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7 Facts About Declawing Your Cat

 by petbucket on 30 Jul 2015 |
2 Comment(s)
By Gail Fero
Congratulations, you've decided on a cat! Though the decision might have seemed monumental, it was only the first of many decisions you'll have to make. Your cat's well-being is be up to you; there is training to consider, as well as toys, food and bedding. But one of the most controversial decisions you'll have to make is whether or not to declaw your cat. You may have heard horror stories about cats tearing up carpets or shredding the curtains with their claws. But before you jump into the decision to declaw, here are some facts for you to consider.
1.     Declawing can cause lasting problems for your cat physically. Pain is only the first of these problems as they also include nerve damage, lameness, infection, possible regrowth and bone spurs.
2.     Declawing is almost exclusively an American solution to cat scratching. Most other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and large swatches of Europe, have banned it as inhumane.
3.     The surgery, which many people believe to be simply removing the nails, involves much more than you might think. It not only removes the nail but also the bone up to the last knuckle, similar to cutting off a finger's last bone. This is not just a fancy, permanent manicure, but a proper surgery, sometimes referred to as an amputation.
4.     Declawing is the removal of a cat's first line of defense. For indoor cats, this can mean a greater dependence on their teeth, but for outdoor cats, this is endangerment. Once you've declawed a cat, they should stay indoors to stay safe from predators.
5.     For many cats who go through the surgery, there can be behavioral changes. Poor pain management afterwards can make your cat wary of using the litter box. They will also start marking their territory in this way as their claws are gone. Some become more aggressive and start biting more.
6.     Because the surgery to declaw is more akin to an amputation than a simple removal of the nails, cats must relearn how to walk. With the balance changed by the removal of a bone, cats can suffer back pain and often struggle with the new balance required.
7.     The procedure of declawing is not necessary, despite the horror stories you've heard. Just as a dog needs training, a cat needs training as well. They can learn where they can scratch and where they can't, and they need to learn to be amenable to nail trimming. If these don't work, there are soft nail caps you can have put over the nails to stop scratching for indoor cats.
Choosing to declaw your cat is a big decision. Before you make it, you should ensure that you have all the facts. Think about what this might mean for you and what it will definitely mean for your cat.


Mary Dunlop - Comment
Mary Dunlop07 Aug 2015Reply
I understand you putting up the pros and cons of this cruel practice to our feline friends however my question/statement is 'How in God's name would a veterinarian EVER perform such a painful, permanently disfiguring, totally unnecessary 'operation' on a cat'? It is 'animal cruelty' in the extreme and should be punished as such with very severe consequences.........grrrr
Georgia Bets - Comment
Georgia Bets07 Aug 2015Reply
How about docking ears and tails on dogs? How can any vet do such a thing? That also is becoming illegal in many places. I have a cat whose tail was cruelly broken and cut off as a kitten. He no longer has that wonderful way to express himself. As a result, I have kindly been referring to him as a brat, but it's not his fault.
Anita Culler - Comment
Anita Culler02 May 2019Reply
My cat Alexandar was front declawed before we rescued him. He has been going through behavioral changes such as biting, marking...
what can we do for him?
Thanks so much,
Nita Cat

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