Kittens and cats like to scratch things. This essential cat behavior serves to mark territory, gives emotional release, maintains healthy nails by shucking off old nail husks, and gives physical therapy and release since it lets a pet stretch and strengthen the tendons and muscles of its legs, paws, shoulders, and back. Though healthy and natural to your cat, scratching may become a genuine problem for the owner. The things they find to scratch are the legs of your antique table, your upholstered sofa, or your expensive stereo speakers. Fortunately, you will find numerous effective and simple solutions for dealing with cat scratching.
Some folks have considered declawing, often believing that it's simply a radical manicure. In reality, it's a medical procedure that always amputates a cat's bones, tendons, ligaments and claws to the initial knuckle of each toe. Declawing can be often very painful for a cat. Although in most cases the pain seems to subside after 24 to 36 hours, in other instances the pain lasts considerably longer especially if you will find surgical complications, and almost any surgery has risks of complications. In fact, some cats remain hobbling and limping around years after the declawing - again especially if there were mild to moderate surgical complications - though the majority eventually recover completely.
Bear in mind that it's natural for cats to scratch and that a lot of cats cannot be made never to scratch. Even declawed cats will try to scratch and claw objects. Before considering declawing alternatively, research the subject. Fortunately, there are several good options to declawing. These take the form of training your cat to utilize scratching posts, physical deterrents, and trimming of the nails. You will find that lots of veterinarians believe declawing is just a painful and unnecessary surgery and will refuse to do it for humane reasons. Instead, they will likely advocate these simple and effective methods that you need to use yourself.
On the list of three methods, most people find the scratching post means to fix be the simplest, easiest, and most effective. Scratching posts may also be easily obtainable at your local pet store. In the event that you see your cat start to claw your couch or anything else that you may not want scratched, pick it up, take it to the cat post and put its claws on the scratching post to scratch it. Teaching your cat to employ a scratching post can save many items of furniture, while at the same time giving your cat or kitten an enjoyable destination for a scratch and play, and it can be very entertaining and fun for the owner to watch.
The next recommendations on how to choose and use a scratching post will greatly help your and your cat's efforts:
Try to have one scratching post for every single cat in your household. Once the issue is under control, those that are not used can be removed.
Each scratching post ought to be tall enough for your cat to stretch around its full height without being able to reach the top. 3 feet is usually a good height.
The scratching post ought to be steady. No cat may wish to use a post that rocks or falls over.
Utilize the correct material - it must be tough but additionally allow the cat to scratch it to leave marks and frays. This satisfies the cat emotionally and territorially. A lot of cats enjoy using burlap.
Choose an attractive and obvious location for your cat, at least at first. Don't try to hide the post or use it in a black corner or rarely used room. You might even want to use putting the scratching post nearby the scratched furniture and other site that your cat has used before, and then gradually reposition the post to an area of your decision later.
Deterrent methods can be used, and these methods usually are good as backup and may be used in combination with the scratching post. To protect your valuable furniture, you can test lining the legs of your couch and other furniture with double-sided tape or perhaps a towel sprayed with a bitter apple product on it. You can even try employing a direct deterrent method such as for instance a spray bottle filled up with water. In the event that you see your cat start to claw your couch or anything else that you may not want scratched, spray it with the spray bottle. Just be mindful never to spray the cat in the face. Such deterrents do not have to be used forever, just until you get your kitten or cat trained to use the scratching post.
Another method you can test is nail trimming. Harm to furniture can be greatly reduced if the cat's nails are kept well trimmed. You are able to learn to do this yourself and you need to use a sharp pair of nail trimmers made specifically for cats (do not use human trimmers). It is sufficient to get rid of the sharp points so your nail ends are squared (kind of like how you would cut your toe nails) but take care never to cut too near the flesh or to the vascular and sensitive part of the nail. Your veterinarian should have the ability to teach you how exactly to trim a cat's nails and can recommend some great nail clippers.