Cat Behavior

Scratching is one of the normal behaviors of being a cat; however, this also sometimes causes trouble in the house, especially when they attack or scratch excessively on furniture.

For a cat, scratching serves as a visual and scent marker and also as exercise like stretching. However, this is also one of the common complaints from cat owners. In my experience, most owners tolerant them or have bought some toys for them to play with, things like scratching post, cardboard boxes, and just opt to be having cheaper furniture or covered furniture with less appealing material. There are also plastic nails that can be glued onto the cat’s nails.

For owners who cannot train their cats to use a scratching post, there are surgeries to alter the anatomy of the paws, either by dissecting the tendons, so that cats cannot protrude their nails as normal; or declawing, which removes their nail beds, so that nails do not grow back. These procedures become controversial as whether they are inhumane procedures. Many clinics or surgeons who offer these services require the cat owner to take the necessary steps in trying to train them or give justification of having surgeries. The primary reason for declawing is either excessive damage in the house or the injury to the family or other pets. Declawing allows the family to keep the cat or otherwise will have it abandoned or euthanized.

There are now many studies that demonstrate declawing cause no additional or increase risk of behavioral problems. In many cases, cats continue to scratch after declawing, the only difference is less damage to the house. And many owners become happy with their cats again and bond better and enjoy the companionship.
Having said all the above, building a relationship from young is still the best way of taking care of cats. But please do not abandon your cats just because they scratch you or damage things in the house, there are many alternatives. Consult your veterinarian for proper behavioral advice.

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