Bizarre TikTok trend to pretend your pet is a PHONE and holding them upside down by your ear before being thrown down can cause long-term damage to ‘spines and heads,’ experts warn
- TikTok trend where owners use their pets ‘like phones’ can be dangerous
- Users hold pets to their ears before laying them down, sometimes roughly
- Vet noted that many were holding their pets inappropriately and were at risk of causing damage
A vet has warned of a TikTok trend that pets are being held ‘like a phone’, which could damage the animal’s health in the long run.
The craze, received by users in the US and UK, sees the owner lifting the pet to their ear, often upside down or in an awkward position, while he reenacts a phone call from the 2001 movie The Princess Diaries.
Jessica May, the UK’s chief veterinarian at the video vet service FirstVet, told FEMAIL that she was concerned that the pets are often held ‘inappropriately’ and that the rough handling of the animals could result in damage to the ‘back, skull or spine’.
Meanwhile, Canine Behavior and Training Manager, Janine Pemberthy, of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, said that dealing with pets in such a way is “ disturbing ” to the animal and “ running the risk of being injured. ”
The craze, received by users in the US and UK, sees the owner lifting the pet to their ear, often upside down or in an awkward position, while he reenacts a phone call from the 2001 movie The Princess Diaries. In the photo, two American users are trying out the trend on TikTok
The videos show that cats are immediately turned upside down and animals are held at strange angles with their limbs in the air.
Although it is not always possible to see, it seems that the pets are not always put down safely. A video shows a cat placed only on a counter to immediately slip and fall off.
Some of these videos have been viewed millions of times, which means that the behavior can be followed by others.
Vet Jessica noted that videos reveal that owners don’t always treat their pets in an ‘appropriate’ way, especially those who are turned upside down.
She continued, “If you look at some of these TikToks, the images show that the animals are not always properly held. Many are treated roughly and their body language reacts negatively to the fact that they have been picked up.
“It is especially worrying to see some cats being turned upside down – something that is not only very frightening to the animal, but also puts the pet at risk of head injuries if it falls.
Within these videos, when the animals are released, there is little evidence that the pet is not being properly positioned either. When depositing an animal, it is important to ensure that they are slowly lowered to the ground feet first and that they are able to step away as soon as their legs come in contact with the ground.
Popular US user @ K0uvr tries the trend, left. Right, an American user puts her cat down after using it as a ‘phone’. Experts warned of the trend that was at risk of damaging animals in the long term
If an animal is scared and scrambles to escape, they risk falling, which in turn can lead to sprains or broken bones.
Many cats are held like phones and are therefore lifted at an unnatural angle. Holding a pet in this way can cause damage to their back, spine or skull. While such injuries are rare, they can require expensive treatment or can cause irreversible injuries, leaving a pet with long-term disability and pain. ‘
Janine agreed, saying, “Participating in social media challenges can be a fun way to bond with your pet. However, owners should be careful not to over-treat as they can find it very painful.
“Challenges like this mean that dogs and cats are treated in an unnatural way very quickly, making them easily startled and putting both the animal and the owner at risk of injury.
“It’s important to remember that animals are sentient beings and should be treated with respect.”