Some people feel that they must declaw a cat in order to save their furniture, rugs and curtains. However, they fail to realize that declawing a cat is not the same a trimming their nails. It involves removing the end bone and claw on each of the cat’s toes. This is a painful procedure and the cat will need care and pain medications to recover. Many veterinarians will not declaw a cat.
Declawing a cat will also take away the cat’s main defense mechanism. While you may feel that your cat will be an indoor cat, during the cat’s lifetime, he may accidently get outside and will be almost defenseless.
Scratching is a normal behavior for a cat. They mark their territory and sharpen their nails by scratching. It seems that they also enjoy the activity.
Rather than declaw a cat, you can teach a cat to use a scratching post. Provide a scratching post in the places the cat likes to scratch. If the cat starts to scratch furniture, simply say no and move the cat to a scratching post. They are capable of learning where to scratch. Clicker training can help a cat learn to use a scratching post.
There are different types of scratching posts for cats. Experiment with them to see which one appeals to your cat. Some of the types of scratching posts are ones made from rug, natural wood and cardboard like substance.
It is easier to train a young cat than an older cat, but the main thing is to not give up. With the right scratching post and encouragement, your cat will learn.
If you do consider declawing, consult with your veterinarian first to see what is involved in the procedure as well as the care that the cat will need after. It is always easier to declaw a young cat. Declawing an older cat or one that has medical issues can be riskier and cause health problems.