saved. That’s more cat lives than any veterinarian will save in their lives, with one stupid video.”
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