For declawing alternatives I am not going to preach or tell you how bad of a person you are if you have previously declawed your cat(s). I myself in the past declawed two of my cats. I have grown wise since then, and now have a greater understanding about why cats have the need to scratch, solutions to scratching, and declawing alternatives. Here are a few of links about declawing. Be aware that the first one has very graphic pictures.
This page is about declawing alternatives. I will not go into a lot of detail about the procedures of declawing. I will tell you that one of my two cats had physical problems with his front right foot often because of his claw removal. Basically cats walk on their toes. Declawing removes the first digit, along with corresponding tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Every so often his right front foot would develop a bad sprang, it was awful, it looked broken sometimes. It was due to weakness in his foot due to the declawing. Casey was a total indoor cat, but every so often he would escape to the outdoors. He was sneaky that way. He got out, and was killed by dogs. I feel that it was my fault. At least if he had his front claws, maybe he could have protected himself, or climb up a tree faster. He was part of my life for twelve years.
Trimming Your Cats Claws
For declawing alternatives I put two videos below about trimming your cats' claws because I really like them both, and each one is different. Below the videos is a written step by step guide to trimming your cats’ claws.
The most important declawing alternatives are trimming your kitty’s claws. I think that trimming cats’ claws is so much easier than dogs. Cat claws are much more transparent, and smaller, making them easy to work with. With practice between you and your kitty you can learn to do a quick trim in a couple of minutes. If your kitty is reluctant about having his claws trimmed, practice a couple times a day by holding his paw and squeezing the paw pad to extend the claws. This will get him use to you holding his paw.
It’s good to start with a relaxed cat, sharp clippers, and good light.
1. Securely hold your arm around your cat, and put his front left paw in your hand. You might also wrap him in a towel.
After you and your cat feel comfortable with this, it is much easier to try to trim his nails while he is sleeping or relaxing in your lap.
2. Press his paw pad gently but firmly to extend the claw. You do not have to squeeze it hard.
Steps one and two can be practiced several days before the trimming so your kitty will be more comfortable with you handling his paws.
3. You will need to examine the claw closely under light to be able to find the “quick” where the blood vessels are. The quick area will become wide and thick as it goes into the paw pad. If you cut into the quick your cat will bleed.
4. It is best to hold the clippers parallel to the flat part of the claw, quickly snip the tip of the claw making sure you do not cut the quick. You will only need to snip a small portion of the claw.
5. Repeat the previous steps until you finish the first paw. Make sure your kitty remains comfortable and unstressed. Continue until you have completed both front feet.
6. Make sure you give your kitty treats, kind words, and plenty of loving strokes for being such a good cat.
7. Most of the time trimming the back claws is unnecessary, this depends on how active your kitty is.
If you accidentally clip into the quick, don’t panic. The claw may bleed for moment, but it usually stops quickly. Touch the claw with a barber’s styptic pen or styptic powder, this will stop the bleeding. The best suggestion is if you cut into the quick, stop and call it a day. Continue the next day.
I find it much easier to have a second person holding the cat, while I cut the nails.
It’s important for you and your kitty to remain relaxed, if at any times your kitty becomes anxious, stop immediately, if this becomes too stressful for your cat, he will look at nail trimming as something very negative.
If your cat completely refuses, get help and advice from your vet. The vet may charge a small fee, vets can also attach the “soft paws” or “soft claws” nail caps. These have become very popular and economic. I will talk about those next.
Nail Caps – Soft Paws/Claws
Other declawing alternatives include Soft Claws, also known as Soft Paws which are vinyl nail caps that have become a very popular alternative to declawing. After trimming the claws you can easily glue the nail caps to your cats’ claws. They come in many colors. Your cat will still be able to scratch but will not cause any damage. Each pack comes with 40 claw caps, two tubes of glue, and 5 applicator tips. Sizes include kitten, small, medium, and large. One kit contains enough for 4 front paw application; each application will last between 4-6 weeks making each kit last between 4 to 6 months.