Alternatives to De-clawing Your Cat
Removing your cat's nails is not the only option in your battle against cat scratching. There are many alternatives to this surgical procedure.
The claws of a feline serve many purposes, most of which are overlooked by owners who just want to protect their belongings. Claws are not just a device for scratching. They are a multi-purpose tool that cats use for many things, such as balance, climbing, defense, kneading, playing, and self-expression.
The act of de-clawing itself involves more than you may think. De-clawing not only removes the nail itself, but also the first knuckle on each toe of the paw. This removal of bone is very painful for the animal, especially since it has to walk on its paws in order to sustain itself. The surgery itself is related to disfiguring, dismembering, and disjointing the animal, resulting in severe pain. It is much more closely related to an amputation, as often the digits of the toe are removed. Upon removal of this end digit, sensory and motor nerves are cut and destroyed; they do not grow back for months. The cat is left to walk on the stub end of the remaining second digit, experiencing considerable pain.
Understanding the physiology of the cat may make this horrific process easier to comprehend. Cat's nails are unlike those of humans. They are more similar to the human finger, as the feline nail is a movable digit, attached by muscle. Ligaments and tendons attach to the claw, giving it strength and motor function.
Alternatives to Claw Removal
* Scratching Posts. If scratching furniture is the problem, provide your cat with an adequate scratching post for which to scratch on. Make sure it is as tall as your cat at extended stretch. Do not purchase carpeted posts as your pet will have a hard time differentiating between what carpet she can and cannot put her claws into. Praise your pet when she uses the post to encourage the behavior.
* Discourage Wrongful Behavior. Each time your cat uses the scratching post, praise her and spend time playing with her near the post. When the animal scratches at the wrong area, say her name followed by the word "no," and move her to the post. Try dangling a toy in front of the post. When the cat goes for it, she will end up scratching and playing at the post.
* Trim the Claws. Keeping the nails clipped will minimize the need for her to scratch, as well as lesson any damage she can do. Use clippers especially made for cats, and enlist the help of a second person to hold her still. This can be done once per week.
* Nail Covers. Plastic nail caps have been manufactured to aid cat lovers in their attempts to protect their belongings for their feline friend's claws. The plastic sheaths are attached to freshly trimmed claws with glue. They are replaced every month, or as needed.
De-clawing your cat is unnecessary if the proper measures are taken. In fact, the United States and Canada are the only countries where this procedure is performed. It is considered inhumane or illegal in most places.
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"Great advice, Ive used the Cat Claw covers as you advised an dthey really work!! I got them from www.spuk.com Use this code 'softpaws' to save 10% Lisa"