Cat Claws
Solutions for Cat Scratching

soft paws cat claws

Are Cat Claws Ruining Your House?

A major problem cat owner's encounter when keeping indoor cats is damage inflicted by scratching on furniture, window treatments and other furnishings.

Unless you can successfully train your cat to use a scratching post exclusively, signs of a cat living in the home, such as shredded furniture fabric (especially wicker), scratches on the sides of wooden cabinets, chairs and desks and ragged window screens will be sorely noticeable.

Cats perform the act of picking and scratching on certain objects for several reasons:

  • They are marking their territory. Cats have scent glands embedded in their paw pads that leave a distinct odor after scratching, something which other cats can readily smell and understand as being a deliberate action marking its' territory.
  • They are keeping their claws healthy by helping to shed the external layer of nail that becomes dirty after continual use. You may frequently see small, whitish “clippings” around an area where a cat likes to scratch. These are the discarded pieces of claws that came off during the scratching session. Additionally, cats do not scratch as a way of sharpening their claws because feline claws are designed in a way to remain sharp without assistance.
  • They may be enhancing a good stretch when using a scratching post (or furniture leg). A cat's skeleton is extremely flexible and is equipped with muscles needing periodic stretching that involves claw flexing and back stretching. Also, several actions will put a cat into a state of utter bliss—kneading, rolling around in catnip and the stretch/scratch combo.
  • They may be feeling stressed, frustrated or angry. If you observe excessive scratching behavior that is not normal, some sort of conflict may be causing the cat to relieve his emotional turmoil through his expressive and versatile claws.

De-clawing a Cat?

De-clawing is considered a drastic and cruel procedure to inflict upon a cat. The practice is illegal in at least 22 countries (mostly European countries). It's still legal in the USA, but this does not mean it's humane or beneficial for your pet - the good news is there are solutions to cat scratching!

Contrary to what some people believe, de-clawing is much more than trimming the nails. Instead, when a cat is de-clawed, the veterinarian amputates muscle tissue and bones pieces associated with cat claws and their ability to move and flex. This is why a cat's balance may be affected following de-clawing surgery.

People who are against de-clawing a cat argue that a cat needs its claws for protection, to engage in instinctual behaviors such as scent-marking and catching prey and also for balance purposes.

Although cat owners of strictly inside cats say that as long as you plan on taking care of a cat for the rest of its life, de-clawing does not harm the cat and also prevents household items from damage.

Proponents of de-clawing counter that statement by clarifying what's involved in the de-clawing procedure.

Alternatives to De-clawing
Cat Claws

Fortunately, a creative cat lover invented a safe device that effectively deters cats from clawing furniture without you having to consider de-clawing. Called Soft Paws for cats, this item is easy to use and does not inhibit a cat's instinct to scratch or chase small, fast-moving creatures.

Soft Paws are vinyl cat claw covers that are applied using a special adhesive by sliding the covers over the cat's existing claw. Available in a variety of colors and sizes to accommodate all shapes and sizes of cats.

An application of Soft Paws lasts for around four to five weeks or until the covers fall off due to a cat's natural nail growth.

With Soft Paws, your cat can scratch and pick all he wants without shredding fabric or ruining wood furniture with his own unique type of hieroglyphics.

soft paws

Sticky Paws

Sticky Paws for Furniture
Another product that inhibits the destruction caused by scratching is Sticky Paws, a transparent, double-sided, medical-grade kind of tape that is odorless and does not leave any residue when placed on furniture.

Once a cat tries to scratch an area covered in Sticky Paws, the sensation and texture of the stickiness is unbearable to most cats, forcing them to retreat to an acceptable scratching post in order to experience the pleasure of scratching and picking.

Further, using Sticky Paws for furniture is a good way for you to train your cat to use a scratching post or scratching mat instead of using the kitchen screen or wooden table for scent marking or health purposes.

Does it work? - My cat loved to scratch the wooden door frames in my house. I grew tired of seeing the shredded paint all over the frames and decided to try sticky paws. It certainly put a stop to her constant scratching of the door frames.

It does work immediately, but of course you then have to watch for where they're going to scratch instead!

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