Humane Alternatives to Declawing Cats

Declawing is NOT a Humane Alternative

Through education, declawing cats has fallen out of favor with many enlightened cat caregivers. However, as long as many veterinarians offer declaw at the same time as neutering, as a "two-fer" offer, uneducated cat owners will continue to have their cats declawed. The problem lies in the fact that the vets do not offer humane alternatives at the same time.

I'm talking here about routine claw trimming, which can be a pleasurable bonding time between humans and our cats. Or if you are...MORE not personally up to it, veterinarians and /or veterinary technicians will gladly do nail clips for a small figure.  Or try nail caps, such as Soft Paws, first designed and introduced by a veterinarian. 

If you have any thoughts at all about the possibility of having your cat declawed, please read these linked articles, then consider these declaw alternatives first. They really work to help prevent clawing damage to your possessions, as well as painful scratches, while protecting your cat's first defense from danger.

Top Reasons NOT to Declaw a Cat

Declawing and Humane Alternatives

How to Manage Your Cat's Claws

Top Aids to Prevent Destructive Scratching by Cats

  • 01 of 04
    Proper Way to Hold Paw for Clipping Claws
    Proper Way to Hold Paw for Clipping Claws. Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy

    Trimming your cat's claws is an inexpensive, humane alternative to declawing, and it is relatively easy to accomplish with these step-by-step instructions. Start with a relaxed, sleepy cat, sharp clippers and a good light source, for best results. Regular human toenail or fingernail clippers work well, as well as guillotine-type cat clippers.

  • 02 of 04
    PurrFect Post
    Jaspurr Loves his PurrFect Post. Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy

    Sisal-covered posts are highly favored by many cats. Most cats can be easily trained to use the post instead of your furniture. Scratching Posts can be obtained through pet stores, or if you have any carpentry talent at all, you can build your own. Don't stint on the number of posts. Many cats enjoy having several surfaces and elevations (vertical, horizontal and plane.) Fortunately, one of the most popular surfaces is cardboard, and inexpensive cardboard scratching posts are readily...MORE available. If one post doesn't work, get a second one, and experiment with their locations. Offer kitty a variety of surfaces and elevations, and he will soon choose his favorites.

    The one pictured here, is the Purrfect Post, designed by a veterinarian,  Dr. Christianne Schelling, and manufactured by her company. I think this is the third Purrfect Post we have owned. It is by far the favorite of our cats. 

  • 03 of 04
    Photo of Blue Soft Claws on Cat
    Blue Soft Claws on Cat. Photo Credit: © Soft Paws, inc.

    Soft Claws, also sold as Soft Paws, were developed by a veterinarian, and are vinyl nail caps which glue right over a cat's claws. They come in clear or colors, which can look quite fancy, and also are easy to locate if one should come off. The caps grow out with the natural growth of your cats nails, and are said to last four to six weeks, on average. Soft Claws may be found in veterinary clinics and many cat supply stores.

    Be sure to read my review of Soft Claws.

  • 04 of 04
    Photo of Feliway Comfort Zone
    Feliway Comfort Zone. Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber

    Feliway is a "friendly pheromone" which mimics the scent of cats' facial glands. It has been found to be useful in combating cats' urine marking tendencies, as it is thought that cats will not mark with urine where they have previously marked with facial glands. Although Feliway is not marketed for this purpose, some behaviorists believe it may be useful to curb undesirable scratching.

    Feliway spray can be used to apply directly to the areas of your cat's "illegal...MORE scratching." The plugin diffuser may be used to treat an entire small room.

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