Many cat owners must decide whether or not to declaw their pets. Owners must realize that cat declawing is not a simple issue. Whether they realize it or not, there are short and long-term effects that declawing can have a cat. It is ultimately the owner’s decision, however, to weigh these issues and see whether or not declawing is necessary. Below are some of the issues that can be considered by cat owners. Keep in mind if your cat is causing you trouble you can always contact us to help you find a better home for it.
Why Cat’s Need Claws
First, it is important to consider what a cat uses its claws for. They use them to mark their territory. They also use them for their agility in jumping, chasing, and running. Their retractable claws help them establish good footing and balance. A cat will also use its claws for defense against predators. Often, an owner will only see a cat’s claws as the reason their sofa, carpet, or curtains are torn and ruined.
When a cat is declawed, it is not as simple as cutting off its toenails. A cat’s claws are attached to ligament, tendons, and bones. Removal of the claws is likened to amputating each finger of a human hand. Similarly, declawing cuts off the first bone of each of the cat’s toes. It is also a very painful recovery for the cat since it walks on these now tender paws. There is no pain medication given to the cat afterward since cats do not tolerate them well – so every step it takes will produce pain for some time. Often, owners will note a psychological affect from declawing also. The once friendly, the playful cat will become quiet and aloof.
Since declawing is an operation that requires anesthesia, complications from the procedure itself can arise. Although rare, infection, excessive bleeding, possible paralysis, as well as death from the anesthesia can occur. If not done correctly, there is also the possibility of the claw growing back abnormally, growing through the top or bottom of the paw.
A cat’s whole defense system relies on its claws. Once declawed, a cat should never be allowed outside. If confronted, especially by another animal, a cat will claw or chase and run. When chasing and running, a cat relies on its claws. Without claws, it is unable to fight. You may honestly believe that since your cat is solely kept in the house, it will have no need for self-defense, and use this as an excuse to declaw. Unfortunately, even a house cat can get loose. You have now left your cat defenseless in the world. What chance would it have in the face of danger?
The fact is that declawing is banned in many countries, as they consider it an inhumane procedure. Declawing does have alternatives though. Proper training of the cat will eliminate human scratching, as well as furniture scratching. To deal further with furniture scratching, buy a scratching post. Make sure the post is not made of carpeting, but rather of some material similar to the backing on carpeting. Also, be sure to trim the cat’s claws regularly as part of your routine cat grooming. This will enable you, the cat, and its claws to live in harmony.