Tuesday, March 3, 2009

House Cat Tip of the Month

House Cat Tip of the Month

It is usually not necessary to declaw your cat if you give him alternative things to sharpen his claws on. For years, our Siamese cats tore up our furniture, and being the indulgent people that we are, we let them. We then found this neat thing that was a board with sisal rope around it that attached on a doorknob. Our youngest cat at the time took to it like a fish to water. Our remaining Siamese didn’t change her habits, but it is hard to teach an old cat new tricks.

A few years later, Kevin got a kitten and didn’t want to get her declawed. He got her those cardboard scratching pads. She thought they were a great idea, and she left the furniture alone. He later got her scratching posts. She could care less about them. When he got her a log, thought, she loved it. A few years later, he got another kitten, and she was just as good as her big sister.

A year and a half ago, I got Thunder from a shelter. He had all of his claws, and I wanted him to stay that way. The shelter gave me one of the cardboard scratchpads. He loved it. I got the old doorknob hanger out, and he showed no interest in it. Later, Kevin gave me the scratching posts that his cats stuck their nosed up to, and Thunder still thinks they were the greatest thing in the world. He never touched the furniture.

The moral of the story is that cats will be happy to leave the furniture alone if they have something else to claw. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. Different cats have different ideas on what is the best way to sharpen their claws. Experiment until you are both happy, and your furniture will survive without putting your cat through an unnecessary operation.