The 411 on Declawing Your Cat


Many cat owners are torn on whether or not they should declaw their cat. There are very strong opinions on both sides, with some thinking it is a cruel and unnecessary procedure while others deem it to be helpful. People who agree with the latter often believe it’s an easy fix to prevent their cats from scratching, for whatever reason. Unfortunately, declawing a cat makes it more prone to biting and can deter it from using the litter box. Cats are usually around two months old when they start to scratch, which is the perfect time to start training your feline to scratch on designated areas, such as cat posts, and giving them a nail trim.

So what exactly is declawing? People often think that it is a surgery that removes a cat’s sharp nails, like the human equivalent of getting your nails trimmed. Sadly, they are misinformed; it’s far worse than just that. Declawing involves the amputation of a cat’s last bone on each of their toes – the human equivalent of cutting off your fingers at the last knuckle. Yikes!

Getting declawed is no walk in the park for cats. The procedure itself usually involves amputation and the post-procedure effects are long-lasting for your furry friend. The medical drawbacks include pain, tissue death, back pain, lameness and infection. There’s also a possibility of bone spurs, nerve damage, and improperly removed claws regrowing. Also, some cats become biters because they don’t have the defense of their claws.

Declawing can be a very sensitive subject for many cat owners and cat lovers. Many countries have strong opinions against it that they have banned the procedure altogether. The Humane Society of the U. S. is opposed to declawing except for rare cases necessary for medical purposes, like removing cancerous nail bed tumors. If you are concerned about having your cat destroy your furniture or scratching others, there are many alternatives to declawing. Here are things you can do:

– Use special tape on your furniture to keep your kitty from unwanted scratching. Sticky Paws are a great tape for such a thing.

– Have special places for your cat to properly scratch in your home, including scratching posts and boards. You can use toys and catnip to allure them to use the posts and boards.

– Consult your vet about soft plastic caps, like SoftPaws, that are glued to your cat’s nails, which need to be replaced about every six weeks.

– Keep its claws trimmed on a normal basis to keep it from ruining household items.

Image via Thinkstock


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