A common problem with owning a cat is their clawing. Cats will often claw furniture, fittings, and carpets. When they are showing their owner affection, they make also get their claws caught in clothing or unintentionally scratch their owner. For some owners, the simplest solution to this problem is to have their cat declawed. However, not everyone wants to do this and there are alternatives. Many cat lovers consider the practice of cat declawing as an inhumane and cruel practice. They think that it is unnecessary to put the cat through a surgical procedure that involves clipping the cat’s toe bones just for the sake of convenience.
Having an opinion relating to anti-declawing is fine, but it doesn’t resolve the issue of the damage your cat’s claws are doing to your possessions. Fortunately, declawing is not the only option available as there are at least five alternatives to this procedure.
1. Provide Scratching Surfaces
Scratching is a perfectly normal behavior for cats. They do it to get a decent stretch, to naturally keep their claws sharp, and to mark their territory. As it is normal behavior, it is sometimes tricky to completely prevent them from doing this. Instead, you can give them surfaces that are specifically intended for them to scratch, such as a cat scratching pole. Scratching poles with platforms are great because some cats prefer horizontal scratching while others prefer vertical scratching. Try putting it next to an area that you do not want them to scratch so their own surface seems like the better option.
2. Make Objects Unattractive for Scratching
You need to make any surfaces that you do not want your cat to scratch seem unappealing to them. One way of doing this is to add aromas that act as cat deterrents. There are some special sprays sold specifically for this purpose or you can try spritzing your furniture with citrus sprays as cats are not fans of citrus. Some cat owners swear by putting aluminum foil on furniture as cats hate this material. Another tip is to add double sided tape to the furniture that they like to scratch. After repeatedly getting their paws stuck to the sticky tape, scratching the furniture won’t seem so much of a good idea anymore.
3. Trim the Cat’s Nails
Trimming your cat’s nails in another option. Although this will not prevent the cat from scratching, it will limit the amount of damage that they cause when they do scratch objects. It is a lot easier than you think to trim a cat’s nails if you have the proper equipment. You should buy proper pet nail clippers rather than trying to use your kitchen scissors from home. An effective tip to make trimming your cat’s nails easier is to start doing it while they are relaxed, such as when they are asleep or they have just woken from a nap. You will also need a lot of patience as it may take several attempts before you can finish this task.
4. Provide Distractions
Providing distractions from scratching is another simple and effective alternative to surgically declawing your cat. To do this, you will need to pay attention to your cat’s behavior. Every time you see the cat scratching something that you do not want them to scratch, such as your furniture, you should get out a cat toy for them to play with instead. It is important to distract them with the toy prior to the cat beginning to scratch. Otherwise, they may think they are being rewarded for scratching with a fun playtime with you. Another way to distract them is to pick them up and f=give them some attention if your cat is a tactile type of creature.
5. Give Your Cat Vinyl Nail Caps
A final alternative to declawing a cat is to cover their claws with a product called Soft Claws. These are vinyl nail caps that you fit over the cat’s claws so that they are unable to use them for scratching. The downside to using this method of preventing scratching is that the vinyl nail caps need reapplying regularly. Not only is this time-consuming, it can also become expensive. Despite these downfalls, it is a very effective way of preventing scratching without declawing.
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