Has your cat turned your chairs, window screens, and rugs all into to confetti using his lethal claws?
If so, you may be wondering how you can stop this behavior.
Well it may be easier to stop your cat from destroying your home if you understand why he's doing all of this scratching first.
Before cats were domesticated, they were deadly hunters.
They relied on their razor sharp claws to help them climb trees so that they could leap down on their prey.
But today cats get their dinner from a bowl, but they still like to sharpen their claws.
Scratching is their way of trimming their nails, since it removes the old outer part of the claws.
Plus another reason why cat still scratch is to let other cats know that the house and yard belong to them.
When cats scratch, they release scent from the special glands in their paws that help them mark that spot as theirs.
Finally, cats scratch to get the kinks out of their bodies and to burn off some of their energy.
So if you are getting fed up with your cat's scratching, and you've been thinking of declawing him - DON'T!
It's important that you try every alternative possible instead!
One simple way to prevent cats from scratching everything up is to provide them with scratching pads or posts.
You can shop for a wide variety of scratching posts, including posts that are part of an elaborate condo.
However, you can also make your own simple scratching post, using a two foot high section of a four by four, a two foot by two foot piece of heavy plywood, and a carpet remnant.
Once you have a scratching post or pad, be sure you place it right next to his favorite piece of furniture.
After he is in the habit of scratching the post, you can try moving it a bit further from the furniture, but you should do so gradually.
If having his own personal scratching post doesn't deter your cat from ruining the furnishings, try using a pet repellant spray, such as bitter apple, on the furniture.
Now warning... you may want to test the spray on an obscure part of the upholstery first to be sure it doesn't discolor the fabric.
If you don't want to risk spraying your furniture, try covering the material with aluminum foil or tape that is placed sticky side up.
Your cat will not care for the feel of these materials and should willingly turn to his scratching post instead.
Now if you've tried this and along with some of the other suggestions that we provide on our FREE cat training book that you can download here, and none of them seem to work, and your cat still insist on scratching then you may need to speak with a cat behaviorist to see if they can assist you with curbing the behavior.
Now if the cat is hurting himself and other cats, and you have exhausted all options, then that should be the only time you even remotely consider declawing, and even then it should be your last, and only option.
One thing to remember with declawing is that this is a serious medical procedure and it's painful.
There are also some risk to the procedure, since your cat will be under anesthesia during the surgery.
Some people recommend using nail caps instead, but these caps do have a tendency to fall off and will need to be replaced occasionally.
Plus caps are applied in a similar manner to the way manicurists attach false nails.
The nails are shortened and then the caps are applied with a non toxic adhesive.
So with all of that in mind, you really do have a lot to think of when it comes to why your cat is really scratching and what you really need to do about it.
And really put some time and effort into working with them to curb the behavior so that you don't need to do anything extreme.
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