All About Cat Scratching

Ow! My cat just scratched my arm! What should I do? Don't panic.

Cat Claw

It's very typical cat behavior to scratch. It is usually a form of defense, but can be playful. When playing with you, cats tend to keep their claws hidden. They may accidently unsheathe their razor sharp claws and scratch you. Don't think that this means that your cat wants to hurt you. If you were just playing with him and got too close to the toy, he probably accidently swiped you. Ever so often your cat may scratch you on purpose. You may be petting him/her in a painful or sensitive area. If your

cat scratches you or gives any warning signs that he is annoyed, stop doing what you are doing. It is probably bothering him, and you don't want him to think you are trying to be mean. Tell him no, and reward him when he doesn't scratch you. Cats are smart and can usually be broken of bad behaviors.

Cat scratches can hurt. If a cat scratches you, wash the wound and use peroxide on it to prevent an infection. Most of us have been scratched by a cat some time in our life. Don't overreact if you get scratched, it's usually not a big deal. Once in a while scratches inflict cat scratch disease. Cat scratch disease (sometimes called cat scratch fever), is a disease that can be given to a human by being scratched by a cat. Bartonella henselae is the bacterium that causes the disease and is found through out the world. It causes swelling of the lymph nodes in humans. The disease is usually transmitted through scratches, licks, and bites. The cats are infected by fleas, who bite them and pass on the disease. The bacteria live in the infected cat’s saliva, but don’t make the cats sick. Experts think that almost 50% of cats have been infected at some time in their lives. Kittens younger than a year old are more likely to be infected. Don’t worry, cat scratch disease symptoms are usually mild, them being mainly swollen lymph nodes. For more info on cat scratch disease click the link to the Wikipedia article.

If your cat is scratching you or your furniture, don't automatically turn to declawing. Claws are not only needed for protection, but are also needed for balance, climbing, and exercise. Declawing is a painful operation that actually cuts the cats toe joint. There are also many side-effects, such as back pain, and litter box problems. There is another option.
Soft Paws claw caps are a more humane solution to your cat's scratching problems.
Remember, have fun with your cat, but play safe!

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