We get it. You’re tired of finding lines and cat claws in your rug, your curtains, and the side of your couch.

Understandable.

Sure, having your best sweater snagged and showing up to work with fresh cat scratches on your body can be enough to push anyone to thinking about the dreaded D-word.

But before you actually take Fluffy in for a (gasp!) declawing, you should know exactly what you’re doing to your fur baby.

The Ugly Truth

We’ll cut right to it:

Declawing a cat is the equivalent of removing the first knuckles of all of your fingers.

Not pretty, right?

It’s sad, but true. The process of declawing a cat literally involves amputating the last bone of each toe from poor Fluffy’s adorable paws.

In recent years, the process of laser declawing has gained popularity because many cat parents believe it’s a less harmful and less invasive way to get rid of your cat’s pesky scratching habit.

Wrong!

While laser declawing is safer and leads to less bleeding, less swelling, and less post-op care, it’s still the same mutilating process of removing bones, length, and function from your cat’s paws.

And that’s something we at PrettyLitter just can’t get on board with.

Long-Term Effects

The cost to declaw a cat is far more than just monetary, which is why the practice is banned in 22 countries.

First and foremost, declawing is an unnecessary, elective surgery that can lead to serious health complications. If not treated properly, post-operative wounds can become infected, especially as your cat tries to continue with his usual routine of kicking around in the litter box and cleaning himself.

Next, imagine you lost all of your toes. You’d have a much harder time walking, balancing yourself, and doing tasks that were once natural in your daily routine, like driving or riding a bike. That’s what your cat goes through post-op. Not only will your cat spend days recovering with painful wounds on each toe, but also he’ll have to relearn how to walk properly and find his balance as he navigates his world.

In addition to removing a vital, functional body part from your cat’s body, declawing also strips your cat of one of his most effective coping skills. Scratching is a way for cats to destress. Rather than robbing him of this innate tool, play with your cat, provide plenty of hiding places, and find ways to help your cat destress peacefully.

To top it all off, cat parents who declaw their cats to stop one bad behavior (scratching) often end up with a cat who develops several new bad behaviors. Declawed cats are more likely to be aggressive, go to the bathroom outside of the litter box, and find other, sometimes worse methods of dealing with stress and chronic pain.

Alternative Solutions

Not only should declawing your cat be removed from the list of options due to the cruelty of the procedure itself, but also because declawing your cat prevents your fur baby from doing so many things that make his life complete.

Cats scratch surfaces for many reasons, including leaving their scent on surfaces (which makes them feel safe and at home), to stretch their bodies and joints, and to remove the outer layer of their claws once it’s ready to be shed.

Declawing your cat means he can no longer do any of those things that give him his true cat-ness. Rather than stripping your furry friend of a crucial part of his identity and feline functionality, here are some alternative options for preventing unwanted scratching around the house.

Training Healthy Habits

There are ways to show your cat what’s OK to scratch and what isn’t. Cats tend to scratch the same areas repeatedly. If the back of your couch is taking the brunt of Felix’s scratching wrath, place a scratching post in front of that favored spot.

Next, rub catnip all over your cat’s scratching post and any other surfaces that are safe for him to mangle (cardboard scratchers, a claw-safe bed, his favorite blanket, etc.). Giving your cat a variety of options will help him find a parent-approved scratching spot and avoid the one or two places you want to keep claw free.

Praise your cat and use positive attention (you know your cat best: what does he like most?) when he scratches the right places. When he scratches the wrong places, say “No!”, “Off!” or “Down!” in a loud, booming voice. This will startle your cat without harming him and deter him from getting that response again.

It will take time to train your cat not to scratch your precious belongings, but with consistency and patience, you both can avoid the unsightly and inhumane terror of declawing.

Nail Sheaths

If your cat is stubborn or you want an extra buffer between your cat’s nails and your furniture until he gets the hang of the new scratching rules, try Soft Claws or a similar product.

