|Purred: Fri Feb 8, '13 10:16pm PST |
|Cats like to scratch on rough surfaces and objects that are stable and firm and that won't fall over when the cat goes to climb or scratch on it. My cats love the carpeted cat trees with posts that are wrapped with sisal rope. Cats love the texture of the sisal rope wrapping for sharpening their claws. My cats also have a sisal wrapped scratching post about 2 feet tall on a carpeted base that's big enough that the scratching post cannot tip over and they like it too.
A log with the bark left on it that's big enough to not tip over or that's nailed to a sturdy heavy base to stabilize it, or that's put on its side (you can lay it on one or more cheap throw rugs to keep any mess from the bark from getting on your main carpet) makes a cheap scratching post a cat will love. Thoroughly bug spray the log with an insect spray with Nylar or other insect growth inhibitor in it before you bring the log into the house. For many years I had cat trees made of real tree branches with carpeted shelves and houses in the branches until they finally wore out and fell apart and the person who used to make and sell them wasn't around anymore. I've seen one place online that made and sold cat furniture made from real tree branches, their cat furniture was quite expensive.
My cats also love a toy that's called Turbo Scratcher. It's a circular plastic toy that has a ball that runs in a track around the outside edge of it and a piece of coiled rough cardboard approximately 10-12 inches in diameter fits into the center. It comes with some dried catnip to sprinkle on the cardboard to attract the cats. The center cardboard scratching coils are replaceable.
Even without catnip on it, my cats love the turbo scratcher. The only downside is that with the heavy use it gets, the turbo scratcher's cardboard coil has to be frequently replaced.
I covered my couch with a big bedspread to protect it from claws and cat hair and I pinned bathtowels to the sidearms of the couch to protect them. The covering is easy to remove when I have company or when it needs washed.
I also regularly clip the claws of my housecats. Use a clipper made specifically for cat claws, they are much easier to use and do a much better job of quickly and cleanly cutting the claw and not splitting it, etc. Cat claws are easy to clip because it's generally very easy to see where the vein in the cat's claw ends and avoid cutting the claw too short and nicking the vein. Cat's claws are also rather hard and brittle and easier to clip compared to dog and rabbit claws. With a cat who protests too vigorously for me to restrain the cat with my arms while clipping the claws, , I wrap the cat in towel tightly enough that the cat cannot escape, put the paw out that I'm working on, clip the claws, put that paw back inside the towel, repeat the process with another paw. Most cats do not like having their claws clipped and will put up quite a struggle at least the first few times their claws are clipped. Most of my cats usually get wise to the claw clipper and leave the room when they see me pick up the clipper unless I'm sneaky about it.I keep the clipper close by and wait for the cat to come to me, then I grab him, clip his claws, hold him, and pet him until he's calmed down and enjoying the petting, then I release him. After having their claws clipped a few times, many cats will put up much less of a struggle although there are a few who I always have to wrap in a towel when I clip claws. Buddha is the easiest cat to clip claws, he just lays there and lets me clip his claws and get it over with.
Cats whose claws aren't clipped regularly or cats who don't sharpen their claws enough to keep them worn down can easily get into problems with overgrown claws. A cats claws, if not kept clipped or worn down enough, can easily overgrow until they curve all the way around and the end of the claw penetrates the pad and starts growing into the pad. This will make it very difficult for a cat to walk and use its paws, its paws will collect dirt, the condition is painful and open sores in the pad caused by overgrown claws easily become infected.
Kitten claws grow fast and are needle sharp. Cats whose claws are regularly clipped tend to have thicker claws with tips that are more blunt. Front claws generally grow faster than rear claws. I find the claws on the center toes of the rear feet usually grow more quickly than the other toes on the rear feet. The claws on the rear feet usually need clipping less frequently than the claws on the front feet although I find that contrary to what is often claimed, cats don't keep their rear claws worn down that much from being in their litter etc. I generally have to clip at least the tips of the center two toes on each rear foot every two or three times I clip the front claws.
After a few times of clipping claws, claw clipping becomes easier. Having had cats all my life and much practice clipping cat claws, I can clip cat claws so fast the job is over almost before most of my cats have time to even start protesting.
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