How to prevent your cat from scratching you
Cats, especially when they are kittens, need to play to learn and practice their hunting skills. Their favourite game is to stalk, chase and attack any type of prey, whether it is a toy, a live animal or their owner's ankles while walking around the house. To avoid these scratches, one of the most effective things to do is to facilitate pet games, preferably with a feather duster or other utensils that allow us to strengthen our bonds with the felines. However, it is important that your hand does not come into contact with them directly, because they must learn from a young age that a hand is for petting, not for playing. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to prevent them from scratching us when we want to touch them. One way to dissuade them is by interrupting the game when they scratch us. Soon they will discover that we do not want to play with them if they scratch us, and they will try not to do it any more so that we spend more time playing with them.
Cats also tend to scratch to mark their territory, especially in their confinement area, where the animal withdraws to rest. Furniture and other objects of the house, etc. are usually the victims of these scratches. This behaviour can be tackled by placing a scratcher near their resting area.
On the other hand, and although the best option is always to train cats from an early age by teaching them where they can scratch and where they cannot, there are other solutions to the problem. For example, we can find plastic sleeves for their nails that are set with glue and which reduce the inconveniences caused by scratches. We can also cut their nails regularly, being very careful that we do not cut the small vein that is under their nails. This must be performed every week or two from a young age, so that they get used to it.
The most inadvisable option, which is fortunately increasingly in disuse, is declawing, which is a very aggressive surgery consisting in the amputation of the last phalanx of the finger, which is where the claw originates. This procedure affects the daily life of cats negatively, as they will be deprived of their most valuable and characteristic tools. Moreover, they can develop postural problems and modify their natural way of walking and moving.