You can dull your cat’s claws by regularly trimming them, applying plastic nail caps, and provide them with an appropriate scratching post.
It is difficult to trim an old cat’s claws. Clean them instead.
Do not declaw your cat as it can result in physical complications, and behavioral problems.
Clawing is not a new term to cat owners. Still, most of us don’t accept this normal feline behavior, especially when our furry friends get destructive. How can you dull your cat’s claws, to stop the damages it is causing in your house?
In this article, I will give you all the details you need in regards to keeping your cat’s claws in check, including practical ways to discourage undesirable scratching habits.
However, it is also important to respect your cat’s claws and avoid harmful practices such as declawing, as we shall discuss later.
Read more, to find out tips on how to dull your cat’s claws in the safest way possible.
Your Cat’s Claws are Useful in its Everyday Life
Your cat’s claws are useful tools in its life to climb trees, mark territory, or scratch as a form of exercise to strengthen its muscles and joints. Another useful purpose of scratching is to scrap off old nails.
They also use their claws as the main defense tools to protect themselves from other cats, humans, or predators who might try to harm them.
Your cat uses its claws to capture and hold prey. Some cats will scratch at surfaces to relieve boredom or stress.
If your cat scratches furniture, don’t view this action as malicious. It is something cats do naturally to sharpen their claws. While yelling might not help, you can still find practical ways to dull its claws.
The most important thing is to ensure you don’t harm your cat while in the process. Here are some workable ideas to keep your kitty’s claws a little less deadly:
1. Trim Your Cat’s Claws Regularly
Trimming your cat’s claws is not as difficult as it may seem. Place your cat on a table or your laps, and have it face away from you. Gently squeeze on top of your cat’s foot, so that the nails come out of the fur.
Use a clipper designed for cats to snip just the tip of it, which is the white part.
Do not cut the pink part of the claw (called the quick), which might injure your cat, and cause bleeding and pain.
There are many types of cats nail trimmers, they are:
- Scissor style.
- Guillotine style.
- Small or medium pliers-style.
- Large pliers-style.
Whatever type of clippers you choose, ensure they are sharp, of good quality, and meant for cats.Blunt trimmers cause a lot of pressure on the claws while trimming,and your cat might not be patient enough to let you finish your job. It might become too cranky.
One pet owner says she puts her cat on her lap for it to feel comfortable, and takes one paw at a time. You might also want to have some treats at hand, just to make the whole experience positive.
It can helpifset the mood for your cat to feel relaxed, if you choose a quiet room, and wait for your cat to be sleepy and full from having eaten. Make sure there are no other pets around.
You might want to start the practice when your cat is still a kitten. It will then be accustomed to the practice, and not afraid to have its nails trimmed. You can always go to a vet to do this for you if you are scared to do it yourself.
Cats should have their claws trimmed every 10 days to 2 weeks. This ensures their claws don’t grow too long into the footpad and cause mobility problems.
2. Apply Soft Plastic Nail Caps
These are tiny plastic caps that can easily fit into your cat’s claws. Commonly referred to as Soft Paws, they come with a glue adhesive to help you stick them over your cat’s claws.
Soft Paws have rounded edges so that your cat’s scratching does not damage your home furnishings. They are also great if you have small children in the house, and are afraid that your cat might scratch your child.
Soft Paws are a great way to tame your cat’s claws if you are rarely at home, and don’t have the time to watch over its destructive habits, or train it to use a scratching post.
Your cat will still use its claws when putting on Soft Paws, but they will not be sharp to cause damage. Plastic nail caps come in a variety of colors from which you can choose.You can buy them from your vet, or the local pet store.
Be sure to check your cat’s claws weekly after putting Soft Paws on its claws, since you might find one or two missing. These can be easily replaced using the adhesive providedin the kit.
3. Provide Your Cat with an Appropriate Scratching Post
Cats love to scratch rough surfaces and shred them to pieces. The outer sheath of the claw is shed when your cat scratches, or shreds at things. You might have come across these transparent sheaths on your carpet.
Give your cat a scratching post that is tall enough for it to extend its body, and one that is sturdy so that it does not topple over. A sisalscratching post is ideal for your furry friend to release its primal urges.
Sisal material has the perfect texture that your cat finds exciting to shred. It is a durable fiber, just like corrugated cardboard, and it will keep your cat’s claws filed with every use.
Choose a scratching post that is at least 31 inches tall, and has a wide and sturdy base that your cat can scratch to itsheart content. Itwill help dull its claws, so you will not have to clip them so often.
The SmartCat Pioneer Pet UltimateScratching Post is an excellent choice, as it is made of durable woven sisal material, and has a sturdy base, perfect for keeping your cat’s claws filed.
If your cat has not used a scratching post before, it might need some encouragement before it starts using it. Feline experts recommend putting a treat at the top of the scratching post to reward the behavior.
Claw Trimming Might not Work for Senior Cats
It might be difficult to trim an old cat’s claws. They tend to be greasy and grow long and thick. Instead of trimming, you can clean them off with Chlorhexidine solution.
It is important to clean your cat’s paws regularly, as there could be unhealthy substances that stick in between its paw pads.
Ensure floor surfaces are clean to ensure healthy feet for your furry friend.
Declawing is Inhumane Behavior
Some cat owners might assume declawing is a logical solution to their cat’s scratching problems. However, it creates more problems for the cat, and results in physical complications and behavioral problems.
Cats need their claws to perform their daily routine of scratching to exercise, stretch their muscles, mark territory, or relieve stress.
Declawing is the surgical removal of all of a cat’s claws. It is a painful procedure and different from trimming the nails. Once declawed, a cat cannot use its claws to defend itself, fight off enemies, or escape from a dangerous situation.
This causes stress to the cat, and it might resort to biting as a means of defense. Your cat might also stop using the litter box, because of the pain they feel when they try to dig.
The APSCA strongly opposes the practice of declawing cats. The surgery involves the risk of anesthesia, excessive bleeding, and if the wound is not treated it can carry infections.
Discourage Undesirable Scratching Behavior
Your cat’s innate desire to scratch is what moves it to engage in this destructive behavior in the house. It can be tearing down your favorite leather sofa any time it pleases.
While you can’t stop your cat from scratching, the good news is that you can train it by discouraging undesirable scratching behavior. Just be consistent and your cat willeventually get it.
Avoid physical punishment when it scratches, such as hitting or pouring water on your cat. This will only make your cat afraid of you, and it will not understand that it has done something wrong.
Here are a few tricks that have worked for cat owners:
- Put a lot of pennies in a can, and shake the iteach time you see your cat scratching a sofa. The sound of it will make your cat stop immediately.
- Spray the area where your cats like to scratch with citrus-scented spray. Cats dislike the smell of citrus,and this will deter them.
- Make your furniture unattractive by applying double-sided sticky tape all-around it. The tape feels nasty to your cat’s paws, and thus discourages it from going near the sofa.