Have you ever found your feline pal scratching your carpet, chair, or sofa? Chances are, the answer to that is probably a yes. Fluffy is very diligent about keeping her nails sharp. This can be a bit frustrating to her humans. Read on as a local Potomac, MD vet offers some insight into kitty nail care habits.
It’s important to understand why your furry pal is so obsessed with her peticures. In the wild, cats rely on their claws for survival: they use those paw daggers to hunt, defend themselves, and climb to shelter and safety. No wonder they have such a strong instinct about keeping them sharp!
Your fuzzy friend will need a suitable scratching spot. A cat tower is of course purrfect here. It’s the closest thing to a tree, which would be Fluffy’s nail care station in the wild. It also offers napping and lookout spots. You can also use a scratching post or board. There are actually some pretty cute ones available now. For example, you can get your feline friend a little taco scratcher, or one that looks like a record player. Just choose something sturdy.
You may need to teach your furry little diva to use her scratcher instead of your sofa. This requires tact, time, patience, and perhaps some bribery. Never punish your pet for scratching improperly. That will just scare or anger Fluffy, and may make her wary of you. Instead, you want to instill good habits. Reward your kitty with praise, treats, and catnip for using her scratching post. If you find her scratching improperly, do something that will startle and annoy her, but won’t scare or hurt her. You can stomp your foot, squirt her with water, or bang two pots together. Sooner or later, your feline buddy will get the hint.
No luck? One option is to clip your furry friend’s nails. Unlike declawing, which is permanent, this is a temporary and painless measure, just as trimming our own nails would be. However, we wouldn’t recommend this for cats that are allowed to go outdoors, as they need their nails for self-defense. Another option would be the claw cap. These are basically like press-on nails for kitties. Fluffy can even sport fashionable colors, like red or pink. Ask your vet for more information.
Please reach out to us, your local Potomac, MD animal clinic, for all of your cat’s veterinary care needs. We’re always happy to help!