Lucky Chance Rescue

Paws Need Claws! Please Don’t Declaw!

There Are Humane Alternatives to Declawing!

If your cat is clawing up your furniture and carpet, you might think the only solution is to get him declawed. However, many veterinarians and other cat experts view this as a painful and inhumane way to solve the clawing problem. Instead, consider one of these gentle and humane alternatives to declawing.

Purchase good scratching posts

How To Choose The Right Scratching Post

  • Choose a scratching post that is tall. Cats need to be able to reach up as high as they can to scratch and stretch. If the scratching post is too short, your cat may not even look at it. The post should be high enough to allow your cat to stand on her back legs and reach above her head with her front paws.
  • Make sure the post is stable. To make sure your cat’s scratching post is stable, try fixing it to a surface or making sure the post has a sturdy base so it won’t budge when the cat scratches it. If your cat feels the post move or shift, she won’t feel secure and may refuse to use the post.
  • Scratching boards which you lean against a wall or hang like a picture are unpopular with most cats.
  • Select a texture that your cat will like. Individual cats favor different textures to scratch on. If you are not sure what your cat likes, a good starter scratcher is natural rope wound around a sturdy column.
  • Avoid plastic ropes or artificial fibers because these materials can create static, which cats dislike.
  • If your cat likes to scratch carpet, then consider nailing a piece of carpet to a sturdy post.
  • Other textures to consider trying include corrugated cardboard, and cloth
Scroll down to learn how to train your cat on her new scratch post
  • Make Furniture An Unwelcome Place

    Many cat owners find that putting aluminum foil or bubble wrap over their furniture keeps their cats from scratching it because they don’t like the sound or texture. Cats also don’t like sticky objects, so putting double-sided tape (like Sticky Paws®) where you don’t want your cat to claw can help.

    Mix lemon and water in a spray bottle and spray down furniture, since cats don’t like the smell of lemon, this can work with orange oil too

  • Trim Their Nails

    Keeping them short is often adequate for saving your furniture! Every cat parent should have a good pair of cat nail clippers and trim the nails every one to two weeks. If your cat refuses to let you clip her claws, ask your vet or a groomer for help.

    If your cat resists, don’t raise your voice or punish her. Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush—you may cut into the quick.

  • Nail Caps Are A Simple Solution

    Nail caps are smooth vinyl caps that glue over a cat’s claws and help protect your furniture from damage caused by scratching. They’re available in clear or just about any color you can think of – even glitter and glow in the dark – and most cats tolerate them very well.  You can put them on your cat yourself — no need to visit a groomer. Each cap should stay on the nail for about six weeks, and then fall off with the natural growth of the nail.

Training Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post

Reward your cat whenever he scratches an appropriate surface and be consistent with your training. Never punish him for scratching inappropriately, instead, redirect to an appropriate surface. Most cats can be gradually taught or retrained to scratch a post and avoid damaging other things in your household.

  • Place the posts somewhere that your cat has easy access to them. Good places for scratching posts include near entrances or exits, near a window, or in front of an object she already favors as a scratching post. Cats often like to scratch after waking up, so place a scratching post near your cat’s favorite napping spot. Do NOT place the post in an inconspicuous, out of the way place. Your cat will ignore it.
  • Position the post in a way that your cat likes to scratch. For example, if your cat prefers to scratch vertical surfaces, like the side of the sofa, make sure that the post is in a vertical position.
  • If you catch your cat in the act of scratching something your cat should not be scratching, clap your hands loudly to interrupt the behavior. Just pick up your cat and take her to the scratching post. Doing this will teach her to scratch the post not the furniture.
  • Rub catnip into the scratching post to draw your cat’s attention to it.
  • Make gentle scratching motions with her paws on the post to add her scent to the post. Make sure that you praise your cat while you do this.
  • Spray the scratching post with Feliway. Feliway is a synthetic feline pheromone that makes cats feel safe and secure. It also amplifies scent signals, which she will appreciate.

Because there are so many humane alternatives to declawing, there is really no valid reason to consider declawing as a solution for scratching. As we like to say, paws need claws! Please don’t declaw.

Lucky Chance Rescue

Saving Pets Is What We Do!

Helpful Information

We are committed to the ethical treatment of animals, through pet adoption, promoting spay and neuter to end overpopulation and unwanted animals, reuniting missing pets with their owners and educating pet owners on the importance of veterinary care. Below you find great information to help you on your journey of being a successful and happy pet owner.