Did you know the #1 reason people DON’T adopt cats, is because they don’t want their furniture or other belongings scratched to pieces! That’s according to a recent study from Cornell University. Other reasons given: Landlords won’t rent to you unless your pet is de-clawed first and, of course, nobody wants to see their child with a big gash from cat claws. All of which leads to one solution: Either de-claw that cat, or leave it behind in the shelter – where it’ll inevitably get put to sleep. Before you go calling your vet to schedule an ONYCHECTOMY – which is a de-clawing procedure – here’s what you need to know:
- Although most people think it’s cruel and inhumane, the U.S. and Canada are two of the few countries in the world where de-clawing is still legal. Only a handful of cities have banned the practice, but many vets still offer the surgery as a package deal – when you bring in your cat for spaying or neutering.
- Keep in mind, that scratching is normal for cats. Just as you and I need to touch things, cats need to scratch. All cats have scent glands in their paws, so when they scratch, they mark their territory. Not to mention the fact that it feels good too.
- Also, claws are a necessity for outdoor cats. Without those nails, your cat has NO WAY to defend itself. There’s growing evidence that cats who can’t scratch become biters instead! Even indoor cats have it hard without claws. Yody Blass, the director of Companion Animal Behavior, suggests that if it’s painful for a cat without claws to dig into kitty litter, they may never learn to use the litter box!
So what are some alternatives to de-clawing? There’s a product called Soft Paws, that’s like Press-On Nails for your cat. They’re plastic, temporary, and they’ll render those sharp claws harmless while they’re on. You can also buy a double-sided tape called Sticky Paws. Put that on any surface you don’t want your cat grabbing onto. When all else fails, a little catnip sprinkled on an old-fashioned scratching post should help save that treasured armchair!