Dogs bark. Cats scratch. It’s a given, although not a welcome one by many pet owners. Talk to anyone who has owned a cat, and they can tell tales of objects that have been the victim of their cat scratching.
But just like with a dog barking, scratching is a normal part of cat behavior, and one that just needs a little redirection and well-chosen alternatives to save your sanity and your couch! Read on to find a few good cat declaw alternatives and learn why your cat scratches in the first place.
Why do cats scratch? Many people think it is because cats need to sharpen their claws. Partly right, but not the whole story. Cats do scratch to remove dead layers of their claws. But they also scratch things for a few other reasons. Cats have scent glands in their paws, which allows them to mark their territory by scratching objects.
They also scratch because it feels good – they need to stretch and scratch the same way we need to stretch and exercise. Declawing a cat is not a good solution. It is extremely serious surgery, and does not entail simply removing the claws.
Rather declawing removes part of the toes, and is very painful to the cat. Consider that your cat will feel markedly less able to defend itself, and may resort to other behaviors such as biting to counteract that fact that they have lost one of their first lines of defense. In many countries, declawing a cat is illegal, because it is considered inhumane. It is. There are better ways.
Given that this behavior is normal, here are a fews ways to control the situation:
- Cats seem to like rough fabric. It feels good on their paws. Which is why they like sisal scratching posts so much. If you are in the market to replace any furniture, look for a smooth fabric, and your cat will be less inclined to take an interest in it.
- Buy your cat a good sisal scratching post that is sturdy and can be moved around. Place the post near the area of the “bad” scratching, i.e., the back of the couch. Rub some good quality organic catnip all over the sisal, and anytime your cat starts to scratch the forbidden object, redirect them to the post. Once they begin using the post consistently, you can move the post to another location.
- Realizing that many people are not home during the day, and not able to redirect constantly, another humane solution is Soft Claws. These are light, vinyl nail caps that go over your cats claws. They even come in many colors so your cat can even make a fashion statement!
- Cats dislike the feel of sticky tape. Two-sided sticky tape is available that can be stuck to your couch, chair, bed, whatever is being scratched without harming the furniture. This will repel the cat from the object and give you time to retrain.
For more Behavior and Training Aids for Cats click here. Redirect, retrain, buy some alternatives for your cat to scratch, keep your cat’s claws clipped, make the things being scratched less attractive, and everyone will be happy.