You already know that cats love to scratch - you see the evidence on your furniture, drapes, and carpet. Keeping your cat's nails trimmed, to blunt damage to your furniture, and using a harmless deterrent like Sticky Paws will definitely help you save your furniture and greatly improve your relationship with your cat.
The easiest and cheapest solution to solving the scratching problem however, is to offer your cat two or even three quality cat scratchers. The good news is that quality cat scratchers are easy to come by, and can cost as little as $12-16 dollars. Here are some tips for choosing a good quality cat scratcher:
- Choose an angled scratcher or scratching post that goes straight up and down. Cats like to stretch and scratch at the same time and angled scratchers give them this opportunity. All cats I know love the Alpine Scratcher. Avoid scratchers that lie flat on the floor.
- Pay attention to the sturdiness and stability of the scratcher. Your cat needs a scratcher that will not move or topple over every time he goes to scratch.
- Look for a scratcher that is made from cardboard or covered in sisal. Outdoor cats love to use trees as their scratching post and sisal and cardboard provide a similar feel; as well, both surfaces help cats to shed the outer layer of their claws - one of the reasons cats scratch in the first place.
If you have tried all of my suggestions and you are still having problems, it is time to call in a behaviorist. Please do not resort to having your cat declawed. Trimming your cat's claws is a healthy and usually painless process. Declawing on the other hand is a surgical procedure, also called onychectomy, in which the animal's toes are amputated at the last joint. Most people do not realize that a portion of the bone - not only nail - is removed. Declawing may result in permanent lameness, arthritis, and other long-term complications. It is actually illegal in many countries. To learn more about declawing and how you can help rehabilitate big cats that have been maimed from declawing operations, visit The Paw Project.
Tara Nemeth is the Director of Field Development for Petlane, a pet product company offering the best toys, treats, gifts, and health and safety items for dogs, cats and birds. People, pets and pet products are Tara's passions. She lives in California with her husband and her 6 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Jade. She invites you to visit her company's website and for great pet parenting ideas, see her blog at http://petlane.wordpress.com