Experience with alternatives to cat-declawing?
February 9, 2005 4:30 PM   Subscribe

CatFilter: In an AskMe thread a while back, I saw the Klaw Kontrol bag described as a good way to control your cat for various necessary procedures. Our usually sweet-tempered girl cat has taken to randomly destroying things while we're not here, and we want to install these things as an alternative to declawing (which we will not do). Anyone have any experience with these, or other "Kitty Stop It" aids?
posted by Medieval Maven to Pets & Animals (8 answers total)
I tried the SoftPaws solution, but my 10 year-old just wouldn't take to them at all (she constantly chewed them and would find just about anyway to get them off). Not to mention, getting them on (without the Klaw Kontrol Bag, that one is news to me) was a serious hassle.

The final solution was to buy a scratching post that was tall enough for her to stretch while getting her kicks. I would place it next to the items that she would scratch the most, spray it with catnip, then spray her with water if she ever started scratching anything but her post.

It seems to have worked. Occasionally (if she's in one of her moods) I'll catch her scratching something she's not supposed to, but it's pretty rare.
posted by purephase at 5:50 PM on February 9, 2005

Some cats do well with SoftPaws, but as purephase suggests, providing a really enticing scratching post is often a real solution (those kitty condo things are ideal: loads of different areas to scratch in all kinds of positions, plus jumping up into places to hide - a bit of catnip can help attract the cat, although don't give it to kittens). Regular claw trimming (once a week or so) is also a good idea if the SoftPaws don't work, remember that claw sharpening isn't just about removing the outer layer of the claw, it's also exercising the toes, legs and back (as purephase noted with their cat, the cat really needed a scratching post she could stretch up to), and some cats seem to need to do it more than others. If your cat really needs to clawsharpen, SoftPaws wouldn't be my first recommendation, a really enticing scratching post (with lots of positive reinforcement for using it) would be. Making the scratching post enticing, and the wrong things less so (by covering them with balloons or even just blankets) can help get the cat properly "addicted" to the scratching post.
posted by biscotti at 6:33 PM on February 9, 2005

Double-sided tape. Put it on everything you want to protect, and put out a good, tall scratching post, preferably made with sisal (sp?) rope. Cats hate the stickyness of the tape, but love the rope-y stuff. After a couple of months you can get rid of the tape. By that point they should be properly conditioned to use the post.
posted by lilboo at 6:49 PM on February 9, 2005

I use Softpaws on my almost-five year old girl cat (pictured here with the purple version) and she doesn't mind them at all once they're on. Getting them on is a whole other story. It involves this adhesive that's basically superglue, and you will get it all over your hands. I was picking superglued fur off my fingers for a week afterwards. The upside is that you won't have to do this very often. The caps stay on my cat for a pretty long time, longer than the 4-6 weeks their website advertises.
posted by makonan at 6:56 PM on February 9, 2005

My friend bought these motion detector things to keep his cats off the furniture. [cat gets on the sofa and the alarm goes off]. One of his cats figured out if she remained still it would stop making the noise and wouldn't go off again. The other one [that was the scratcher] runs away. Mission accomplished.

Pea and Babydoodle won the fight and ruined my sofa. Fortunately, it was cheap. When I get a "grown up" sofa, they'll need to change their ways.
posted by birdherder at 7:07 PM on February 9, 2005

I use softpaws on both my 2 year old cats, and have for over a year. I don't find them very difficult to apply at all, I trim the claws as per the directions, squirt the glue in the caps (not til it starts coming out), line them all up on the table, and slip 'em on.

I highly recommend them - they last a long time, they have saved my sofa and carpet, and they come in fun colors (as well as clear). The cats don't mind them at all, though the female tends to lick them a lot right after they are put on. She is easily distracted from doing this with a fun toy or ear-scratchies though.
posted by tastybrains at 7:12 PM on February 9, 2005

Our kids are about two, and I think they would be okay with it. They're pretty laid back. I'm pretty much totally mystified by her behavior. I think it has got to be something to do with boredom, as she almost never scratches anything other than their catnip loaded scratcher when we're here. Good to know the claw-covers work . . . I think we're definetly going to do it.
posted by Medieval Maven at 7:43 PM on February 9, 2005

My boy cat wanted to scratch the buffalo skin chairs, he seemed to love those. The solution, we bought canned "stay off" in a pet shop which we sprayed onto the chairs any time he went near it. If we left the house we had towels (which stunk of "stay off") hanging across the front of the chair which was his scratching spot. And we bribed him with his very own leather scratching post, cats like leather, so I took a regular wallmounted post, stapled some thick foam onto it and then stapled a small leather sheet around it and mounted it on the wall. Result; he loves his special scratching-thing, he avoids the room with the leather chairs.

Another cat problem wasn't scratching but biting, one of my cats chewed any and all cords. We made a concentrated lemon and tabasco mix to paint onto the electrical cords which he then avoided. We gave him some of his own twirly telephone cord to chow on as long as he stayed off our cords. ;)
posted by dabitch at 2:08 AM on February 10, 2005

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