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I have a one and a half year old domestic shorthair. Her name is Mia and she is the light of my life! However...

She is scratching terribly lately. We have three different kinds of scratch posts for her, and she won't use any of them. Instead, she uses our new box spring, or new living room furniture. I don't want to declaw her because I think it's cruel (how would you like it if I surgically removed your fingernails, and arranged it so that they wouldn't grow?), but it's getting to a point where I don't know what else to do.

This morning, she decided to wake me an hour earlier than I usually get up for the day...by scratching the box spring right below me. I try to correct the behavior, but I know she does it when I'm not here, too. Grrr. Anyone have any suggestions? Anyone have their cat declawed that can share their experience?
 

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Sorry about this!

Suggestions: Put packing tape over your the places she scratches, and it won't be fun to scratch any more. After a month or so, you can take the tape off...but be prepared to put it back up every once in a while.

Put catnip on the scratching posts. Also, scratch it yourself in front of her. Don't try to put her paws on it, though---that will just freak her out.

Good luck!
 

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You're so right, declawing is cruel. In fact, declawing is not just removing the fingernails and "arranging it" so they won't grow. The claw grows directly out of the bone, so the entire last finger bone must be amputated completely, cutting through all the nerves and tendons in the process. If you ever have even the *slightest* thought about declawing your cat, please read this article first: http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... w&item=002.

A lot of people still believe that declawing is fine and that the cats recover fine and never have a problem. Many of them are looking straight at their own declawed cats when they say this. It's true that many cats successfully hide their discomfort and manage to live relatively normal lives. Still, I think these owners are deluding themselves. Let me know what you think after you read that article!

If you'd like to read a few peoples' experiences, visit Lisa Violet's site at http://declaw.lisaviolet.com/declawstory.html. Recently I forced myself to read every last one of these tales, tears flowing down my face, as a sort of grim tribute to the suffering of these cats. On this very forum, just a few weeks ago, a fellow allowed his two adult cats to be declawed at the behest of his fiance. One never recovered from surgery, continued to decline, and finally died, presumably from pneumonia secondary to anesthesia. Personally, I believe that the physical pain and psychological shock of the declaw surgery was too much for this sensitive little girl and she just gave up. It was enough to break anyone's heart. I still cry whenever I think of her, and I'm sure her daddy does, too.

There are lots of options including "Soft Paws" nail caps, double-sided sticky tape ("Sticky Paws" now comes in large sheets for ease of application on, say, the bottom side of a mattress!), plastic protectors, all kinds of good stuff. Just wrapping your box spring with a tarp might do the trick, at least in that spot, and get you a little extra sleep! There are lots of suggestions in the above article on our website and a second article in the same library.

Just in case you might still have the slightest doubt about my position :wink:, yes, in fact it is my mission in life to ban declawing from the face of the earth (right along with dry cat food)!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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princesslaura80 said:
She is scratching terribly lately. We have three different kinds of scratch posts for her, and she won't use any of them. Instead, she uses our new box spring, or new living room furniture.
How "new" are these things? This may be the very reason she has taken to scratching them. One of the reasons cats scratch is to mark their territory. When I brought home a new recliner my cats quickly took to scratching it....they never really bother my furniture so I beleive they were simply marking it because it was new to them. Double sided sticky tape works great to deter this behavior.
 

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Thank you so much for your response. After reading about the procedure, and reading the cat's stories, I will never consider declawing my precious Mia again. I think I'll look into the double sided tape!

Thanks again (and Mia thanks you!).
 

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I have had cats my whole life, raised them to adulthood and so forth. I have never had a cat that uses wooden furniture as a scratching post until now. I have two rocking chairs that she uses regularly. She causes no other problems though so i let her go at it (the chairs are too far gone anyway). What is odd is that I bought her a wooden scratching post that sits in between the chairs and she never touches it (nor the catnip sprinkled on the base).
 
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