|Is this trip really necessary??
Ideally, you can train a cat not to scratch the stuff you don't want scratched. For instance, I didn't want my boy Treasure to fray up the side of the couch ;) so when I saw him reach out and touch the couch, I made a sharp "AAAH!" noise, scooped him up while saying "No, Treasure", and set him onto a corrugated cardboard scratching board (they ***love*** those). Between the cardboard feel and the catnip smell, they usually transfer their urge to scratch, right over to the cardboard...and when they do, PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE! Goooooood kitty, yes, scratch your cardboard! :-) I also take them to the cardboard a couple times a day in the beginning, load it up with fresh catnip right in front of them, and encourage scratching.
Worst case scenario, you can drop a pot or pan, or squirt the cat with a squirtgun if they seem determined to keep scratching the wrong thing, along with "AAAH! No, bad kitty!"
Some people also put two-sided tape or aluminum foil onto particularly desirable objects, to break the cat's habit.
The important steps in the sequence are:
--Disrupt the inappropriate scratching
--Offer GOOD alternatives, something the cat really likes
--PRAISE for good scratching in correct places (cats do need to scratch)
--Don't let the cat practice and reinforce bad habits (if you have to, shut him away in an unfurnished room while he is "in training", so he can't get into the routine of scratching the wrong stuff in your absence)
If your cat is one of the rare few who is extremely stubborn (or, if *all* of the humans in the household aren't CONSISTANTLY reinforcing "good stuff/bad stuff"...OR, if the humans can't get the timing right for scolding & praise--and it's usually one of these latter two things!!) then they also make something called "Soft Paws", which are glue-on nail covers. They come in designer colours <bg> so you're happy and so's your cat (well, he's happier than if his toe bones were amputated, anyhow! Just don't make fun of his nail covers, b/c cats are easy to embarass and they know when you're laughing at them. ;)
Soft Paws can be purchased here:
Good alternative scratching materials that appeal to your CAT (as opposed to the human's designer tastes <g>) are a must. I've found my guys really do prefer the cardboard scratchers best, and they are inexpensive. Here's an example of one type that Cosmic Catnip sells:
For more reading on declawing, have a look here:
http://www.declawing.com and/or here: http://www.theanimalspirit.com/declaw.html
Both are pretty comprehensive sites, and good resources for those of us who realize what declawing REALLY is, what its effects (short and long term) are, and are frustrated because veterinarians do not inform their clients of these things prior to surgery! :-C Most people would not declaw if they knew that:
--The removed pieces are NOT "fingernails", they are the first joint of the paw!
--The surgery is very painful, and so is the recuperation.
--Most cats--feeling defenseless and crippled by the loss of their running traction, climbing ability, balance, and only real protection from the world--take to biting, and other negative, stressed behaviours; they may also become reclusive, sullen or depressed.
--Many cats associate the pain in their paws that occurs when covering their potty wastes, with the *litterbox*...and take to eliminating on floors and bedding instead. (They are NOT "punishing you"--they have developed a fear and aversion to the litterbox because it hurts them when they use it!)
-The mutation of their paws causes changes in the cat's posture (to adapt to the very noticeable change in their anatomy), and cats can develop back problems and other long-term health issues.
I believe education is the key to the end of claw amputation. Once people become aware of all of the drawbacks for their special friend, and how unnecessary the procedure is in the first place, it will become a thing of the past. :-)
On behalf of myself and any kitties you may have, a big ***THANK YOU*** for caring enough to look into this issue!
|Considering having your cat declawed? Please (your cat and I are **begging** you) read the below information FIRST.|