There are so many things you can do to protect against sharp claws instead of the cruel and painful procedure of declawing. Jackson Galaxy lists some of the ways to keep everyone happy. Watch the video above to find out!
Scratching is a necessity for cats.
It's not a luxury.
Cats need to, first of all, exercise the top part of their body. It's a nice way to grab something and pull down and get that exercise. Also, it's a really important part of marking territory.
Cats need to own places. If they don't own places, they become very, very insecure and anxious, and they act out in other ways. If it is necessary, if cats do need to scratch, well then, what are we going to do about that? The first thing that we do is trim their nails.
Nail Trimming 101
You take either a nail trimmer or a human nail clipper, or the ones that they sell in the stores that are more like scissors, whatever suits your fancy. You press the cat's pad. And boink, out comes the nail. All you've got to do is take off the tip.
You don't have to take off that part where the red meets the white. You don't have to worry about hurting them that way. You don't worry about what we call quicking them, which is hitting that blood supply and making everyone unhappy.
Just bump, and it's done. It's also the approach, folks. Just act as if you're just walking up and you're say hi. And things will get much, much easier.
- Also, catch them napping. I mean, when your cat's sleeping or just waking up, you're having a lazy moment together. You can have clippers by the side of your bed. All you're doing is getting the nail out and clipping. If every time you touch your cat's paws, they're going to get clipped? Then they're not going to let you do it.
So associate it with positive things, a nice quiet time. And then maybe you only get one nail while you're sitting there. That's fine. Because over the course of a couple days, you'll get them all.
The next thing that we want to start thinking about is where they're scratching. Remember, it's territorially important. There's two human scent soakers-- your couch and your bed. Where do you spend the most part of your time when you get home from work? Your couch and your bed. And that's where your scent is strong. It's a scent soaker. And because of that, your cat is going to want to compliment your scent with theirs.
The yes and the no
Behind every no, there has to be a yes. If we don't want them scratching on the arm of the chair, we have to say, well, this location is still important.
Let's say you use a product like Sticky Paws. Sticky Paws is double-sided sticky tape that is actually designed not to actually stick to your couch. But when your cat touches it, it's kind of tacky and they don't like it. OK, we'll say no, and put sticky paws down the arm of the couch.
But right next door, there has to be a scratching post. There has to be a scratching post that works for them so that they can compliment your scent with them, and leave a visual and scent marker in a territorially crucial area.
What makes a good scratching post?
The first thing is a nice wide base, because if your cat goes to scratch down and the thing wobbles, well then, the couch wins. Does your cat prefer corrugated cardboard or sisal rope or carpeting or natural wood? What is it your cat likes?
In a situation where you have young children, or if you're immune compromised, things like that-- which in the past were kind of given reasons to declaw a cat-- you can think of something like Soft Paws.
They're just vinyl nail tips. They go on. They don't hurt, nothing like that. And the only downside is that after a month or so, they're just going to pop off as the nail grows. And then you trim the nails and do it again.
It is a way that there's no way that the nails can do any damage. I like that to be sort of a last resort.
The Raw Cat
We want cats to be confident in the areas that they scratch. We want them to assert themselves territorially. We just want them to do it in the place that we want them to do it, and not in the place we don't want them to do it.
Don't forget, you can start this when they're young. I mean seriously, if you are clipping your cat's claws and giving them the yes and the no, and they're a young kid, you will not have a problem as they grow up. And there's a lot of people out there who are like, why would I compromise for my cat? You know, you've got children. You've got spouses and partners. And let me tell you something, the compromise involved with those guys dwarfs the needs of your cat.
So listen, if you've got to go out there and get a scratching post, you've got to put some sticky tape on your couch, you've got to go put Soft Paws on, you've got to clip your cat's nails. That's the cost of having a beautiful relationship with your cat.
Now you know everything that you need to know-- the basics, anyway-- on making sure that your furniture and the people in your house stay safe while keeping your cat's claws intact.