Do Not Declaw Your Cat(s), Ever!
6 May, 2014
Most cat owners today are educated enough to know that declawing your cat is simply not acceptable. However, there are some cat owners or newbies who are bringing their first kitten home who might still declaw their cats for the sake of their furniture. This is selfish and unfair. If you are worried about your furniture, don’t get a cat! For the newly initiated who want to adopt a new kitty or cat, below are some of the many reasons not to declaw your cat.
Declawing is serious surgery
Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat’s claw is not a toenail. It is closely attached to the bone. Declawing is similar to an actual amputation of the last joint of your cat’s toes. If you can think of how painful this surgery can be, it becomes clear why declawing is inhumane. And the recovery can be a very long and painful one. Remember that during the recovery period, your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain that he or she is experiencing. Poor thing will be so depressed and upset.
Declawing can make a cat more likely to bite
People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless quick fix for unwanted scratching. They don’t realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite.
Cats do suffer pain
No cat owner/enthusiast would ever doubt that cats (whose senses are much sharper than ours) suffer pain. They may, however, hide it better that we humans. Cats are not only proud, they instinctively know that they are at risk when in a weakened position, and will attempt to hide it. But make no mistake. This is not a light procedure and your kitty will feel the pain.
A cat’s personality can change after declawing
Some cat owners that had gregarious outgoing cats noticed that their personalities changed when they declawed their cats. Some owners who weren’t aware of the major downside of declawing also noticed a change in their cat’s personality. They had become much more timid and not as spunky, afraid of noises and people. Their outgoing cat now shies away from everyone.
Cats have claws for a reason
Your cat’s body is perfectly designed to give it the grace and agility that is unique to him or her. Their claws are an important part of their bodies and amputating them can drastically alter their paws. Further, if your cat is an outdoor cat or an indoor cat that gets outside, he or she will be deprived of its primary means of defense. If your outdoor cat is chased by a dog or other predator, he or she can even climb a tree, which without his or her claws would be impossible.
Buy a scratch pad or cat post
Instead of declawing your cat, buy a scratch post or a cat tree. They will love to scratch on both as a way to release their energy. Most cats love them. Put a little catnip on the scratch pad and your cat will have fun scratching it and associate it with a positive experience. You can also throw a blanket or spray some lemon where your kitty might like to scratch. The lemon is a deterrent and will not hurt your cat all!
If you find your cat scratching your furniture, simply pick him up and bring him or her to the scratching post. Reward your cat and give him praise to reinforce the positive behavior.
There are different nail caps on the market that won’t hurt your cat
There are little lightweight vinyl nail caps on the market called Soft Paws . You simply glue them on your cat’s front paws. They are easy to apply and usually last four to six weeks. They cause no pain for your cat and will allow them to scratch the furniture without the repercussions.
Please be sensitive to your cat and his or her needs and do not declaw them ever! If you are so worried about your furniture, than maybe a cat isn’t for you. However, there are ways to train your cats not to scratch and they will remain happy and healthy. Remember that declawing is a very hard, painful surgery for our beloved felines and there are many alternatives to combat the scratching issue.