My Big Cat Breaks All of Its Toys, What Now?
Anyone that has or has had a cat knows that without a place to play, this sharp-clawed pet will turn to furniture and valuable objects to scratch. The reason behind this impulsive behavior is the cat's urge to mark their territory. Visible marks from the claws and a scent left from paw glands send a message to other cats that this area is claimed.
For this reason, it is important to find a durable object to keep your cat distracted. Unfortunately, you'll find that most of the cat trees at your local pet store are not designed with big cats in mind. Whether your feline friend is a large breed like a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat or they've just got a few extra pounds on them, they can't seem to fit on the tiny perches or hop up without knocking the whole thing down.
So, what do you do when none of your toys are big-cat-friendly? You do a little research, of course! Check out the following solutions to make playtime a little less destructive.
Get a Cat Tree Made Specially for Large Cats
Yes, there are special cat trees for large cats that are built for your heftier than average feline. These trees are made heavier than typical cat trees to prevent them from wobbling and toppling over when your 25 lb. Maine Coone decides to try and jump up to the highest perch. The tower beds are also made larger to more comfortably accommodate your slumbering giant.
Stabilize the Cat Tree You Already Have
Cat trees aren't cheap, so if you already have one, you might be looking for ways to make it more stable so that your cat can't break it. Luckily, you have quite a few options to fix a wobbly tower.
- Place it in a corner where it cannot fall over as easily.
- Weigh it down using a heavy block.
- Some models come with straps you can secure the tree to the wall. If yours doesn't, you can always make your own.
Get Creative - Make Your Own Toys!
Ok, so you might not have space in your home or apartment for a massive cat tree. In that case, you'll need to get creative.
If your cat is breaking his store-bought toys, make him cheap homemade ones that are easy to replace. Take any scrap cardboard, rope, or carpet scraps and glue them to a surface that can withstand your cat's aggressive scratching. If it gets destroyed, it can easily be replaced with a box or empty paper towel roll without the guilt of wasting more money.
Desperate? Try Claw Covers
As a last resort, there are small rubber covers an owner can purchase for their cat's claws. These plastic caps are glued to the nail and are completely harmless. As a painless alternative to declawing the feline, they are great for a large kitty that doesn't know their own strength. The caps come in different colors, so you can give your little guy a beautiful manicure.
These covers are not permanent. They last up to six weeks before they need to be reapplied. At any time if your cat is not adjusting to them well or they don't fall off on their own, the tip can easily be snipped which breaks off the whole cap.
It can be very frustrating to constantly be buying new toys for a large cat. But remember that they can't help it - they're just following their instincts! Doing the right research and using preventative techniques can reduce the chances of toys and other objects getting ruined.
At the end of the day, your cat's safety and happiness are the most important things - getting toys and play areas to accommodate their needs shows that you are a thoughtful and caring pet owner.