Soft Claws are a set of silicone sheaths that can be safely glued onto your cat’s nails. As your cat’s nails grow and the outer layer sloughs off, Soft Claws fall off too. Replace each nail as it comes off, or do a full kitty manicure about once every six weeks. As an added bonus, there are dozens of fun colors to choose from.

In very rare cases - such as if a cat suffers from a deformed claw - declawing can be medically beneficial to a cat. However, in the vast majority of cases it’s only beneficial to the pet parent and leaves the cat without one of its most cherished and spectacular qualities.

Have questions about training or (not) declawing your cat? Let us know in the comments below! We’ll do our best to help.

There’s no better proof that cats are the coolest pets to be had than pop culture.

Take a look around at television shows, cartoons, and comic books and you’ll find a plethora of sleek, sexy, smart, and savvy cat characters.

Over the past 100 years, these cats top the charts in our book.

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Ahhh, New Year’s resolutions - a long-standing tradition for us humans. But your cat wants in on the goal-setting fun, too!

The New Year means it's time for upping your game as a pet parent. All those things you've been putting off... now's the time to act.

To make it easier on you, we’ve put together an at-a-glance 6-month calendar including all the things you should be doing to make your cat's life better and help her live healthier and happier.

January

Time to call your vet! Unless your fur baby had a check-up in the last three months, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Get on your vet’s calendar and go in ready to ask some important questions, like whether your cat may be at risk for feline leukemia and if the vaccination is right for her.

In addition to ensuring your little one is up to date on all her cat vaccinations, be sure to ask your veterinarian whether she’s at a healthy cat weight. A healthy, average cat weight is around 10 pounds for most domestic breeds. However, some cats may have higher or lower ideal weights depending on their breed and age.

If your vet says your cat is overweight, it may be time to look into some cat weight loss plans. Just like 21 percent of Americans in 2017, your cat’s New Year’s Resolution should be to lose weight and eat healthier.

This means:

  • Figuring out how many calories per day your cat needs - We love this cat calorie calculator.
  • Looking up how many calories your cat’s food contains - You can do a search here on the “Food” tab if your packaging doesn’t give you details. If you still can’t find a calorie count, feed your cat based on the package’s recommended daily serving for your cat’s ideal weight.
  • Deciding on a balanced feeding schedule - We recommend a half of her daily calories in the morning and the other half in the evening. Reduce one serving slightly if you also give your cat treats.
  • Increasing your cat’s activity level - We love this laser pointer and this interactive cat feeder as easy ways to get your feline friend up and moving.

February

Spring is just around the corner, which means pesky critters like fleas and ticks will be in full swing. Stock up on your cat’s flea and tick medication now so you’re ready when Fluffy needs a dose.

If your cat likes to spend time outdoors, be sure to check with your veterinarian to find out if she needs any additional preventative health medications.

March

Did you get a PrettyLitter 3-month subscription for Christmas? Lucky you! Now that you’ve seen PrettyLitter in action, it’s time to renew your subscription so you never run out of the best health indicator tool for your cat.

March is also spring cleaning month! If your cat spends much of his time indoors, it’s time to do a sweep. Look around your home for anything that can be hazardous to your kitty. Over the year, it’s easy to pick up plants, gadgets, and cleaning supplies and forget that they may not be good for your four-legged baby.


Check out this list of harmful plants and this article on dangerous indoor chemicals. And don’t forget to always put away the Pine-Sol and Mr. Clean where Kitty can’t get to them.

April

Time to check in on those New Year’s resolutions! Has your cat been able to drop the weight? Has she been exercising more and eating fewer treats? If so, time to celebrate! Treat yourself and your cat to a fun new toy. If not, you may need to check in with your veterinarian to troubleshoot your cat weight loss plan.

May

Now’s the time of year when we start gearing up for all those big, exciting summer vacations. If you’ll be traveling this summer and you plan to leave your cat at your local animal hospital or boarding facility while you’re away, be sure to update Fluffy’s cat vaccination records.


Most boarding facilities - and all of the good ones - require your cat be up-to-date on all of her shots before joining the slumber party. Call your vet’s office and ask if there are any cat shots that need to be updated.

