People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless "quick fix" for unwanted scratching. They don't realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite. Declawing also can cause lasting physical problems for your cat. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your the cat's claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's "toes". When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period.
Soft Paws are lightweight vinyl nail caps that you glue on the cat's front claws. They're great for households with small children and are extremely useful for people who are away from home all day and can't exercise the watchfulness necessary to train a cat to use a scratching post. Soft Paws® are easy to apply and last about four to six weeks.
They come in clear or colors—which are really fun.
If your cat scratches your furniture (or another area you do not prefer), put a scratching post there. Your cat may have a reason, of which you are not aware, to scratch that particular piece of furniture. They cannot distinguish between “your couch” and “my scratching post.” So, move the scratching post to the area your cat is clawing.
Place different posts around the house. You don’t have to have the scratching post just in the area your cat is damaging. Provide several different types of scratching posts in various areas of the home.
Train your cat what to scratch. When you catch your cat scratching the couch, gently move their paws to the scratching post you have placed next to the furniture. If they begin scratching the post, not the furniture, praise them and give them a treat.
Try different styles of scratching posts. Some cats love to scratch vertical posts, others enjoy horizontal posts. Some cats enjoy scratching sisal rope, others enjoy corrugated scratchers while others love to scratch carpeted posts, cardboard, or even tree branches. Experiment until you find a scratching post style your cat enjoys. Keep in mind your cat may enjoy a horizontal corrugated scratcher one day and a vertical sisal post the other.
If possible start training your cat to have their claws trimmed as a kitten. Gently stroke your cat's paws often, getting them used to having their paws held before you attempt trimming. The best time to trim your cat's claws is when they are relaxed or sleepy. Never try to give a pedicure right after a stressful experience or an energetic round of play.
Your cat should be resting comfortably on your lap, the floor, or a table. Hold a paw in one hand and press a toe pad gently to extend the claw. Notice the pink tissue (the quick) on the inside of the claw. Avoid the quick when you trim the claw; cutting into it will cause pain and bleeding Remove the sharp tip below the quick (away from the toe), clipping about halfway between the end of the quick and the tip of claw. If your cat becomes impatient, take a break and try again later. Even if you can clip only a claw or two a day, eventually you'll complete the task. Hold your cat so they are resting comfortably and you can minimize movement. Because cats do little damage with their rear claws and do a good job of keeping them trim themselves-by chewing them-many cat owners never clip the rear claws.
If you accidentally clip into the quick, don't panic. The claw may bleed for a moment, but it will usually stop very quickly. You can also use blood stopping (styptic) products. How often you need to clip your cat's claws depends somewhat on how much of the tip you remove, but usually a clipping every ten to fourteen days will suffice. If' your cat absolutely refuses to allow you to clip tier claws, get help from your veterinarian or a professional groomer.