Above: BooBoo relaxes after a good scratch on his favorite sisal scratching post. His vote: Save your money on the Emery Cat board.
You may have seen those television commercials for a product called Emery Cat. Its a cat scratching board that purportedly files down and trims the cats nails as she or he scratches. What a brilliant idea. We were very excited when we first heard about this product, it really sounded like a wonderful concept. Imagine... your cat manicures her nails for herself every time she scratches the board, keeping her nails neatly trimmed all the time, and saving your furniture and clothes from snags caused by sharp nails.
We wish we could report that the Emery Cat was everything it promised to be in the commercial, but unfortunately Emery Cat does not get our endorsement.
There have been many reports that cats get their nails stuck in the board, sometimes so badly that when they panic and struggle to get free, it tears their claws out. Certainly, if the scratching board is uncomfortable - or traumatic - for the cat to use, they are not going to use it. Cats scratch because it gives them a sense of relief - a scratching board that is awkward, uncomfortable, or even at times painful is clearly not going to get used.
Other Emery Cat board purchasers have reported that their cats simply find no appeal in the Emery Cat board in the first place, and take no interest in scratching it at all, probably due to the type of material the board is made of.
We've also been hearing repeatedly from Emery Cat purchasers of billing problems, overcharges, and poor customer service when trying to address these problems or when attempting to do a return of the product.
Our advice is to save your money. A good, sturdy sisal covered scratching post or a cardboard scratching board will have much more appeal to your cat in satisfying his or her need to scratch and will get much more use, without causing harm or alarm to your kitty.
As for the need to take those sharp tips off kitty's nails, a good pair of cat nail trimmers remains the way to go. If this tends to be a difficult ordeal for your cat, do what veterinarians do when dealing with "problem patients', wrap him or her snugly in a towel, only allowing her head out, and the one paw you are working on. This will keep the cat restrained, and prevent her from scratching you in her attempt to bolt. If your cat has a favorite treat, offer this after every few nails you trim. Once she realizes that there is something in it for her, she will become more cooperative. It may take some time to get your cat comfortable with having her nails trimmed, but with this approach you'll get there.
I do weekly nail trimmings for all 7 of my cats, ranging in age from a a year to 19 years old - if I can pull this off, believe me when I say that you, too, are completely capable of trimming your cat's nails with a little practice and patience. Be gentle with kitty, and understand that getting her nails clipped may be a stressful and scary experience for her. But if done correctly, while it may cause her a few minutes of anxiety, it won't cause her pain. Reward her with her favorite treat as soon as your done, and she'll get over any anxiety she may have been feeling in a hurry.
Our rating on the Emery Cat board: FAIL
© Copyright 2011 Leader Lifestyle Media. All Rights Reserved.
Masthead Photo Credit: Neil Strassberg