June

June is “Perfect Cat Smiles” month! OK, we made that one up. But it is the perfect time to round out your cat’s healthy annual routine with a dental check-up. Cats can fall prey to dental problems if they go without a good clean every once in awhile - just like us humans.


If you have a cooperative cat, you may want to keep a dental hygiene kit like this one around the house. If your cat isn’t as fond of playing dentist with you, book a teeth cleaning appointment with your veterinarian and stock up on these teeth-cleaning treats for between visits.


When June’s almost through, we recommend starting this calendar back at the top and repeating each month’s checklist for July through December.


Now go enjoy the New Year’s celebrations with your feline friend! And don’t forget to share your festive pictures with us on Instagram @PrettyLitterCats.

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We’re not sure who suffers more during the nail trimming ordeal - you or your cat. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

In fact, you can make it something you and your cat both enjoy.

Never be afraid of hurting your cat - or facing the wrath of Fluffy’s claws - again. Here’s how to best trim your cat’s nails.

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One thing is certain: cat’s don’t like change… of any kind. And we’re fairly certain they don’t care if ‘tis the season.

Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, boarding your feline for several days, or taking a road trip with Fluffy in tow, here’s how you can make the process as gentle as possible on your four-legged babies.

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Our holiday gift guide for cat lovers will have you winning brownie points this holiday season and for the whole year to come.
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So what is it that makes us love cats so much? It can’t possibly be a love for buying endless supplies of lint rollers, so we turned to the scientists for an answer.

Ancient Relationships

Cats and humans have had a close bond for thousands of years – 10,000 years, to be precise.

In June, archaeologists uncovered kitty remains in the Near East and Egypt with DNA that matched that of our domesticated friends today. In other words, the species of cat that Egyptians preferred cuddling with 10,000 years ago is the same as the one purring next to you now. They’re as close in DNA as two critters can possibly get.

The researchers found that all of our modern domesticated cats are descendants of Felis silvestris lybica, a type of wildcat common to North Africa and Western Asia in the ancient world. As it turns out, your cat’s (super) distant relatives have been friends with your (super) distant relatives for longer than our brains can fathom.

Mutual Benefit

While most cats are brought into the home today for the purpose of looking cute and providing companionship, humans and cats started their long-standing cohabitation on a completely different foot.

Thousands of years ago, cats across Asia, Africa, and Europe were drawn to farms because that’s where their food liked to hang out. While farmers were frustrated with mice and rat populations, wildcats were excited by the endless supply of slow, chubby foot.

Farmers quickly saw the benefit of having cats around - more cats, less mice, better crops - and even went so far as to take their new feline friends with them as they migrated across the continents.

Cats even became beloved travel companions aboard ships. The cats would keep the mice population in check and get free room and board, while travelers and traders could rest assured that their precious goods weren’t being nibbled on by vermin.

Changing Times

As humans gradually moved away from agriculture-based societies and opted for impressive new industrial developments, they had every opportunity to part ways with their cats. With the growth of cities and industry, cats were no longer as useful as they once were on farms.

However, cats had made their mark on us humans and it turned out that our two species made quite a lovely match. People began living closer together in towns, suburbs, and cities, and their cats came right along with them.

Today, despite the fact that cats don’t serve us in any practical ways (just try asking Fluffy for help with the chores), their presence in the home has been well established. Thankfully, it’s hard to get over a 10,000-year-long relationship.

According to research collected by the ASPCA, more than 85.8 million cats are living in homes throughout the United States serving no more purpose than being lovable, adorable, heart-warming companions. And we’re perfectly OK with that.


Do you have a special feline friendship that’s endured the test of time? Share your kitty-and-me selfie with us on Instagram @PrettyLitterCats.

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Delivered straight to your front door, every month. We’ll even pay your shipping.

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When your cat spends all day cleaning himself from head to toe with his tongue, it can be hard to think he cares much about what’s in his food.

But cats have a surprisingly selective digestive tract. Cheaper is not always cheap if it causes problems in the long run. But the most expensive brand may not be right either.

