Declawing cats is a very controversial topic these days, but one we here at CatCrame are very passionate about. With healthy, safe alternatives, there is absolutely no reason to perform such a barbaric act on our pets. While the desire to protect our homes and furniture from destruction is understandable, there are far better ways to do this that only require a small investment of money and a bit of time and effort.
One great product on the market now is called Soft Paws and it’s basically a little covering that slips over your kitties claws to prevent damage while still allowing your cat to stretch and use his claws as he normally would. These have to be replaced every 4 to 6 weeks or so.
Below is a video that shows the process of putting them on.
Training Cats Not to Scratch Furniture and Floors
Training is another option and one every cat owner should be using regardless. Cats have a natural need to clean and sharpen their claws. Teaching your cat to do this in appropriate areas and discouraging them from using furniture, curtains, etc. is possible with some diligence and patience.
One trick that worked for us was using cardboard scratchers. These items are safe, inexpensive and cats love how they feel on their claws. You can also add catnip to them to further entice and pique their interest. Place your scratcher near areas they are drawn to scratch. When they start to put their claws into your sofa, correct them gently with a firm “NO, do that here” and then move them to their scratch pad and show them how to use it. Encourage them to use it whenever they feel the need to scratch.
Some cats will prefer an upright scratching post and they make those in the corrugated cardboard as well. You can also buy a “kitty condo” or other safe space and move your cat to that area when they start to sharpen their claws in undesirable locations.
Spray deterrents are also available. I’ll admit, we personally have not had much success with them. Training our cats to use their posts and pads was the best option for us, but all cats are different. Some cats do find the deterrents unappealing enough that they will leave those areas alone. Others simply don’t care when their urge to sharpen and scratch is too strong.
Whatever path you choose, having a pet is a responsibility. Although cats are largely more independent than their canine counterparts, they do require attention, training, and grooming. Declawing cats may seem to be a simpler solution, but it’s the human equivalent of removing your fingers down to the knuckle. Would you find that easy to adjust to and painless? Probably not.
We encourage people to at least try training and claw covers first.