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post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have an 8 month old male cat and he's tearing my townhouse up. He's clawing the door panal and the wooden stair rail.

I've never believed in declawing because I've always heard that it hurt them, even years later. I associate it with being de-fingernailed.

I don't know what to do. Can someone shed some insight on my situation?
post #2 of 8
I am glad you do not believe in declawing, as it is basically torture for the cat and causes more problems then it creates. One way to stop the clawing, which is not that the cat is being destructive- for when cats claw like that, they are just stretching their back and muscles, is to buy a very tall scratching post and place it near where the cat is now clawing. If you get one covered with sisal rope, that is the best. They have some really nice ones nowadays some cat condos even come with the posts made for scratching and stretching.

You can also buy those air fresheners for cars- the kind that hang on the mirror? Get lemon scented ones and place them where the cat is clawing now and he will avoid the area.
post #3 of 8
You can also try the double-sided tape. They don't like the sticky feeling on their paws (our cats don't mind the lemon scent, but they hate the tape). The kind they sell in pet stores is more expensive, but it is both wider than tape in the stores and designed to be safe for all furniture (doesn't leave a residue), so we decided it was worth it.

PLEASE don't declaw your cat! If after trying different methods of discouraging them (we used both the sticky tape and got a sisal scratching post - it worked in about a day. We also got a flat one to lay down on the floor. They love it too. Get sisal so they learn carpet isn't to be scratched) you come to your wits end - don't declaw! Call your vet. They can apply - like fake fingernails - over the claws. Declawing isn't like de-fingernailing. It's like cutting your fingers off at the top knuckle and DOES create many problems for them. I think they're just called nail covers. I don't know how often they have to be replaced though...

Good luck!
post #4 of 8
I have used the nail caps/covers on my cats and it has helped a lot. You can do it yourself. These can be bought at Petco or online at Petco or through this website- pretty cheap.

What you need to do is trim the nails first then put a bit of glue in the caps then gently put it on the nails. It usually stays on for a couple months before falling off then you will need to apply a new nail cap. These caps are digestible so if cats eat them, it won't harm them.

If your cat won't let u touch her paws, I recommend rewarding her. What I did was I got ham because my cats LOVES ham and every night after they let me touch their paws, I'd reward them with ham then I gradually included nail cutter to get them used to the sound of it clicking and gave them ham after using it. Now, whenever the cats see me bringing out the nail cutter, believe it or not, they come running because they associate the nail cutter with ham! It took me about 2-3 weeks to get them to let me trim their nails and add nail caps.

Hope this helps!
post #5 of 8
There are lots of ways to discourage clawing. First and foremost (since you didn't mention it we're all going to suggest it), he needs some kind of acceptable outlet for his clawing. Like Hissy said, they need it to stretch their muscles and also to remove dead layers of claw. Sisal scratching posts are great, but you will probably either have to order or build a good tall one. The ones that I have seen at Petsmart and Petco just aren't tall enough for a grown cat. They have to be able to stretch their full length. They do have some flat ones that hang from a doorknob that work well and are tall enough, for about $15. My cats also love the cardboard scratchers that are flat and sit on the floor. They took to those immediately, and they are only $5 or $10 for the doublewide.

Most cats don't like citrus at all. Since he is scratching wood, clean it really good with a citrus scented wood cleaner. Really penetrate the wood with that citrus smell. Double sided tape, like Laurie mentioned, usually works well. It won't look good, but most cats also don't like how aluminum foil feels on their paws. You could put that on the floor in front of where he likes to scratch.

Positive reinforcement works the best to train cats. They don't respond to punishment, they just associate you with something bad. Once you have a scratching post/thing for him, whenever you see him scratching something he isn't supposed to, just pick him up and put him by his scratcher. You may even show him what he's supposed to do with his paws. When you see him using his scratcher, praise him to high heaven and maybe even give him treats (if he's treat motivated) for using it.

If all else fails, check into Soft Paws, which are the nail tips Laurie mentioned. You can have the vet put them on him, at least until you feel comfortable enough to do it yourself. Declawing really is as horrible as the stories you have heard. It is amputating the first knuckle, and very serious health and behaviour problems can result from this procedure. It is banned in many countries as cruel.
post #6 of 8
Declawing is not like de-nailing. It is an amputation of the paws.
Here is link about declawing with articles, photos and alternatives such as sticky paws,soft paws and feliway - also has photos on trimming nails.
(you have to scroll down to "Alternatives to Declawing")

And another link about declawing:

And why cats need their claws: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your responses. I thougt it best to come here first and get the experts opinion. I'm not going to declaw the little fella, but rather look into the methods suggested. My last resort will be the softclaws, we already looked at a link for it to learn a bit more about it, but that's if all else fails.
post #8 of 8
Some people like to get those hard plastic carpet covers (the kind you put under your desk so you can roll your chair) to protect their carpet. You might try getting one of those to help discourage this. Good luck! Thank you for not declawing your kitty!
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