Would it seem strange to you that someone punished you for using a chopstick after a steak dinner? This is the same confusion your cat gets when you yell at her for using your couch as a cat scratcher. They are simply doing an activity that nature has intended for them to do; However, they don’t fully understand that doing such an activity on their new thousand-dollar leather sofa is not acceptable.
It’s not that your cat is dumb. On the contrary, cats are very intelligent and self-sufficient. They just need positive training that encourages them to use their own cat scratcher instead of your furniture to do their thing.
Some pet owners may believe, out of sheer exasperation, that declawing is the only solution. However, when you consider that this irreversible surgical procedure can lead to its own set of physical, emotional, and behavioral complications, you may think twice.
Let’s go back to our human examples. If you were using a toothpick and someone cut off the tips of our fingers because they preferred me to use a dental floss pick, would you understand the connection? Probably not. And you probably won’t be a very happy eater after losing part of your fingers either!
The decision to declaw should not be taken lightly. The procedure is not the equivalent of clipping your nails; is to amputate the last joint of your cat’s toes.
A better decision may be to spend the time, patience, consistency, and care necessary to train your cat to use his cat scratcher. By rewarding good behavior when they use the scratcher correctly, you will encourage a positive response. This positive response will build, and confidence will increase, every time you encourage good behavior.
The added benefit is that once you’ve mastered the use of the cat scratcher, you can carry this training technique into other areas of your cat’s existence within your home.