Alternatives to Declawing

Cats like to scratch. It’s part of their nature. But the scratching does not have to be destructive or forbidden. To avoid the issue of having your darling kitty damage your property, try these easily accessible provisions for your cat.

Scratching Post

A scratching post is the most basic of equipment any cat guardian should have in their home. These posts, which come in a variety of sizes and shapes can be found at any Walmart or pet store. The scratching post should be sturdy, not shaky, and tall enough so your cat can raise its paws above its head and stretch its body while digging its claws into the surface. It should also have a strong base that will not tip when it scratches. It’s also a good idea to place scratching posts in multiple locations of your home. Dangle a toy or sprinkle with catnip to get your kitty interested.

Scratching Cardboard

This is a simple product that is very affordable. It’s a corrugated cardboard on the floor in a horizontal position. It can come with a packet of catnip to entice. Great for the kitty that doesn’t like vertical posts for scratching. Or use it as a supplement to the scratching post.

cat stretch scratch

Double-Sided Tape

This double sided tape, is known as “Sticky Paws.” This special product has an adhesive that does not damage the furniture, but is a repellent to the cat’s sensitive paw pads.

Cover-Up

Make the object undesirable for scratching. This may be as simple as throwing a thick towel, fleece or blanket over the arm of the sofa. A cat will prefer woven upholstery because it is resistant and allows him or her a better grip.

Padding for the Paws

A replaceable soft plastic caps for the claws called “Soft Paws” may be a good solution. They adhere with a safe glue and last only up to a certain point. Please ask your veterinarian if he/she feels this is right for your pet.

Nail Trimming

Regular nail-trimming is another approach if your cat will tolerate it. This will keep the claws blunt and minimize the damage that the feline can do to fabrics, furniture, and fingers.

Giving Encouragement and Rewarding with Praise

To introduce your cat to any of the scratching alternatives, speak to your kitty in a pleasant, encouraging tone. For example, stand over the post and pat it, calling your cat by name. Try rubbing or scratching the post with your nails. Stroke your kitty’s back and follow through to the tail, applying slight pressure. This motion causes many kitties to raise their front paws to the post.

Or if you are going to trim you cat’s nails, approach kitty in a soothing, restful state. Practice with getting the cat used to having it’s paws touched before attempting clipping.

Giving your kitty lots of praise and love when she or he scratches in the approved areas and manner, will continue to solidify good scratching behavior, and will strengthen the bond that you both share.

There are a few individuals who will always declaw their cats, even though it is inhumane to the animal. Their own convenience and the safety of their belongings is their top priority, and whether or not it causes suffering to their cat, is not a significant concern. If this is the case, then cat ownership should not be a consideration for them.

Fortunately, there are cat owner’s who care about what is best for their feline companion. If you are one of these wonderful people, spread the word of the harmful long lasting pain and effects of this brutal procedure. Educate, not mutilate.


“The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights is opposed to cosmetic surgeries and to those performed to correct ‘vices.’ Declawing generally is unacceptable because the suffering and disfigurement it causes is not offset by any benefits to the cat. Declawing is done strictly to provide convenience for people.”
The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR)

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