Feline Nail Care
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Feline Nail Care
Many people don't know that the
cat scratches mainly for 3 reasons:
I also noticed an interesting phenomenon with a number of my cats (one of my favorite leisure
activities is to watch and observe my cats and then think why they do this and that). I notice that when
my cats get excited, for example when I give them attention and affection or when I play chase with them
(I basically chase them around the house or around their kitty playground), they would sometimes scratch
excitedly on scratching posts.
- To sharpen his claws as well as to help shed the dead outer
sheathes of the claws so that new healthy ones can surface. These dead sheathes have to be removed or
the cat may resort to chewing on his nails. However, it is normal for the cat to chew on the claws of his
hind legs in an attempt to remove the dead sheaths;
- To stretch out his body. When the cat stretches
with the use of a scratching post, all the muscles from the claws through the legs and shoulders and down
the back are unkinked and toned;
- To mark his territories both visually and with the scent from his paw
Two of my cats used to scratch the arms of my
loveseat until I laid a nice bedsheet over it. We
made sure that the sides of the bedsheet were nicely
tucked in because sometimes they still tried to go
behind the sheet to scratch on the couch. In the
meantime, whenever I caught them scratching my
couch, rugs or carpet, I quickly shouted "NO!"
walked up to them, and carried them to their
carpeted cat tree. Sometimes I would pretend
I was the mommy cat, and scratch the cat tree
myself. They seemed to be attracted to the
scratching sound I made on their tree. Don't
forget to reward your cat with praises or treats
whenever she uses the scratching post. It might
take a while before your cat learns where she
should scratch. For me, it took a few weeks to
teach my first 2 cats. For my current kitties, it
took a week or so. Just be firm and be patient
with your kitty.
If your cat prefers one corner of your house, you
might like to move the scratching post(please
consider using a scratching post made out
of sisal ropes)to that corner. If she likes the
couch, you can put one scratching post in front of
that couch. Later on, you can slowly move the
posts to where you want them permanently.
Some cats seem to prefer sisal ropes while some
prefer corrugated cardboard; others seem to like
those made out of carpet. You may have to
experiment a little with your own cat to know
what her preference is.
Clipping her nails once a week will help prevent
her from getting caught in the fabric of the couch.
Please don't declaw your cat. Declawing is
actually an amputation of the toes. It's like
cutting your fingers off at the first or second
joints. I volunteer in the cat house at the
biggest local animal shelter here. I was told that
a declawed cat might turn into a "biting cat,"
since he can no longer scratch to defend himself.
Hope this helps.
Catnip Calico's Popoki Corner
Compiled from email and from a posting on the
HomeVet Bulletin Board
Additional information and suggestions are available in the
DECLAWING RESOURCES SECTION
23 December '98 at approximately
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