Declaw No – Scratching Post Yes!

The issue of declawing has been a hot one for about 20 years now. The main reason for declawing is to stop a cat from scratching furniture, people and priceless rugs. There is no medical reason to declaw a cat, though, and the declawing removes the front of the toe which can affect a cat’s balance.

It’s simpler and more humane to teach your cat some claw manners instead. Set up scratching posts around the house, including the hanging kind which you can attach to the the couch. Use catnip to attract your cat. You can also teach your cat to leave the furniture alone and to keep her claws in when a person is holding her. It just takes a repetitive “No!” when the claws come out and treats when she obeys. A little time training is a much better alternative.

Indoor Cats Get Fleas Too!

You may think your cat will never become dinner for fleas but a surprising number of indoor-only cats have problems.

Since cats are fastidious groomers, the fleas may go unnoticed until you see your cat doing lots of scratching or you notice some hair loss due to bite allergies. If you have a dog who goes outside, even if he’s on flea prevention he stands of chance of being a flea carrier. You can also bring fleas in on your pants or socks. Another way they gain access is through the window screen, especially if your cat enjoys sitting by a first-floor window.

To do a flea check, place your cat on a white towel and brush. If you see black specks (flea debris) then it’s time to get some flea control.

Can Your Waste Basket Kill Your Cat?

If you don’t think of the waste basket in your bathroom as anything to worry about as far as a cat is concerned, think again!

Dental floss is a form of string, and we know that cats cannot resist playing with it. Once they put it in their mouths, their natural instinct is to swallow, and what goes down cannot come back up.

There may also be razor blades, or safety razors, but once in the paws of a curious cat they no longer represent “safety;” they pose serious danger.

Keep your waste basket secure and check for any other items that may be dangerous to your cat.

Harness or Collar – What’s Best?

Used imprpperly collars can do damage to your dog’s neck (including the trachea, esophagus, and more) over the years. An easy way to prevent the damage is to attach your dog’s leash to a harness instead of a collar.

If your dog pulls a lot on his leash, you can buy a training tool such as an Easy Walk Harness or a Gentle Leadeer Head Collar and use that tool on walks while you teach your dog to walk more nicely. (Be sure to follow the instructions when using training tools like these.) Once your dog understands how to walk politely on leash, you can remove the training tool and simply walk your dog in a regular body harness.

You Must Do This When Dog Training

Is there a secret to dog training? No, not really. But there is one foundation skill that can make everything else come much easier: getting eye contact from your dog in a variety of settings. Practice getting sustained (at least a few seconds) eye contact from your dog in different places, either in response to her name or to a cue like “Watch me!”