If you share your home with a cat, you may be concerned that your furry friend will damage your furniture, woodwork, or other items with destructive scratching. You may even be considering having your pet declawed. Your concern is legitimate, but declawing is not the best solution.
Declawing a cat is a drastic measure. Declawing is painful and disfiguring because it involves amputating part of the bone from each of your cat’s toes. It is considered inhumane by many people and is even illegal in 25 countries around the world.
There are other ways to reduce a cat’s destructive clawing behavior without resorting to mutilating your cat’s feet. Each of the alternatives will, however, involve a little effort on your part.
Every home with a cat should have at least one scratching post. Most cats are naturally attracted to scratching posts, but some may need a little encouragement. Place the post where it’s easily accessable to the cat, maybe right next to the piece of furniture it has shown interest in scratching. Scratch the rough surface with your own nails; the sound should get your cat’s attention. Run a string or other enticement around the post, getting your cat to pat at it. It won’t take long for your cat to realize just how appealing the post is and begin scratching away. Need a little more temptation? Rub the post with fresh catnip.
Nail caps are a fun option. Get nail clippers from the pet store, make your cat comfortable, then gently press the center of the cat’s paw. The claws will automatically extend and you can carefully trim the tips of the nails.
Nail caps are available at pet stores. These caps are easy to apply using an adhesive that comes packaged with the nail covers. You can even get them in fun colors and patterns to give your cat some style and they stay on for about a month.
Other alternatives include misting tempting items with a deterrent spray or applying double-sided tape to the furniture your cat prefers to scratch. Cats hate the sticky feeling and will avoid it.
Your cat needs its claws for many reasons. Defense is primary, but cats also use claws as exercise equipment, sinking their nails in and using the resistance to tone muscles in their back and upper body. Besides, kneading and scratching is a primary stress reliever for felines and everyone needs a way to relax…even kitties.
Declawing your cat should only be done as a last resort. Please try the alternatives before choosing amputation.