Little Shack on the Hill

Life happens while renovating!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cats Vs. Furniture (Clipping Cat's Claws)

I know I'm not alone in this being shredded by our feline friends.
Last year, the kids and I found 4 abandoned kittens at our mailbox.  We ended up having them in our home, along with our 2 other cats, for several months before having them spayed and finding homes for 2 of them. We kept 2, one of which has since sadly disappeared.  As much as I love my kitties (we have 3 in total now) they can be hard on the upholstered furniture.  My leather love seat took a huge beating.  The kittens decided it was a wonderful place to play and scrambled all over it until they were exhausted and then fell asleep on it.  I covered it with a quilt, but this was just something for them to burrow under so they could fight each other through it!  Crazy cats!  The love seat was 2nd hand, but in 'like new' shape and I was so thrilled to have found it.  Now it is covered in scratches and snags.  Sigh...
The day I got my head smashed by ice (my concussion) we had been to town and bought another 2nd hand couch from the Sally Anne. It's in beautiful condition, as if it has never been owned, let alone used!  I'm anxious to protect my 'new' couch from cat attacks!  Our 2 older cats are fine and use the scratching post, but the remaining kitten, Sweet Pea, has to be chased off of it every now and then.  Time to take action before Sweet Pea gets the upper hand!
At the moment, I'm staying at my daughter's, who took in one of the abandoned kittens.  I am trying to dissuade this kitten, now all grown up, from wrecking my daughter's furniture.  She received 2 lovely arm chairs from my son in law for Christmas this year, and Tigger has already clawed up the fronts of the arms a bit.  Their TV room loveseat has had the back corners thrashed already!  Feeling slightly responsible for this, I went to a locally owned pet store and bought some cat repellent to spray on the furniture and a pair of cat nail clippers.  

The spray, called Shou, should put Tigger off wanting to scratch the chairs,
and some catnip rubbed on her scratching post will make it more interesting.

You can see the specially designed cutting edges
 that easily snip off the tip off the claw.
This particular set has a guide attached so you don't snip off to much

Having these on hand will also help both your cat (a treat!) and you (guilt!)
Claw-trim-quick-1.jpg (13230 bytes)

In the above photo you can see where you should cut and where you want to avoid cutting.  Cutting into the quick will hurt your cat and probably make it bleed, but it's not the end of the world if you do, and eventually, your cat will forgive you. Do this job when your cat is relaxed, like when it is napping quietly on your lap!

 To expose the claw, gently press down on the top of the foot at the base of the claw.  Quickly snip off the end.  Try to do this quickly as cats really don't like having their feet pulled on.  You may have to do a couple claws, take a break, and then try again.  It all depends on your cat.  A towel wrapped around the cat can help protect you from scratches.  You'll have to try it to find out just how cooperative your own cat is.  You'll only need to do the front feet, by the way.
If you haven't the patience to clip your cats claws yourself, you can have it done at the vets or a groomers.  But, saving money is a good incentive to try it yourself first!
Here is another alternative to clipping your cat claws...Soft Paws!!  Go check out this product, even if you don't have a cat!  They are like nail extensions for cats!  Really a neat idea and fun too.  Lots of great kitty pictures on their site, all sporting colourful claws!

Soft Paws

*Just a note on declawing....DON'T!  It is inhumane and cruel. In many countries it is actually illegal. Click here to find out more about why you should not declaw a cat.  Think of it as having all of your fingers amputated at the last joint. Not a pretty picture.

Well, I'm off to snip a few more of Tigger's claws.  She was not too upset with me, but we're taking it slow as this is her first time.

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