Congratulations, you’ve chosen a cat! While the decision seemed monumental, it was only the first of many decisions you have to make. Your cat’s well-being is up to you; there is a workout to consider, as well as toys, food, and bedding.
But one of the most controversial decisions you have to make is whether to declaw your cat or not. You may have heard horror stories of cats ripping carpets or tearing curtains with their claws. But before you jump into the decision to declaw, here are some facts for you to consider.
7 Facts About Declawing Your Cat
1. Declawing your cat can cause permanent problems for your cat physically. Pain is just the first of these problems as they also include nerve damage, lameness, infection, possible regrowth, and bone spores.
2. Declawing is almost entirely an American solution to cat scratches. Most other countries, including the UK, Australia, Japan, and great swatches of Europe, have banned it as inhuman.
3. The operation that many people believe to be simply removing the nails involves a lot more than you might think. It removes the nail and the bone down to the last knuckle, much like cutting the fingers off the last bone. This is not just a fancy, permanent manicure but a proper operation, sometimes called an amputation.
4. Declawing is the removal of a cat’s first line of defense. This can mean a greater reliance on their teeth for indoor cats, but this is a hazard for outdoor cats. Once you’ve stolen a cat, they should stay indoors to keep them safe from predators.
5. There may be behavioral changes for many cats going through surgery. Bad pain management can make your cat cautious about the litter box afterward. They will also start marking their territory this way since their claws are gone. Some become more aggressive and start biting more.
6. Since the surgery to declaw is more of amputation than the simple removal of the nails, cats must relearn how to walk. With their balance changed by removing a bone, cats can suffer from back pain and often struggle with the new balance required.
7. The process of declawing your cat is not necessary, despite the horror stories you’ve heard. Just as a dog needs, a cat needs to be trained. They can learn where they can and cannot scratch, and they need to learn how to be accessible to nail trimming. If these don’t work, there are soft nail caps you can have placed over the nails to stop scratching for indoor cats.
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The decision to declaw your cat is a big one. Before doing it, make sure you have all of the facts. Think about what this could mean for you and what it definitely means for your cat.
Deconstructing your cat has many disadvantages for the cat and some pros for you. If you are considering breeding your cat, speak to your veterinarian first. They can better explain the risks of declawing and help you find an alternative.
You can retrain a cat to stop it from scratching furniture. Credit: Lulamej / iStock / Getty Images
Benefits of repeal
Cat declawing is for the owner’s comfort. You may be concerned about getting scratched, staining your furniture, or hurting your children – but venting should only be an option if the alternative to venting is worse. A person with a suppressed immune system cannot afford to be scratched and risk infection; for example, giving up the cat may not be desirable. If the alternative to hand stunning or euthanasia is hand petting, arguably less cruel than giving up the cat in a home or foreign home and obviously better than laying the animal down.
Read Also: Declawing a cat: positives, negatives, and alternatives.
Risks and Consequences
Declawing your cat has many disadvantages. It is painful and, like any surgery, has inherent risks from both anesthesia and possible post-operative infection. Besides, deflagration removes the cat’s natural defense mechanism by removing the nail and part of the toe.
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Standard against laser declawing your cat
Laser declawing is faster and results in less bleeding from the incision, but the results are essentially the same as standard declawing surgery. Cats undergoing laser surgery may not heal faster or experience less pain. Since laser surgery requires extreme precision and is three times more expensive than standard surgery, not all veterinary clinics are offered.
Alternatives to declawing your cat
Most cats can be trained not to scratch furniture, but scratching is normal cat behavior – so you’ll need to provide alternatives like scratching posts or a piece of carpet for your cat. For best results, start early by redirecting the kittens to use scratching posts every time you scratch them on the sofa. Wear Catnip on the scratching post or carpet to make it look more attractive than your furniture. Take your cat to a professional groomer for options like protective nail caps.
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