Nowadays, a few pet owners still believe that declawing is the best way to prevent the felines from leaving unsightly scratch marks around the house. "No claws, no scratches" is what such people often have in mind and in certain regards, it's indeed correct. However, cats don't scratch furniture just to mess with humans, they have valid reasons to do so (remove dead husks, mark territory, stretch muscles,...). With so many alternatives to declawing a cat available these kinds of days, lots of feline experts think that it's cruel to declaw cats.
Want to stop your fluffy friend from destroying your favorite chair without resorting to declawing? If that is so then this article should prove handy. Down below, you would be introduced to a couple of ways that could replace the declawing procedure for the felines.
Declawing: What Is It Anyway
Cat parents that advocate declawing tend to have little idea about the procedure and what the pets must go through. So before we get to alternatives to declawing a cat, it's a good idea to understand what declawing is and why people dislike it.
One common misconnection about declawing cats is that it only removes the nails of the pets which just like having the fingernails trimmed in humans. Actually, declawing is a procedure that involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe using scalpel, guillotine clipper, laser surgery and so on. If declawing happens to be performed on humans, it should be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle. Most of the time, besides serving the wish of selfish pet owners, declawing offers no health benefits to cats.
Potential Consequences Of Declawing Cats
Obviously, declawed cats would no longer be able to scratch. But instead of having to deal with clawing marks on the furniture, pet owners that have their cats declawed might face much more troublesome issues
The average cats only have two weapons to defend themselves against threats: claws and teeth. Hence, declawed cats often have pretty high chances of becoming biters compared to normal cats. In addition, as cats use claws to bury body wastes, your furball could refuse to use the litter box once declawed because it hates to get litter on its paws. Last but not least, the declawing procedure vastly changes the way that the paws of cats meet the ground which makes the felines develop lameness.
Check us out for further detailed cat's health guide!
Eliminating Scratch Marks: Available Choices
Feline experts today offer a wide range of alternatives to declawing a cat including visual as well as physical methods. In case you want a comprehensive list of popular options then check out the followings.
Trim The Cat's Nail
While it sounds quite simple, claw trimming is actually the ideal solution to destructive scratching. Every now and then, grab a hold of your furball, trim its nails and that should take care of the claw marks in most cases. Of course, being jumpy creatures, the felines might decline to let people trim their nails. As a result, it's strongly recommended that you only trim the nail of your kitty if it seems relaxed. While trimming the claws, use cat-friendly nail clippers and refrain from cutting too deep at you could severe the quicks (nerves and blood vessels).
Invest In Some Scratching Posts
While periodic claw trimming shall keep cats from causing significant damages to furniture, the pets would still have the urge to scratch now and then. That is why it's widely advised that you set up a couple of scratching posts across the house in order to distract your furball. Hopefully, with the scratching posts around, your cat is going to leave your chair alone. These kinds of days, you should be able to get scratching posts for cats from pet stores at affordable prices.
Get A Few Nail Caps
A couple of companies like Soft Paws produce nail caps for cats that let the felines scratch to their heart's content without leaving marks. You need to replace the caps from time to time as the claws of your fluffy friend grow and shed. Nail caps designed for felines could be purchased at most pet stores as well as veterinary clinics around the globe. In order to put the nail caps on cats, cat parents have to trim the claws of the pets, apply the adhesive and push the nail caps on the claws.
Provide Distraction To Address Scratching
So it seems like your cat is about to redecorate the walls using its claws? Then you should step in and initiate a play session as distraction. Most felines would find it more interesting to play with humans instead of clawing the heck out of the interior. That being said, it's of utmost importance that you provide the distraction before your kitty starts clawing. In the case your timing is wrong, your kitty might think that it could get your attention by scratching everything.
Arrange Deterrence Around The House
For pet owners that happen to have energetic cats, it's a good idea to set up deterrence to prevent the pets from causing mischief. In most cases, a few lengths of double-sided tapes shall be able to repel the felines as they have a natural aversion to stickiness. Aluminum foils also have the same effect so feel free to use whatever you want. You could also use fragrances that prove unpleasant to cats like citrus to make your furball leave the furniture alone.
What You Must Never Do
While there are indeed plenty of alternatives to declawing a cat, it's worth noting that the execution is just as important as the idea. Keep in mind the mistakes down below and avoid them.
- Force Cats To Use Scratching Posts: Cats prefer to do everything at their own terms. So if you force your kitty to use scratching posts, it might start avoiding the posts as well as you.
- Change Scratching Posts Too Frequently: The felines usually like used scratching posts because of the familiar scents they could get their claws in without trouble. Hence, don't throw out the favorite scratching posts of your fluffy friend even if the posts look well-worn.
- Use Punishments To Correct Behaviors: Virtually every cat learn through positive reinforcements, not punishments. Hence, refrain from using violence to make your kitty behave as you like.