Pet Friendly Alternatives to Declawing Your Cat

Safe Alternatives to Declawing Your Cat

cat on pet friendly floorAt one time or another every cat owner has seen their kittens begin to look longingly at the furniture or set their feline sights on the upholstery. It is the point at which you may be tempted to contemplate declawing your cat.

But once declawed, it will be very hard for your cat to function properly both inside and outside of the home. Claws are cats first line of defense, and they require them for climbing and for traction landing as they jump. Equally important, claws are tools of hygiene for your cat, their principal device for scratching and cleaning their fur. Claws also give cats their primary sense of balance and agility.

Declawing is a procedure that can be painful, can ultimately effect behavior, and in many cases has proven to be an unnecessary procedure. It is not done in Europe and the U.K., where it is not permitted under humane regulations, and in some countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, it is illegal.

There are a variety of safe alternatives to declawing your cat. Scratching posts are one of the most common and effective ways to redirect your cats enthusiasm for clawing. Cats actually prefer scratching posts, because they can sit on their hind legs and stretch upwards, their natural position. More than one scratching post can be especially useful in two story homes. Often, cats just need a place where they can exercise their natural need to sharpen their claws, and scratching posts are also a proven way that cats relieve stress.

Another possible addition to your home, and one that does not match anyone’s decor, is the cat tree. Also called a cat tree-house or climber, this is a carpet covered tree-shaped structure standing between five and six feet high, with a number of tubes and shelf-like places for cats to sit, lie, sleep and, of course, scratch. Usually placed in dens, recreation rooms and finished basements, cat trees provide the feline equivalent of an indoor climbing gym combined with spots to sit, and places to scratch.

Among the other alternatives to declawing your cat are nail caps. One brand, Soft Claws, says it all: they slip right over the cat’s nail, are kept in place by an adhesive and are non-toxic. Nail caps are extremely comfortable, and most cats forget they are wearing them.

For brave owners and calm cats, nail trimmers allow you to cut the nails to a flat, rather than pointed, surface. However, trimming nails requires caution not to cut too far, and only certain cats will even consider letting you do it. There are circular nail trimmers made for this purpose, but there are just not many cats willing to consider letting you use them.

If you are building or remodeling, consider installing pet friendly flooring. A stylish, durable pet friendly floor will not scratch, and if your cat is already declawed, will provide the badly-needed traction hardwood and linoleum and other smooth surfaces don’t.

Pet Friendly Home for Puppies

Making a Pet Friendly Home for Puppies

The relentless enthusiasm (to say the least) of a new puppy can be challenging for both you and your new best friend. Here are some simple steps to a Pet Friendly Home, one that is safe and hygienic for all the two- and four-legged creatures living under your roof.

Closet and Cabinet Doors
Take steps to assure closet and cabinet doors firmly close and remain closed at all times. For your closets, this will ensure your puppy doesn’t turn your prize Jimmy Choo shoes into Puppy Chew toys. And it’s not just shoes: it’s amazing what other contents in your closet will look like toys to a puppy. While at first it seems something between annoying and amusing, pups are prone to hazardous choking on shoe laces, and worse, if they successfully eat one, it can create an obstruction that requires surgical intervention.

Medical and cleaning supplies in bathrooms and kitchens are self-evident risks, but so are pantries: a box of cereal looks very different when it’s been excitedly torn open and the contents spread all over the kitchen. The same magnetic or mechanical resistance stops that “baby proof” closet and cabinet doors will keep your eager, gung-ho rascal, and your possessions, from harm.

Electrical Cords
Electrical cords carry a mysterious charm for the curious puppy, who doesn’t know they also carry electricity. The pet friendly solution to chewing on the wires in your home is cord covers. They look like slender vacuum cleaner hoses, but they’re split down the long side so they easily slip over electrical cords and computer wiring, to prevent your puppy from access to the dangers within.

The Trash Can
Anyone who has lived with a puppy has had the experience of trying two or three different foods until finding one that seems to meet the puppy’s taste. And then, had the frustration of seeing the puppy – a finicky eater just hours before – tear into the trash can at the first smell of discarded food trimmings, leftovers, and whatever is about to go out. It can take 30 minutes to find something the puppy likes to eat, but 30 seconds for the puppy to find something that shouldn’t be eaten.

No matter how careful you are and how quickly you take out the trash, there will come a moment when your puppy outsmarts you. Getting into the refuse is more than just making a mess: ingested, it can lead to stomach upsets, esophageal blockages, diarrhea and vomiting.

Fortunately, the solution is simple and readily available. Step-open metal cans, with lids activated by a foot pedal, are inaccessible to puppies. When the can is placed where it cannot be knocked over, it is all but invulnerable to the curious dog.

dog on pet friendly flooringThe Floor
This is where your puppy lives. And if you have children, they will be sharing it, so matters of hygiene come first. The first part of the solution is Pet-Friendly Flooring. Cork Vi-Plank is a cork plank flooring with a rich, elegant vinyl finish that is virtually impervious to spills, stains and scratches. It cleans with just a damp mop, and when spills and pet accidents are cleaned up reasonable promptly, no tell-tale stain is left behind. It is low allergen, for allergy sufferers and especially for the asthmatic child or adult. It is moisture resistant, very quiet, and made with two layers of cork flooring material under the durable vinyl finish.

Since cork is a natural material that provides thermal insulation, it’s a warm floor. And combining cork’s natural acoustic insulation with the luxury vinyl finish’s resistance to the tick-tick of pets’ nails, Cork Vi-Plank provides a quiet, secure floor that helps your home welcome the active lives of pets and children.

The Bathroom
Depending on the type and breed of your dog, you will want to keep the lids to your toilets closed at all times. In addition to preventing your puppy from drinking contaminated or possibly chlorinated water, it prevents small puppies from drowning. Since the cleaning products and other potential hazards in your bathroom cabinets are already secured with the same magnetic or mechanical resistance stops that “baby proof” closet and cabinet doors, only an unattended full bathtub presents a possible concern. Again, the moisture resistance of elegant pet friendly Vi-Plank flooring completes the security of these rooms.

The Pet Friendly Home
Puppies are enthusiastic and inquisitive, which is part of the joy of sharing your home with them. But there are parts of the home they must not be allowed to share, and we hope this brief blog begins to describe some of the safety concerns you and your puppy share. Puppy training is very important, of course, and takes time, so it is combined with the kinds of immediate and secure problem prevention mentioned here. Transforming your puppy’s new home into a secure place for all of you to live will ensure a long and safe relationship for your pet and your whole family.