Steer clear of these 4 ingredients and your cat’s tummy will thank you.

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If you’ve ever woken up to find your cat staring at you menacingly, you know the icy chill of wondering, “Is my cat trying to kill me?”

While it may be something you laugh off as soon as the fog of sleep lifts, there may be some truth to your paranoia.

The Monster Within

By day, your fluffy, cuddly kitty pulls of the innocent act quite nicely. However, every once in a while his inner beast emerges - and that’s the one you should be afraid of.

A 2014 study found that domestic house cats have a lot more in common with the dangerous felines found in the wild. In fact, they share many strong personality traits, including dominance, impulsiveness, and neuroticism.

What does this mean for your miniature mountain lion? He secretly wants to dominate every other living thing in the house. And to achieve that goal, he’ll turn on you in a flash.

"They're cute and furry and cuddly, but we need to remember when we have cats as pets, we are inviting little predators into our house," said Max Wachtel to USA Today. "Cats can be fantastic, sweet companions — until they turn on you."

So the next time you’re petting that fuzzy belly and your cat flips his lid and attacks your hand, you’ll know you’ve come face to face with the Mr. Hyde inside your adorable Dr. Jekyll.


Here are the stories of a few cat lovers who met their worst nightmare...

Ice-Cold Kitty

When Max and Sandra decided to get a cat on their three-year wedding anniversary, they thought they could look forward to years of adorable, cozy affection from their new addition. Little did they know that Felix wasn’t going to acquiesce.

Felix, a 2-pound Himalayan kitten, seemed like the perfect little boy. At the pet store, he nuzzled Sandra’s hand and slept softly while she ooh-ed and ahh-ed over is gorgeous coat and the sparkling blue eyes peeking through his tired lids.

Instantly in love, Max and Sandra took Felix home.

Less than a week later, their little ball of joy’s sparkling blue eyes turned ice-cold. Any attempt Max or Sandra made at picking up the tiny feline resulted in a whirlwind of scratches and violent shrieks. When one of them could get their hands on him, they would hold him with arms outstretched, like carrying radioactive plutonium, to minimize the damage.

Every once in awhile, Felix would saunter over to Sandra seeming to want some cuddle time. But as soon as she reached out to him, he attacked with hissing, clawing, kicking, and biting. Sandra would withdraw as quickly as she could, but Felix would pursue!

Determined to find a way to love and live with their little demon, Max and Sandra turned to satisfying Felix’s mean streak with toys. Each day Felix gets two play sessions full of chasing feathers, ribbons, and shoelaces that Max drags across the floor, which seems to give the now three-year-old feline an outlet for his rage – for now...

Flying Predator

Many cat owners sarcastically wonder, “Is my cat trying to kill me?” But for Marie and Marco, they had reason to worry.

Marco was a dog person, but Marie loved cats. While the two disagreed on the species, they both knew they wanted to rescue an animal in need. At the shelter, Marco was instantly drawn to Jinx, a dark gray American shorthair with a snub nose and golden eyes. Being the first cat Marco had ever wanted to own, Jinx was in.

But as soon as Jinx entered his new home, Marie and Marco knew they had trouble on their hands.

A natural climber, Jinx would scale the bookcases and cabinets, which were expertly decorated with trinkets from the couple’s many travels. As one of his adoptive parents would walk by, Jinx would strike from above!

Picture frames came crashing, figurines came tumbling, and Marie’s finest leather-bound books came fluttering down on top of their heads. When Marie and Marco had enough and took down everything within Jinx’s tall vertical reach, Jinx resorted to using himself as ammo, pouncing on passers by with outstretched claws and an iron will to hold on.

Today, you can still see the fear in Marie’s and Marco’s eyes as they walk beneath any high ledges, always wondering, “Is he going to get me?”

If you’re feeling the goosebumps rise and you’re trembling where you sit, don’t worry. Just because there are some killer kitties out there doesn’t mean yours is among them.


But if you think your cat is plotting to kill you, share your story of feline fright with us in the comments below or on Facebook.


Happy Halloween!

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