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The state of your scuffed sofa or chairs may have you wondering if you can have anything nice with a cat or two in the house. It’s not uncommon for wild-tempered Bengal cats to snag their claws on furniture as they circle your home, trying to overcome every obstacle in sight.
If your Bengal cat is scratching at you or your household items while playing or exercising, you may be wondering: can Bengals retract their claws? Yes, like all domestic cat breeds, Bengal cats can retract their claws. Bengal cats selectively expose their claws when making more rigorous movements or marking territory.
When your Bengal jumps from the floor to your leather chair, it should use its claws to grab it for a steady landing and a controlled takeoff to its next destination. In their mind, they have no intention of ruining your valuables; Instead, their wild instincts drive them to do exactly what they would do while leaping from tree to tree in the desert. Of course, you don’t have to ride with this behavior and let them ruin your furniture. With proper guidance from an early age, nail clippers/caps, and cat-specific structures, Bengals are capable of not making much of a mess in your home.
When do the Bengals retract their claws?
If you’ve ever owned a cat, you probably know that no matter how hard you try, cats will always scratch something in your home. With that certainty comes the question of ridding your home of valuable furniture if you wish to keep your cat and your sanity.
Before you move your favorite couch, it’s important to figure out when Bengals retract their claws and when they don’t. From there, understanding exactly why they’re scratching your household items is imperative to making an informed choice on how to avoid further damage.
Bengals, even if it doesn’t look like it, keep their claws retracted during rest periods. When basking, there is no need to use their claws for protection or to grab onto anything.
When walking, Bengals keep their claws sheathed as well as to prevent them from dulling by continuously tapping the ground. This instinct stems from the need to keep their claws sharp to catch prey and cling to trees.
Being incredibly friendly by nature, Bengal cats and kittens usually never have their claws exposed when playing with humans. Although they seem to be especially careful to keep their playmates from getting hurt, they trust their humans and don’t need aggression.
Why do Bengal cats scratch everything?
Bengals almost exclusively expose their claws when running, climbing, and marking their territory. Since they have scent glands in their paws, Bengals scratch at objects they want to mark as their own.
To prevent your Bengal from climbing and leaving holes in your furniture or blankets, place designated cat furniture in areas where they run the most.
Cat trees and cat feces are inexpensive items that show no signs of wear. You can even buy ones that sport a neutral color and modern design to complement your home. If your Bengal has his own furniture to tear up, chances are he won’t do as much damage to yours.
When Bengals scratch excessively without moving around, they likely won’t feel comfortable in the space they inhabit. Cats that aggressively mark their territory are desperately trying to claim it.
Providing your Bengal cat with vertical space to climb will allow them to feel secure in their personal spaces and better meet their physical activity needs. Sometimes Bengals climb on human furniture to access higher, safer surfaces.
Being descended from an arboreal wildcat, Bengals feel most comfortable when they can stand up and look down at what is happening below them. Placing scratching posts near your Bengal’s favorite human furniture, especially ones he likes to climb on, will reduce the likelihood of them continuing to ruin your possessions.
Since scratching posts are designed to be nice on the cat’s claws, almost like scratching tree bark, Bengals will instinctively refer to their new scratching posts as scratching objects when marking.
Cut your Bengal’s claws
Although placing cat-specific furniture around your home can reduce damage from your Bengal, it is still necessary to keep your cat’s claws trimmed.
With claws clipped, Bengals can still gain traction when running and jumping, but they won’t be able to snag your sofa, chairs, or rugs as easily. Be sure to cut correctly; only cut the claw just before “the quick” where your cat’s blood vessels and nerve endings are.
Trimming your cat’s claws regularly is also vital for its health. If your Bengal claws are too long – and honestly, they don’t need to be full to live comfortably inside – they could get stuck and tear. Torn claws can easily become infected if left untreated.
Nail clipping might be just another chore on your to-do list, but it’s monumentally more humane than having your Bengal declawed.
Although declawing may seem like the ultimate solution to saving your furniture, it can have a dreadful impact on your cat’s well-being. Bengals are attached to their wild side; When their claws are pulled out, a vital part of their being is ripped from them.
Even domestic cats that have been declawed will experience pain and possible infection, and they may stop using their litter box. Many cats become aggressive and completely lose their affectionate personality.
Declawing your Bengal is like someone chopping your fingers off at the first knuckle. It’s a devastating operation that no cat should have.
Can Bengal cats wear nail caps?
Nail caps are a creative alternative to constantly trimming your cat’s nails, which can be even more effective.
Tiny plastic caps that you stick to your cat’s claws, cat claw caps keep your Bengal from harm while it’s on the move. Many cat parents advocate their use, as they are particularly suitable for cats that hurt themselves due to excessive itching and hairless cats with thin skin.
The nail caps last about six weeks and fall off on their own. Made of soft plastic, they protect small children from accidental scratches from an annoyed cat.
It’s up to you to decide if nail caps are right for your Bengal. Thick caps prevent cats from retracting their claws; With their wild temperament, Bengals may be more prone to becoming uncomfortable with having limited access to their claws.
Being gentle and non-toxic, the nail caps are never painful for cats when applied correctly.
A summary of the claws
Bengals, while able to retract their claws, do so selectively. If they have to use their claws to climb, grab or score, they will! Any feline household must adapt to accommodate its feline friend; Your Bengal will thank you for the comfort he gains from the extra vertical space, scratching posts and cat trees.
If you notice, even after systematically clipping his claws, that your Bengal continues to scratch you or your furniture, try the claw caps. If your cat finds them uncomfortable, focus on ways to exercise your Bengal that don’t put your property, yourself, or other humans at risk.
Put your Bengal in a harness and take him outside to scratch grass, ground and trees. Point a laser pointer around the yard for them to chase until they’re too tired to run! When you bring them back inside, their claws will be sheathed and they’ll be ready to rest.