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Does clipping claws lessen scratching?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have two indoor cats that love to scratch on my furniture. I have bought scratching posts before and they won't touch them, always go back to the couch! Will clipping their claws help them stop?
post #2 of 7
Clipping claws won't stop them from clawing, it will only lessen the damage done when they claw. Behavioral retraining will redirect them from your furniture to the scratch posts.

So many of us get our cats home, buy them a post, perhaps rub some catnip on it, show it to them and expect them to understand what it is for. Just like a young child, they will not know what to do until you teach them.

With any new cat in my house, I will consistently redirect them from the furniture to the scatch post. When in contact with the furniture, grab them, give them a firm NO, take them to the scratch post and rub their paws on it, giving them a tremendous amount of praise at the same time (and perhaps a treat?). This must be done consistently until they stop using the furniture. Some people will wrap the furniture with 2 sided tape, bubble wrap, balloons, etc as a deterant also.

Spraying a cat who is inappropriately clawing usually only scares or angers them, without showing them the correct behavior. Likewise hitting or yelling at the cat alone. You have to take the situation thru to the positive result.

All my cats have unclipped claws and my furniture is intact. The last two 6 month old kittens that came into my house were retrained in 2 days (they clawed furniture at their last home). You can retrain but it will take dilligence, patience and perhaps some creativity!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I'll try the scratching post again.
post #4 of 7
Rosie wont use a scratching post, even though catnip was sprayed. Then she started to get her claws into a small horse hair foot mat i had beside the back door and has a good pull on that.It's now in her room!.

I still get her clipped though when she goes to the vet for her yearly check up and booster jabs, but i've been learning to do it myself one at a time, because both of us get stressed trying to do them all! LOL

post #5 of 7
We use a toenail clipper to clip our cats' claws - but that's because we have to give them medication, or they lay on our laps and knead - and it's so much less painful when their claws aren't sharp!

Each of our cats took to scratching on an appropriate scratching area and it took very little retraining. They do have different tastes in scratching stuff though, so please try different types of scratching items!

There are corrugated cardboard items designed for cats (in which you can sprinkle a little catnip). They lie on the floor. There are also scratch pads - one side has sisal, the other side is a rubbery mat. We discovered (by accident) that one of our cats LOVES the rubbery mat side of the mat that lies on the floor. He doesn't scratch on anything else.

We have cat furniture that is carpeted. All the others love to scratch on them. But we also have a sisal scratching board - it is intended to hang from a door handle, but I tied it to a wall. Two of our cats LOVE scratching on the upright sisal scratcher.

Try different types of material, different locations, try something that's vertical, something that lies on the floor, etc. You will find a combination of things that DO work. As soon as kitty understands these things are for him or her, everyone will be relieved!
post #6 of 7
a lot of people have the same issue, they get a scratching post, but the cats wont use them. When asked about them, they are generally a foot tall, about up to your knee.. where your couch comes up to your hip or higher. Cats like the couch because it is a big sturdy unmovable scratching post. Get something that is at least the size of your hip, if not taller so your cat can do a proper stretch when scratching.
post #7 of 7
Moved you to behavior, please take a look at this thread

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