I don't want to declaw my cat, but also don't want my furniture ruined. What can I do to save my furniture?


Question

Hi Chuck!

I recently adopted a 6 month old kitten. He loves to cuddle and play.  I live in a 2BR apartment so although there’s room for him to run, it’s not a ton of space. He likes to jump on top of the couches and also jump from them onto the floor. He usually does this when he’s playing with his “toy mice” (they have cat nip in them). It’s only during this play time that he gets scratch marks on the couch (he thankfully doesn’t actually claw at or purposely scratch the furniture).  His foster mom cut his nails, but they were still sharp; I won’t declaw him, but how can I ensure his nails don’t get as sharp to damage the furniture? Or is it better to try and train him not to “play” on the couches? Thanks for the help!

Answer

Dear Tara,

Have you clipped his nails at all? To keep his nails short they will need to be trimmed every week. This will keep them from becoming pointy and doing the most damage. If you are trimming them weekly and he is still marking up your furniture, you could put the caps that they make on his nails. You can find them at most vet clinics and some of the our locations carry them as well.

If you don’t want to go that route you could attempt to train him to not play on your couches. The best way to do that would be to get him his own cat furniture that he can climb and bounce off of while tearing around playing with his mice. By encouraging him to play on his own stuff and discouraging playing on your stuff you can help him to establish a safe playing area. Being six months old he definitely has some busy playing time ahead of him, but typically by the time they reach a year old they start to calm down a bit. At that time the couches start to become much more appealing to sleep on than leap off!

Visit your local Chuck & Don’s for further assistance.

“The Chuck”
Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet