An Indoor Cat's Answer to Sharpening Its Claws




A knowledgeable cat caregiver would not be reading “answers to declawing” as they would already know that scratching is part of their cat’s life.

However, for those of you that did not do your research on what a cat needs before you brought kitty home I will discuss the extreme importance of scratching posts in an indoor cat’s life.

Scratching posts serve a very important function in an "indoor cat's" life, unless you have a tree growing in the middle of your living room. You will need several in various places within your household.

If you are having trouble with your cat scratching a particular piece of furniture, place a scratching post that you have rubbed catnip on, near or next to the trouble spot.

If your cat has a favorite place to nap, place a scratching post right near by, cat’s love to scratch and stretch when they wake up from a nap.

Cats do not want to destroy your things.

A cat does not do anything for spite.

Cats just have to do the things that nature intended them to do. Unfortunately scratching is one of those things.

If you are handy, you can make your own scratching posts with a bit of lumber and some carpet, strong burlap or sisal type material (sisal rope is not recommended).

The important thing to remember, if you are making a vertical post it has to be on a very strong and stable base, it cannot tip over. If it does kitty will never look at it again.

A vertical post should be at least 30 to 36 inches tall, this way kitty can really stretch those front muscles.

If you use carpet, do not use it fuzzy side out, turn it inside out.

Why?

The underside of the carpet has a really good base for scratching; kitty's claws can really dig in. If you do the fuzzy side out, kitty will learn that carpet is for scratching and there goes your rug.

Some cats like to scratch on horizontal surfaces. You can create those by using flat pieces of wood and cover the wood with strong porous material or carpet (wrong side out again.)

Of course, scratching posts can be purchased from pet stores. I have found a neat site on the Internet that offers what I consider a great scratching post; it is called "SmartCat Scratching Ramp." It is great for kittens to learn how and where to scratch and it fits on and into places that many posts will not. It is reasonable in price and even has refill pads you can purchase, when kitty gets too rambunctious. You can see this post by going to www.onlynaturalpet.com.

The other alternative is a product called "Soft Paws®" which can be purchased on the Internet and through pet stores. These are like little gloves you fasten onto each claw with a type of adhesive. It will not harm your cat and after the initial shock of having something on their feet, cats forget they have them on.

Getting your cat to sit still for a while might present a problem, but if you do one nail at a time it would not be traumatic for either of you.

Trimming your cat's nails is also a very good way to protect your belongings. I recommend that you start this procedure when your cat is still a young kitten.

Consider it part of the bonding and grooming process, If you start at a young age and handle the paws gently, your cat will get used to your touch and not fidget.

Your vet will explain the simple procedure. All you need is a good set of "cat trimming" nail clippers and some patience.

Now, how do we convince kitty that its first choice of a scratching post (your couch) is off limits? We make it undesirable.

How?

There are several ways, each may disturb your sense of "interior design" for a few days, but it will be worth the effort.

In regard to a couch or stereo speakers (these usually being a cat's first choice.) You can cover the area with aluminum foil, attaching it with tape. You can use nylon netting you can buy at a fabric store and attach it. Or you can use contact paper, sticky side out attaching it with tape.

These are all materials that cats do not like and will discourage them from scratching.

There is also some tape, which will not harm your furniture called "sticky paws," it comes in several sizes and can also be purcased on the Internet at www.onlynaturalpet.com , cats hate "sticky stuff."

With patience and some effort on your part, you can re-direct your cat away from your prized possessions, keep kitty's feet in tact and lead a happy life together.

Don't give up, your cat deserves the time and effort it may take to solve the problem.

You made a commitment to your cat when you brought it home, you announced yourself to it as its caregiver.

That was a solemn promise. Keep it. Good Luck.

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