DEAR DR. FOX: Yesterday we adopted a kitten from the Humane Society. We couldn't take her home right away because she had to get spayed first.
Stupidly, because we didn't know any better, our two previous cats were declawed. We now know how horrible this procedure is, and this is not a fate that our new little girl is going to suffer.
One of my friends puts covers over her cat's front claws that last from four weeks up to several months.
Is this a good practice? If yes, can you recommend a place where these can be obtained? If not, how do we teach her not to claw our furniture? Even if she does claw the furniture, we will still love her, but we'd really rather that she doesn't get into that habit. -- R.S., Minneapolis
DEAR R.S.: I appreciate your concerns, and I am glad that the veterinarian doing the spay surgery on your cat did not push you to have her declawed at the same time. Check my website, DrFoxVet.com, for a review on this procedure, which can permanently disable cats.
The adhesive balls you're talking about come off too easily, and some cats pull them off quickly in the process of nibble-cleaning their claws. While you can snip the sharp points off the front claws, just like trimming your own nails (and most cats get used to this), I find the best approach is to train them to use a vertical scratch post and a horizontal scratch board.
The post must not wobble and should be taller than the cat's full, stretched-out length. Let the kitten see you raking the post with your fingernails, and then put her up against the post to show her what to do. They're called copycats for a reason!
Tack old carpet or thick towels behind sofas and other furniture you do not want scratched and also use thick plastic sheets for temporary protection.
YOGURT DOG TREAT RECALL
The Barking Dog Brands has issued a voluntary recall of its Yoghund Organic Banana and Peanut Butter frozen yogurt dog treats. This is a cautionary action because the product contains organic peanut butter linked to recent recalls due to possible salmonella contamination.
Although there have been no reported incidents of human or animal illnesses in connection with the product, the company has elected to issue a recall. Return the items to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Visit yoghund.com or call 603-775-7772, ext. 1007, for more information.
CHARLEE BEAR DOG TREAT RECALL
Charlee Bear Dog Products of Madison, Wis., is recalling some of its Protein Crunch Bars due to possible salmonella health risks. The recalled products were distributed nationwide in September and October.
Consumers who purchased the products can return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information, call 800-396-8893 or visit charleebear.com/protein-crunchy-bars-recall-info.php.
(Send all mail to email@example.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox's website at DrFoxVet.com.)