There are many reasons why cat owners may consider declawing their sweet little kitty. Maybe fluffy has a bad habit of scratching up the carpet or furniture. Or maybe your kitten has gotten a little testy and has started using his claws to let you know. In any case, you should do read this article before you make the decision to declaw your cat since there is much more to know that many pet owners are aware of.
It’s not like a pedicure
Imagine having your nail ripped off. Sounds pretty horrible right? Okay, now image surgically removing the first joint of your fingers. That sounds even worse. Declawing is an amputation procedure that involves removing the first joint in your cat’s toes. Not only is this painful, but it is also a major surgery with a lengthy recovery time.
It is painful
As I mentioned, it is an amputation surgery, but it’s actually 10 amputations since it has to be performed to each toe. Veterinarians will prescribe pain medication but pain can last much longer than the prescription and your cat has no way of telling you that she’s in pain. This can cause unwanted behavior such as biting, not using their litter box, and refusing to eat.
No benefits for your cat
While a surgery like neutering does have some benefits for your cat’s health and behavior, declawing does not. It is often performed as a convenience for the owner. This is unfair to your cat since she is just being a cat and there are many other ways to eliminate unwanted behaviors that are solved by declawing.
Leaves your cat defenseless
While many owners may think that their indoor cat has no use for their front claws, they are not considering the big picture. Indoor cats can escape or a friend could bring over a large dog. In both scenarios, your cat may need to use her claws in self-defense. Even though a declawed cat can still bite, this is not ideal since the cat would need to get very close to the predator to do so.
Litter box issues
If you have owned your cat for a while you probably know that she uses her claws to bury her business. When the claws are removed, burying landmines may become painful. Once your cat has associated her litter box with pain, it can lead to going outside the litter box.
Causes cats to bite
Most cat owners have experienced a quick warning scratch from their furry friend. This is your cat’s way of telling you, “Hey, I don’t like that.” A warning scratch can hurt for a few minutes or cause a small scab but generally, they are pretty harmless. When that option is removed, cats are forced to go to the extreme which can lead to biting when she feels threatened or even just mildly annoyed.
Claws assist in exercise
A large part of your cat’s exercise can be attributed to her claws. When cats scratch on their scratching post or pad this is stretching their muscles and helping to maintain her sleek figure. Also, many cats use their claws to play with toys by batting them across the floor and catching them with their sharp claws. If you eliminate their claws, they are much more likely to avoid playtime. This can lead to weight gain and health issues related to obesity, like diabetes.
Changes the way your cat walks
When you remove the first joint of your cat’s toes, this is sure to change the way that your cat has learned to walk. With this significant change can come pain as well as joint problems down the road. Joint pain can lead to arthritis in the hips which can cause bigger problems such as incontinence and weight gain.
There are so many better ways!
No matter what the issue is that you are trying to solve by declawing your cat, there are tons of better alternative solutions. If you’re struggling to keep your furniture safe from your fluffy friend, look into sprays and powders that you can apply to the fabric to keep your cat off. Make sure you test any products like these on a small area in an easily hidden area before applying to the entire surface. You can also utilize a spray bottle full of tap water to minimize unwanted behaviors.
If your cat has become aggressive with its claws, you may want to take a trip to the vet to make sure that she is feeling okay. Cats can become defensive and aggressive if they are experiencing pain and they often will not seek help from their humans. Also, some cats are just less social than others. This means that you may need to back off from the kind of attention you’ve been providing. Consider toys that can be used from a distance like a mouse on a string or a laser pointer.