Prevent cat from extending his claws when being petted

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

So, you walked into your house and you saw your cat sitting on a sofa waiting for you to come home.

As soon as you enter, you feel sorry and quickly go and pet them.

But guess what? Your cat just extended its claws at you.

You must be wondering how to stop this. Because let’s face it, no one likes to get hurt or scratched at when you’re only being nice.

So here’s the reason:

A cat takes out its claws for multiple reasons. But to stop them from doing so, you may have to try a few different techniques to train them, like making a scratch pole, discouraging bad behavior, or even rattling a coin box to distract your cat.

There are many other tips and tricks for you to stop your cat from extending its claws at you, but for that, you’ll have to read the article.

Why does a cat draw its claws out?

Before we jump over to stopping your cat from extending its claws, let’s take a minute and understand why they draw their claws out in the very first place. This will help us solve this problem in a better and more effective way.

Defence-mechanism

It’s in your cat’s nature to defend itself by using its claws. Whenever they feel danger around them, they’ll draw their claws out to kill or hurt the attacker.

Balance

Do you ever walk on your toes? If you do, you’ll know that it’s not easy balancing yourself, that is why your cat may have to draw out its claws to maintain its balance.

Climbing

A cat feels safer at higher ground levels and it’s in their nature to climb up trees. So, if you have a tree or some pillars around the house, chances are that your cat will try to climb up on them and therefore will draw out their claws.

Digging

Another natural trait of cats. I am sure you would have noticed that your cat tends to dig the sand or its litter area, do their business and then cover it up. So obviously, your cat will need its claws for that.

Excited

A cat extends its claws when it gets too excited. The thing is, when you stroke your cat or pet their head, they get stimulations in their body which leads to getting over-excited and so they unintentionally extend their claws.

Grooming

Cats are generally very neat, clean and hygiene friendly animals. If you haven’t trimmed their nails, they will do it themselves by taking out their claws and scratching over furniture and other things to trim the nails.

How to stop your cat from extending claws?

Now, let’s get straight to the point. We now understand why your cat draws its claws out, so let’s train them and stop them from extending their claws at you.

Discourage your cat

Psychology is our best friend when it comes to training. You can start off by discouraging your cat from misbehaving and drawing its claws out. Now, the question is, how can you discourage them?

As soon as you notice that your cat has extended its claws, get up and say a firm NO. Since cats are very smart, this will give your cat a hint that you did not like what they just did.

If you see that they’re still doing the same thing, get up and move away from the place, taking away their toys. This act will most probably tell the cat to start behaving nicely.

Trim, Trim, Trim.

Yes, you’ll have to learn it if you haven’t done it so far. Since cats are very clean animals, they won’t bear any discomfort or long and dirty nails. You’ll have to make sure you trim your cat’s nails as soon as they grow too big. An adult cat needs to have its claws trimmed twice a month and in case of a kitten, it should be done once a week.

Trimming your cat’s nails is a task in itself, so you’ll have to learn it from your vet. I am saying this because there are very thin and small veins in a cat’s claw. You only need to trim the tip of your cat’s nails to keep them clean and avoid any discomfort.

Since it is a task that may have to be done at least twice a month, you’ll have to make sure that you make it fun and relaxing in these ways:

  • Taking your cat in your lap
  • Patting them nicely
  • Making your cat comfortable
  • Getting an additional helper to hold out the paws
  • Using a gentle touch
  • Placing their paws in between your thumb and fingers softly

If you feel that you can’t do it right, go to a vet or try using the trimmers available at your vet’s clinic. They’ll help you in trimming your cat’s claws.

Scratching post

Let’s face it, no matter how much you love your cat, it’s still an animal and needs to do what’s in their nature. A cat would want to scratch no matter what. Instead of getting all angry and frustrated about the claws being extended out, buy or build a scratching pole for them.

A scratching pole can be a simple jute rope tied around a pole, a wooden plank, a piece of leather stuck to the wall, etc. You take your cat towards the post multiple times a day and let them scratch their heart out. When your cat listens to you, give it a treat. Appreciate your cat’s act.

If you see your cat extending claws or scratching somewhere else, distract them with a sound or something and take them back to the post. This may take a few days and some extra treats for your cat to learn, but it is one of the best ways to help your cat learn to be nicer.

Coin box

Do you know that rattling sound coins make in a big metal box? Cats don’t like that at all. So, if you’re not up for trying any of the above tips or find them too much, try this tip. As soon as your cat draws its claws out or tries to scratch, make that rattling sound and your cat will get distracted.

Doing it multiple times will help your cat understand that this happens when it draws out its claws, and it won’t do it again. Psychology to the rescue once again!

Related questions

Does declawing cats hurt them forever?

Yes. Declawing a cat is equal to cutting off a human’s fingers right down to the palm. This will cause them to become aggressive, not use litter boxes and start biting more frequently. Not to mention that it’s illegal in many parts of the world.

Do vets put nail caps on cats?

Yes, you can get all kinds of caps for a cat’s nails. It may walk funny, but once it gets used to it, it will be fine. Also, the caps don’t hurt your cat at all, unlike other methods such as declawing.

Should I cut my cat’s nails?

This factor is relative to their age and environment. If they live outside a lot or are getting old, growing nails can bend around into ingrown nails, hurting the paws of your cat and even causing infection sometimes.

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