Why Do People Declaw Their Cats?
There are a number of reasons why cat declawing is considered by cat owners:
- To prevent their drapes or furniture from being torn up
- They are worried about their cat’s nails harming their children
- Some people have an immunodeficiency and are at increased risk of health problems from cat scratches
The procedure is much more involved than many people think. It is a major surgery with complications and risks. The procedure can be painful and there can be a long recovery process. In many countries this procedure is actually banned altogether, which gives an indication of how serious a surgery it is.
Three Different Procedures for Declawing
- The first procedure is most often done by using either a scalpel or a guillotine clipper. With this the wounds are stitched up, or surgical glue is used and the paws are bandaged.
- Another method is laser surgery. In this, a small beam of light cuts through the tissue by heating and vaporizing it. The last bone of the toe is removed, which can potentially result in behavioral problems and long term risks.
- The third method is tendonectomy. This is where the tendon that controls the claws in each toe is severed.
Side Effects of Cat Declawing
- Pain, infection, tissue death, feebleness and back pain.
- Changes in the way your cat's foot touches the ground.
- There can be regrowth of the removed claws if they were removed incorrectly, resulting in nerve damage.
- Litter box problems. Scratching in your cat’s litter box can be painful, thus making him not want to go in his box anymore.
- The cat may start to bite, do to a feeling of defenselessness.
Alternatives to Declawing
- Find something appropriate for him to scratch his claws on, like a cat scratching post.
- Trim his claws regularly with special cat clippers that you can get from veterinarians or pet supply stores. If you’re careful, human nail clippers can work too.
- Put soft plastic caps (like Soft Paws) on his nails. These will need to be replaced every several weeks, but they are cheap enough that it won’t be a major expense.
Using plastic caps is best on cats that are indoors.
Why Exactly Do Cats Scratch?
- To mark their territory and to leave their scent behind.
- It gives cats exercise, and it stretches and pulls on the muscles in the front quarters.
- It’s their natural instinct to scratch.
- To keep their claws sharp
There are several countries where cat declawing is illegal, and is considered inhumane. You cannot have your cat declawed in the following countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Brazil, Australia
Home » Cat Care » Cat Declawing
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