Would you find it strange if somebody punished you for using a toothpick after a steak dinner? This is the same confusion that arises in your cat when you yell at them for using your couch as a cat scratching post. They are simply doing an activity that nature intended them to do; however, they don’t completely grasp that doing that activity on your new thousand dollar leather sofa is not acceptable.
It’s not that your cat is dumb. Quite the opposite, cats are very clever and self sufficient. They just need some positive training that will encourage them to use their own cat scratching post rather than your furniture to do their thing.
Some pet owners may believe, out of sheer exasperation, that declawing is the only solution. However, when you consider that this irreversible surgical procedure may lead to its own set of physical, emotional and behavioral complications, you may think twice.
Let’s go back to our human examples. If you were using a toothpick, and somebody cut off the tips of our fingers because they preferred that you use a floss pick instead, would you understand the connection? Probably not. And, you probably wouldn’t be a very happy steak eater after losing a section of your fingers either!
The decision to declaw should not be taken lightly. The procedure is not the equivalent of trimming your nails; it’s amputating the last joint of your cat’s toes.
A better decision may be to spend the necessary time, patience, consistency and care to train your cat to use their cat scratching post. By rewarding good behavior when they use the scratching post correctly, you will encourage a positive response. This positive response will build, and trust will be increased, each and every time you encourage their good behavior.
The added benefit is that after you have mastered the use of the cat scratching post, you can take this training technique to other areas of your cat’s existence within your household.