Issue 2: October 08

Dear Dr. Schelling,

I love when my cat kneads in response to my gently stroking her, but when
she's on top of me or digging into my arm, those claws hurt! What are my options?

-Knead-y cat owner

Dear Knead-y,

A cat's rhythmical kneading shows contentment and affection. Cats begin kneading their mother when they're tiny kittens, so by the time they get to you, they're pretty good at it! The kneading is often accompanied by a steady purring.

The combination can be quite restful for both kitty and human, except for the little spears constantly jabbing your skin. So how can you enjoy these lovey sessions without the pain? The simplest solution may be to put something between kitty's claws and you — a piece of clothing, a bedspread, even a baby blanket. Usually you can deftly accomplish this without disturbing the flow too much. If you have favorite spots in which you and kitty relax, you may want to keep some designated "claw protector" materials near those locations.

You can also clip kitty's front claws, using nail clippers specifically designed for cats' nails. Simply removing the hooked point at the end of the claw will ease the sharpness and significantly reduce the "ouch" factor. Another alternative is to outfit your cat with Soft Paws.

If kitty is positioned just right, you may get a free "catupuncture" session, as kitty stimulates your body's healing points and energy paths. Ok, not really. But the purring...that does have impressive therapeutic qualities, which we'll discuss in a future Mewsletter article.

-Dr. Schelling

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