Preventing Scratching Destruction: 3 Alternatives To Declawing A Destructive Feline
Cats have an inherent instinct to scratch. They scratch to mark their territory and to remove dead husks from their claws. They also scratch during play and while they're stretching or posturing. The truth is, cats love to scratch, and it's difficult to keep them from doing it entirely. However, if your cat has taken to scratching your furniture, carpets or cabinetry, you can put a stop to it.
One option that people often turn to when their cat becomes destructive is declawing. However, declawing has been deemed inhumane by The Humane Society of the United States because it can lead to lasting physical issues and chronic pain for your cat. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
Since you probably won't be able to stop your cat from scratching entirely, it's important that you offer them plenty of options other than your furniture. Be sure to place plenty of scratching posts, constructed from a wide variety of materials, all over your home. If they have a favorite type of post, place it directly next to the spot that they like to scratch to tempt them away from it. If your cat ignores these new options, put catnip on the posts to lure your cat in.
Discourage scratching any chance you get. If you see your cat destroying your favorite ottoman, stop the behavior. Also, look for ways to discourage scratching when you're not around. For example, place two-sided tape on the arms of your furniture or on items that your cat loves to scratch. The tape will stick to your cat's paws and discourage scratching. Some scented products that are formulated to discourage scratching, licking and biting have been proven effective at discouraging scratching cats as well. However, not all cats are discouraged by the same things, so may have to try a few things before you find what works for your cat.
Plastic caps are a great alternative to declawing because they often work when nothing else will. Placed over your cat's claws and glued into place with nail glue, plastic caps make your cat's claws soft and harmless. If your cat does continue to practice scratching motions, the caps will prevent your cat from tearing up your prized possessions.
As you can see, there are numerous alternatives to declawing. If your cat is driving you insane with their destructive scratching habit, do not turn to declawing as a first resort. Always try to discourage and eliminate unwanted scratching using humane methods. If your cat is especially destructive, talk to a veterinarian like After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc. There may be some medication that can help.