Why does it have to hurt when all you want is to play with your feline friend, right?
Well, a lot of pet owners know exactly what it means to be scratched or clawed by their cats. The same reason could make pet owners aloof or hesitant in interacting with their furry buddies. However, with enough education, practice, and adjustment, you should be able to play with your cat without the fear of getting clawed.
Here are some of the practical tips and points you should remember.
Trim his claws
Obviously, if you want to minimize the pain or the instance of getting clawed, you need to do claw trimming. Use a specially designed clipper for cats and make sure it is sharp enough to do a quick and painless cut.
When you trim your cat’s claws, don’t get too deep. Trim just above the pink part of the claw. If you’re not confident enough to trim your cat’s claws, ask your vet to show you how to properly do it.
Use Cat Toys
One of the best ways for you to avoid getting clawed is simply limit contact. Instead of using your hands or fingers when playing with your cat, you can use toys instead. This should put a space between you and your cat and greatly decreases the chance of getting clawed.
Cats may scratch you when they are hurt. To avoid this, you need to learn how to be gentle when handling them. When you’re picking up your cat, make sure that you don’t startle him.
Gently touch your cat’s side without lifting him. When he doesn’t struggle or try to get out from your hands, you can then proceed in gently grasping both sides of his body. You can also try to scoop a hand behind his hind legs.
If your cat continuously scratches you, there might be some reasons behind this. It could be your cat is sick and something is painful. Your cat could also be anxious, stressed, or terrified. Your vet could help you determine the root cause.
Use Verbal Cues
In addition to being gentle, you can dramatically prepare your cat for cuddling by using verbal cues. For example, when you are about to pick up your cat, you can say, “hold.” When he seems to let you hold him, you can say, “Good.”
When your cat hurt you through biting, scratching, or clawing, make sure he knows that you don’t like it and you are hurt. Yell “ouch” clearly and loudly. Do this immediately right after you are hurt and when you still have your feline’s attention. Slowly remove your hand from her claws so your cat won’t think you’re still playing. This should tell your cat that you are hurt and you don’t like what she’s doing.
Use Scratching Posts
Scratching is a deeply ingrained habit of cats. You can’t eliminate it fully, but you can certainly redirect it. Scratching posts are great tools to help your cat scratch in the right place. It helps cats keep their claws and paws healthy while minimizing the need of your cat to scratch you.
What to Do Next
If you are still having problems with your cat clawing or scratching you, it is time to speak to your vet. If you need further help, your vet could refer you to a feline behavior specialist or a cat trainer. With the right professional assistance, you should be able to improve your cat’s behavior and eventually have a more enjoyable time with him.
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