Declawing is a common term used to describe the removal of the nails in cats. The scientific term is onychectomy, which literally means ‘’nail excision’’. Recently, a law came into effect that now prohibits this practice in Quebec, following in the footsteps of several countries around the world. The procedure was the amputation of the 3rd phalange – or the first knuckle. This complex and painful surgeries was widely popular in the past, it was thought as a normal thing to do when adopting a cat. This surgery was abolish by Ordre des Médecins vétérinaires du Québec in 2022.
Scratching is a normal behaviour in cats and should not be punished, instead embraced. Now, with this new reality, what are the strategies and alternatives that are available to live better with our “clawed” cat. How to better protect our furniture and arms?
- Have several scratching posts in your home with different textures. Not all cats will like the same materials so find the one your cat prefers.
- Trim their nails often. Their nails will be dull and less likely to be able to penetrate the skin or furniture.
- Apply nail cap covers monthly. Your cat will have free reign to do what he likes but not be able to hurt you when playing or be able to scratch the furniture.
- Kittens will often play rough; this behaviour can go away with time and training. When your cat is showing his belly don’t pet him, it’s a trap! Instead, offer a large toy, he will love kicking and biting it. He is one of the world’s best hunter after all. Discourage stalking behaviour on humans. If your cat attacks your feet when you walk by, walk by with a dangly toy. He will avert his hunting behaviour to the toy and not to you.
- Use ‘’Feliscratch’’ to get your cat to use the scratch posts instead of your furniture.
- Cats are very smart and we often forget to stimulate them and provide adequate cat environments which can lead to fear based aggression and boredom-based attacking.
- Stimulating their brain will make them happier and less likely to scratch or bite you. You can clicker train your cat; they will love it.
- They need to climb, give them vertical space to explore. Offer them window perches so they can watch the birds and squirrels outside.
- They are efficient hunters, feed them using toys and specialized bowls that mimic hunting behaviour
For more tricks to prevent unwanted scratching, or anything related to your cat, please visit http://educhateur.com. They have everything you need to understand your cat and help you live in harmony with them.
The Bellerive Veterinary Hospital Team