Why You Should Never Cut Your Cat’s Claws, And What You Can Do Instead

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Sure, it’s the easy solution. Your cat is destroying your sofa, unravelling your carpet and lacerating your coffee table. Just one snip of the scissors and no more claws.

 

You think you’re doing a good thing. Yet, it’s actually a real blow to their confidence and well being.  Picture this: You wake up one morning and part of your body is missing! Not to mention one of the most useful parts in terms of defending yourself.

 

Here are 4 reasons why you should never cut your cats claws. And 3 things you can do instead.

 

1.  Claws form part of your cats identity.

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Cats are exceptional hunters, unparalleled climbers and selfdefence professionals. And all of that is thanks to their claws. Even if they live in an apartment, they are used everyday.


2. They help them stay in shape.

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Cats use their claws to stretch out, relax their muscles, exercise and play. They contribute to their good health. Cutting their claws stops them from doing the activities that are essential to their wellbeing. They will have a higher risk of developing problems linked to lack of movement (e.g. arthritis)


3. No claws = no defence.

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If your cat spends a lot of time outside, cutting their claws would be the worst possible thing to do. Without them they have no way to defend themselves. They can’t take a swipe at an aggressor to intimidate them (dogs know they should be wary of cats claws), or escape by climbing a wall or tree. Cats without claws may start to bite in self-defence and this is unnatural behaviour.


4. It’s a tough blow to their self-confidence.

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Without claws your cat realises it’s own vulnerability. They lose their self-confidence. Even if they live indoors, they feel like they can’t hunt or defend themselves anymore. Some cats develop behavioural problems and become more aggressive to compensate for a lack of their natural defence mechanisms.  

In short, cutting claws is not a simple manicure. Even if some cats can tolerate it, there are gentler alternatives.

 1. Education : “NO, not the sofa!”

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It’s wrong to think that cats can’t be educated. Be patient and don’t give up. Each time they scratch in the wrong place, discourage them by using a firm voice. Obviously you should never hit them. If they continue, you can spray them on the back with a bit of water when they start being naughty.


2. Long live The Scratchers.

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Stopping them from using the sofa or curtains as a scratch post will only work if you offer them an alternative. Scratch posts are the perfect substitute. You can always put catnip on top of the post to encourage them to use it. Ideally, give your cat several places it can scratch so it doesn’t get bored and tear apart your beautiful velvet armchair. 


3. The ultimate weapon : a cat tree.

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Cats like to use their claws to climb. And this is very good for their health. Unfortunatley, curtains are the only runway that they can practice on if you live in an apartment. If you want to save your curtains a cat activity centre or tree is the best alternative. This allows them to practice their skills on a perfectly adapted surface.

 

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Featured image : source

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