Soft Paws / Scratching Posts / Training - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Soft Paws / Scratching Posts / Training

I'm wondering if a cat can still climb and enjoy a scratching post with the vinyl nail covers installed? Also, is it worth the effort for soft paws or should I wait and see if Kitty takes to training?
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 02:05 AM
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Cats are still able to climb with nail caps. Their claws won't grip a scratching post quite the way they would without them, though.
I have used Soft Claws on one of my cats, and they work well for preventing damage from claws.
Soft Claws do require maintainance, though. Its still necessary to clip claws before applying them. You have to reapply them every so often and if they don't fall off on their own as the nail grows out, you'll need to remove them yourself. I'd say its well worth the effort, though, if you have a cat that is destructive with their claws.

I think many scratching problems can be avoided, though, with training and a little extra work on your part.

You should get the cats used to having their paws handled and claws clipped. Nails that are clipped regularly will stay shorter and much more dull, and the damage done by scratching will be far less. Start by doing a few at a time frequently, and try to make it a pleasant experience by rewarding them each time with praise and treats. Clip whenever they start to get sharp again. I usually clip at least a few nails every week or so. You'll need to do this whether you decide to use Soft Claws or not.

Its also necessary to train them to use a scratching post. Redirect them to the post when they scratch on something they shouldn't. You can entice them to use it with toys or catnip.
Its a good idea to have a variety of types of scratchers. They make ones that are vertical, horizontal, at an angle, out of carpet, sisal, or cardboard. You want them placed throughout your home so they they always have easy access to them so they don't use the carpet or furniture simply out of convenience. Vertical posts should be sturdy and tall enough that the cat can stretch all the way up without reaching the top.

I think it would be best to try training and to see if scratching will be a problem before you try the nail caps. For a lot of people, training and providing the cats with scratching posts is all that is needed. Personally, I've never had much of a problem with destructive scratching. They only reason why I have been using the nail caps for one of my cats is because he has a tendency to play too rough with the other cats.
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