Why do we need to talk about declawing cats alternatives? The answer is simple. Declawing cats is quite frankly an inhumane practice. A major procedure, cat declawing is essentially amputating the cat’s toes at the last joint. Not like cutting off a fingernail, declawing a cat removes bones, tendons and nerves. Some cats that are declawed suffer a lifetime of pain and also experience behavioral changes.

Now, it is understandable that no one wants all of their beautiful furniture shredded to pieces. However, there has to be a better answer than declawing.

Let’s take a look at several safe alternatives to declawing your cat.  

Trim Those Nails!

Logically, if you trim a cat’s nails regularly, they will not be able to do as much damage to your furniture or other surfaces. Does it sound like a difficult undertaking? Maybe at first. It may take some getting used to. Trimming your cat’s nails every 2-3 weeks using nail scissors is ideal, and generally keeping up with grooming your cat will help in the long scheme of things. If you are having issues keeping up with the task, you could always ask your local groomer to help you out.

Why Cats Scratch

First of all, let’s talk about scratching. It is completely normal for your cat to scratch. Utterly satisfying, it simply feels good to them in every way. Cats scratch to mark their territory. The idea is that they want to visually show that they have been there, by looking at the shredded substance. Not only that, they leave their scent behind, which is deposited from glands on the bottom of their paws.

Provide Scratching Posts

Scratching posts are the perfect location for your cat to stretch out, and scratch to their heart’s desire. However, not all scratching posts are made equal. They are available in all different shapes and sizes, so you can pick out several that match the décor of your home. Here are some more suggestions about how to pick out the right scratching posts.

·         Be sure that the scratching post is tall enough for your cat to be able to fully stretch out his or her body and get a good scratch.

·         The scratching post must be completely stable. If it teeters or tips over, your cat may never want to come close to it again.

·         Sisal or burlap fabric is the most satisfying choice for a scratching post to be made out of.

Now that you have found the right scratching posts, you need to think about where you are going to put them. Avoid placing a scratching post in a random, out-of-the way location. Place a scratching post in an area where you and your cat enjoy congregating. Remember, your cat wants to scratch in an area where his desire is to mark his territory.

About Soft Paws

Have you ever heard about Soft Paws? Essentially, they are hollow caps that cover your cat’s claws. Created by a veterinarian, soft paws are kept in place with a non-toxic adhesive that is completely safe for your cat.

They work by making the claws blunter, instead of sharp, so that no damage is done when the cat scratches. Soft paws stay in place for about 4-6 weeks, until they fall off naturally.

Keep in mind that if you have an outside cat, he needs his claws uncovered so that he can protect himself.

Sticky Tape

If you have certain pieces of furniture that you want to make sure your cat won’t scratch on, try adhering some double-sided sticky tape to them. Your kitty will find it quite annoying when he tries to scratch and feels the stickiness instead.

Pheromone Spray

Seeing as cats like to spread their pheromones around, what if there are already pheromones present in that spot? The answer is that the cat may not feel the need to scratch or spray there. There is a specific product, called Feliway that can be used for this purpose. Feliway is used to make cats feel calmer and less stressed, so they will be less likely to feel the need to mark their territory.

Need some more suggestions? Reach out to your trusted veterinarian who will surely be happy to provide you with intelligent advice on how to avoid having to put your cat through this unnecessary and painful procedure.