Can Have Your Cats and Your Furniture Too
one wants to invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars in furnishings
only to see them ripped to shreds by an overzealous pet, however
beloved. To many people the obvious answer is to have their cats
declawed, but it this really a reasonable alternative?
proponents depict it as a simple and painless operation, but it
is neither simple or painless. Most people aren't aware that it's
not just the claws that are removed. Declawing involves the amputation
of the first joint of each toe, and as any amputee can tell you,
the pain persists for months if not years. The only difference
is your cat can't tell you it still hurts.
doesn't mean you have to put up with shredded furniture and drapes,
or snagged carpets. I have four cats of my own, none of then declawed,
and my upholstery and curtains are intact and my rugs unsnagged.
There are a number of steps you can take to minimize or eliminate
Give them what they want.
is not just a means of sharpening claws, it's a vital form of
exercise that tones and strengthens the muscles. Even declawed
cats go through the motions. It's instinctive. Birds gotta swim,
fish gotta fly, cats gotta scratch. Whatever. So give them something
suitable to scratch on, preferably not one of those pint-sized
carpet-covered pet department abominations. That only confuses
that's what you already have, at least pull off the carpeting
and wrap it with good quality jute or sisal rope, half-inch in
diameter, wound tightly and secured with glue. If you sew, you
might try making a slip cover you can easily remove and replace
as necessary. Burlap is good for this, but almost any fabric with
a heavy weave or a textured surface will work. My own cats are
partial to upholstery velvet and corduroy. Ideally the post should
be at least two inches higher than the cat can reach.
cats prefer a horizontal surface to scratch on, and take well
to a commercial scratching pad made from corrugated cardboard.
you decide to use, spray it lightly with catnip extract (not synthetic
- they WILL know the difference) and place it near your cat's
favorite scratching spot. Once he or she becomes accustomed to
the new surface, gradually move it to a more convenient location.
These materials tend to be messy, so choose a spot where you can
easily sweep or vacuum around it.
Use your good judgement when choosing fabrics and rugs.
up all those lovely but delicate satin and damask weaves or the
aforementioned textured surfaces. These are cat magnets. Knits
and other stretchy fabrics are an open invitation to snags. Leather
and faux leathers are also major no-no's. Sheer panels at the
windows? Forget it!
for strong fabrics with a tight weave such as sailcloth or canvas.
Most denims hold up well, also. For curtains, go with something
like percale or chintz. Most of the curtains at my house are made
from bedsheets, and are not only attractive but virtually indestructible.
For carpeting, a medium or low plush is preferable to a berber
or a sculptured pile. Remember, minimum texture is the key.
long as we're on the subject, think brown. That way when your
cat upchucks on it, and it will, it won't be such a disaster.
If your cat is still drawn to the furniture, a number of companies
sell clear plastic corner protectors that self-adhere to most
Trim the claws.
not as difficult as it might seem, especially if you start them
as kittens. Use a specifically designed animal nail trimmer and
start out slow. Begin by just handling the paws, and practice
extending the claws without trying to trim. The cat will become
accustomed to being handled and will be less likely to react violently
to the actual trimming. After a few days of this, try trimming,
just one or two nails at a time, and only take off the very tips.
If you still find it troublesome, most professional groomers will
do it for a minimal fee.
are soft plastic covers that are glued onto the claws and last
for up to
weeks. I've never tried them myself, but many people report good
and people have shared living quarters for thousand of years,
and with a little forethought and cooperation we should be able
to maintain a harmonious relationship between ourselves, our pets,
and our furniture.
above article is written by an independent author and may not represent
the views of The Refined Feline Cat
Trees. Reproduction is not allowed without consent.