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Channeling Clawing Behavior


Perhaps of all the questions asked when someone is considering bringing a cat or kitten(s) into the home the major one voices concern over destruction of furniture and rugs through clawing. Secondarily is the fear of children being harmed by cat's claws, a negligible concern very easily addressed. All cats, from lions and tigers in the wild, to the loving "domesticated" cat you will invite to join your family, have been endowed by nature with a formidable set of claws. Their purpose is for defense, climbing, and hunting. Living with a cat requires an understanding of claws and a cat's need to provide for their proper care.

In the first hour of this session of Feline-Human Relations 101, we will explore the instinctive nature of cats in regard to claws and clawing behavior. Emphasis will be placed on integrating and appropriately channeling that behavior when cats are living in our homes, to the benefit of the cat – and our furniture. Popular methods of thwarting clawing behavior will be presented as well as discussion of why such methods should never be used.

NOTE: Any discussion of this topic must include reference to periodic nail trimming. And while a number of "how to" videos are available through the Internet, most contain varying degrees of inaccurate advice and omissions (like proper restraint techniques). The best I've found to date is located at   At this session we will do a "live" demonstrate of the proper methods of restraining and trimming a cat's nails.

During the second hour in accordance with our meeting format, time will be available to address any questions or situations related to cats that individuals are experiencing and have brought to this group for advice and, where possible, resolution.


PLEASE NOTE: Much of the information presented in Feline-Human Relations 101 is widely accepted and practiced throughout the feline rescue community. Other recommendations are derived from the experience and knowledge of the instructor. However, in neither case are guarantees stated or implied that these methods will work 100% of the time.


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  • Susan C.

    My only regret is that many more cat lovers weren't present to learn about the importance and care of cat's claws. Roger is simply a wealth of insights about felines and expresses his views clearly and with experience. His presentation is organised, yet informal and very responsive to the needs of his audience. His "course" is 101, but Roger's unique perspective and experiences with challenging feline (re)habilitation offer insights and a fascinating forum for anyone who cares for cats.

    March 20, 2011

  • Nadine

    Clawing alternatives, dangers to the cat for declawing, cat physiology, the health benefits for the cat for not declawing, clawing materials, and how to clip cat claws are all necessary. I think too much time was spent on introductions, each time a new person entered the group; to interrupt the lecture, and do the introductions. When a new person enters, say hello, ask his/her name and continue lecturing. Introductions and personal background information can be done after the lecture. Also, it is important to stay on topic about the subject of channeling clawing behavior. Discussing anything else is off topic. I started to fall asleep when the discussion was not about channeling clawing behavior.

    March 14, 2011

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