Soft paws and scratching training. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Soft paws and scratching training.

Well it almost time for Mateo to meet the other cats and have the run of the house. We have leather living room furniture. He hasn't been really scratching too much, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

I was thinking about getting him soft paws. I had mentioned getting them for my dog a while back to his vet. The vet said they are better for dogs than cats, because when you put them on a cat their nails stay out and they can't retract them. Is that true? Is it uncomfortable for them? Are they difficult to put on?

Another question. He has a scratching post that he has used a little. How are you supposed to tech them to scratch only on the post?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 11:10 AM
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In my experience, if you put the softpaws on properly and they fit corrctly, the claws retract like always normal - I didn't notice any difference when Otis was wearing them. ..

If Mateo likes/tolerates his paws being handled and you can cut his nails easily, then SoftPaws are a breeze to apply. If he's sensitive about his feet being touched, then its only as difficult as cutting the nails. Otis complained a lot while I was putting them on, but they never bothered him once the process was complete....
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 11:38 AM
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I've only seen soft paws put on one dog, a young golden retriever. Actually, the largest ones we had didn't fit, and when the vet got to talking to the woman she said she took the pup for daily walks around the neighborhood and he said one or two times on concrete and they'd be worn through anyway. The best part of the story for me was her reason for wanting soft paws. She had wood floors and the dog was too playful and was scratching them. So we recommended baby gates to keep the dog out of these areas. Her response: The pup WAS confined with baby gates... but only TO the areas with wood floors so it wouldn't pee on her carpet!! Guess you've got to pick your battles with some people.


I've heard leather really isn't too tempting for cats to scratch because its really smooth and their nails don't "catch" too easily on it. They'll go for carpet or other fabrics on furniture but most don't mess with leather. My cat was front paw declawed when I adopted him and he "scratches" our leather couch, but only to kinda stretch his legs, he'll do the corners of our walls too... which most cats don't do.

Soft paws can be very helpful in keeping from poking holes in the furniture just by jumping on or off it. Even mine has had a few problems with his back paws when he jumps around (when I forget to trim them anyway).

I've heard that its easy to train a cat for a scratching post, but have never done it myself. Basically, get them to scratch it by setting them in front of it and put their paws on, rub them over it like their scratching, etc. Also do it yourself so they SEE you "scratching" it and mimic your behavior (best to do without company, so you don't look completely crazy). Any time you see them start scratching anything you don't want them to, pick them up and bring them to the post. And give them lots of praise and treats when you see them using it.


"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-15-2005, 02:13 PM
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ha ha --- I've done that (put them how....) and they just look at me like I'm really stupid. What has worked for me is to put the post near something you've seen them scratch, and then attract them to it by rubbing catnip on it. The catnip stimulates the urge to scratch, and if they scratch it and find they like it, they'll continue to scratch it. Then when they're scratching the post, you can gradually move it to a location more convenient to you.

Oh, and every cat has a different idea of what they like to scratch, so be reconciled to the idea you may have to buy several posts or scratchers with different kinds of surfaces. I have three cats, and three different scratching preferences.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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I have seen him scratching a few times on the one I bought. I guess there really is no way to tell whether he will scratch at the couch until he does it.

Funny....he just went over to his scratching post and started scratching as I was typing this
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 08:35 PM
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I knew cats had ESP
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-16-2005, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by timskitties
I knew cats had ESP
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