Humane Alternatives to Declawing Cats

Declawing cats has fallen out of favor with may considerate cat owners, due to the pain and possible serious health problems that can accompany the procedure. If you're cautious about having your cat declawed but would still like to protect your home and furniture from the consequences of cat scratching, don't fret. Here are some ways you can protect your belongings without declawing your cat.

Trim Your Cat's Claws

Most cats don't like having their claws trimmed. Nevertheless, trimming cat claws can help prevent a lot of the damage associated with cat scratching behavior, and is also a good idea to protect yourself and the other members of your household from cat scratches. You can use a cat nail trimmer or even a human nail trimmer, but they'll need to be sharp. Perform the procedure when your cat is relaxed and a little bit sleepy for best results.

Hold your cat on your lap, using your forearms to restrain him. Squeeze the pads of his feet gently to make the claws come out. Cut the claws from top to bottom; one cut should suffice. Be careful not to cut into the quick; that's the colored, opaque part of your cat's claw.

Offer Plenty of Scratching Posts

Most cats can be trained to use scratching posts instead of furniture, though you may have to experiment a little to find out what type of post your cat likes best. Popular surfaces include cardboard, carpet and natural tree bark. Don't skimp on the number of posts; if you're on a budget, you can build them yourself out of old scraps of wood, carpet, and tree branches.

Most cats prefer to scratch in a variety of positions, and so may like a combination of vertical, horizontal, and tilted posts. Offer a variety of surfaces and elevations to help hold your cat's interest.

Consider Using Vinyl Claw Caps

Vinyl claw caps are an easy, inexpensive alternative to declawing your cat or cats. These soft vinyl claw covers come in a variety of sizes to fit over your cat's claws whether he is a kitten or an adult. They come in clear and colored varieties. They last four to six weeks, and fall off when your cat's nails grow out.

Vinyl caps are easy to apply; simply fill them with the adhesive, pop them over your cat's claw, and hold them in place for a few seconds until the adhesive sets. Vinyl claw caps are affordable and don't cause your cat any pain or discomfort.

Try Feliway Spray Or The Feliway Comfort Zone Plugin

Feliway is a pheromone which mimics the scent of cats' facial glands. It's used to prevent spraying behaviors, and animals behaviorists also believe that it can curb scratching behaviors, as most cats won't bother to mark again where they have already marked. You can apply the spray directly to the area where you don't want your cat to scratch or continue scratching. The Feliway diffuser can be plugged in to prevent scratching behavior throughout an entire room.