All pets have their challenges, and one of the challenges cat parents have to deal with is scratched-up furniture.
Clawing is instinctive for cats; they do it to remove the dead husks from their claws, stretch their muscles, and keep themselves entertained. With that said, how do you keep them from ruining your belongings?
To declaw or not to declaw?
In almost all cases, the answer is, “Don’t declaw.” There are several reasons:
- It’s not as simple as cutting fingernails. Declawing is a painful procedure that actually removes the last joint of each toe.
- It leaves cats vulnerable to attacks from other animals.
- Many cats stop using the litter box after they’ve been declawed. One theory is that they feel defenseless without their claws and therefore feel the need to mark their territory. Others think that cats stop using the litter box because of the unfamiliar feel of the newspaper that has to be used (to prevent irritation from the litter) in the days following surgery.
- Some cats become aggressive after they’re declawed.
Some countries, including Australia, England, and Japan, ban or severely limit declawing, and many U.S. vets refuse to do the procedure.
What can you do instead?
As with most behavior problems, it’s a lot harder to break a furniture-clawing habit than is to prevent it from developing in the first place. Here are some tips for a happier home and healthier cat: ✎ Most cats start clawing at around eight weeks of age. If you adopt a young kitten, teach good manners right from the start. Buy your new kitten a few scratching posts and encourage him to use them by sprinkling them with catnip.
✎ While he’s still young, teach him to let you handle his feet and trim his nails. Just press gently on his toes until he extends his claws, then trim only the very tip with a pair of nail clippers.
✎ If you catch your kitten scratching somewhere he’s not supposed to, startle him with a loud noise or a gentle squirt from a water bottle.
✎ If you need to go out while your kitten is still learning, grab a pet carrier and take him with you. It’s a lot easier than coming home to ruined furniture and a confused cat.
No one likes clawed furniture. But your cat isn’t doing it to bother you – it’s just what they do. These tips will help you manage the behavior without having to resort to surgery. And we know, Cats are so adorable when they are not scratching . Aren’t they? Meow~
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