Alternatives to Declawing Cats
Cat ownership can be a joy, but it comes with a challenge if your cat claws at your furniture. Yes, it’s a “cat thing,” and while it can be frustrating to watch your furnishings be damaged, it’s important to understand that scratching is a natural behavior. It allows cats to stretch their bodies, groom their front claws and mark their territories. It’s even more important to know that there are some options other than declawing your cat that can help you address the scratching issues. Consider these suggestions:
Nail caps are one of the more stylish feline declawing alternatives. These colorful plastic caps are considered safe and attach to your cat’s claws using a nontoxic adhesive. Your cat can scratch to their heart’s content, typically without the risk of tearing up your home. Nail caps are temporary and usually last four to six weeks.
Regularly Trim Nails
While trimming your cat’s nails can be a challenge, routine nail trimming can help prevent broken claws and reduce damage to your furniture. Veterinarians recommend clipping cat nails every 10 days to two weeks. Choose a nail clipper made for cats, then follow these tips:
- Gently take your cat’s front paw and slightly press to expose a nail.
- Use the clipper to quickly blunt the tip of the exposed nail.
If you’re having trouble trimming your cat’s nails yourself, ask your veterinarian for tips or have them provide this service. If you have a pet grooming salon in your area, consider investing in regular trimmings.
Teach Your Cat Where and What to Scratch
Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed will help reduce the amount of scratching, but the activity is necessary for their health. Scratching posts and pads give your feline friend a way to work out their natural scratching behavior while helping to minimize the risk to your home. These cat-attractive surfaces will help you encourage your cat to scratch where you want.
Scratching posts come in a variety of styles – horizontal or vertical; carpeted, wood or upholstered. Determine what scratching post your cat prefers and provide a few of that kind in different locations around your home.
Keep Your Furry Friend Protected
Declawing your cat isn’t the only way to help protect your home. You and your cat have pain-free options that can help your cat follow their natural instincts while lowering the risk of damage to your furniture and possessions. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to work with your veterinarian on solutions that help keep your cat healthy and make for a happier home with your pet.
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