Cat Scratching Problems

With the sofa shredded and the drapes in tatters, most owners of indoor cats begin to agonize over the issue of declawing their feline. Conscientious owners and animal rights organizations have long opposed declawing as unnatural and inhumane.

"Recognize cat scratching is a natural behavior and unavoidable," advises veterinarian Dr. Christianne Schelling." There are ways to provide for this eventuality and train the cat."

A strong opponent of declawing, she urges owners to keep kitty’s nails trimmed properly and to provide a tall enough sisal or rug-wrapped scratching post and train kitty to use it. She has put up two web sites to educate owners on the declawing issue: www.declawing.org and the more detailed advice at www.catscratching.org .

As an alternative, Dr. Schelling recommends Soft Claws, a set of natural colored, soft vinyl nail caps easily applied to the cat’s nail to mute the ravages of cat scratching on home furnishings. Invented by Louisiana veterinarian Dr. Toby Wexler and available through veterinarians’ offices for the last 10 years, Soft Claws now can be purchased directly at Petco stores, local pet supply shops, or ordered online at www.softclaws.com, which also supplies a size chart and application instructions.

The home application Soft Claws kit comes in four sizes: kitten, small, medium and large, with 40 nail caps, a non-toxic, quick-drying adhesive to hold the caps in place, and an instruction sheet. Suggested retail price is $21.99