Christmas 2021 Adoption Drive

Please join us at the West Michigan Humane Society at:

3077 Wilson Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534

Between November 25, 2021 through January 25, 2022 for our pet adoption drive. The standard adoption fees for cats are below:

​​Kittens (under 5 months): $125
Adult Cats (5 months – 10 years): $50
Senior Cats (10 years and up): Fee waived

Cats that have had a dental procedure done will be an additional $50.

The fees have been covered by Window Concepts who has continuously been involved in our work and offers the lowest window replacement cost.

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Abys Cat Adoption Process and Checklist Part 3

Abys Cat Adoption Process and Checklist Part 3

Welcome your cat into its new home!

Have your cat vaccinated, neutered or spayed, and microchipped

If you adopt from a shelter, often these cats will already have this done, or it will be necessary for you to get it done once they reach a certain age. Your cat will be vaccinated against feline distemper and rabies, but there are other vaccinations that your vet may recommend. If your cat isn’t neutered or spayed, the first examination is a perfect time to set up this very important surgery. Microchipping (implanting a traceable chip just under the skin) is also a great idea if your cat ever is lost.

  • It isn’t cheap providing the best health care for your cat, but emergency treatment for preventable diseases or conditions is much more expensive. Getting pet insurance helps reduces costs too.


Provide a litter box for the cat

Take a plastic litter box and fill this indoor “restroom” with clean kitty litter. Set the litter box in a quiet area of your house where your cat can easily get to it. When you bring the cat home, show her where the litter box is so she knows where her restroom is located.

  • You might put the litter box in a quiet hallway or second bathroom.


Litter train your kitten

While adult cats will already know what to do, you’ll need to train your kitten on how to use the litter box. Training a kitten is pretty easy. Have the box located in an easily accessible spot and set the kitten in it. She will usually use it then and as long as she’s shown it a couple of times she’ll get the idea. Make sure the box isn’t too high. This way, she can get into it easily.

  • Be sure to clean the box daily and change the litter every week. This will keep the box fresh. If you let your cat outside, you may often find that they will go to the toilet outside, which means you won’t have to clean out the box as often (or possibly even have one at all).


Offer food and water

Set out a food and water dish that your cat can always get to. Choose as high a quality cat food as you can. This may cost more initially, but food is one of the cheapest ways to keep your cat healthy. If you use dry food, give your cat a can of wet food every once in awhile. Make sure the water dish always has clean, fresh water. Avoid giving milk or cream, since they can cause diarrhea and gas.

  • Follow the feeding instructions that come with the cat’s food. Cats can either have food free choice (as long as they don’t overeat) or can be fed three times a day. Keep treats to a minimum, since obesity in cats is a problem that can predispose them to serious diseases like diabetes.
  • Feed your kitten a specific kitten food until she turns one, or before if she gains too much weight, or is spayed. Then, transition her to adult cat food over a period of seven to 10 days.


Provide a scratching post and toys

Cats need to scratch for behavioral health. If you don’t offer a scratching post, your cat will scratch wooden furniture and other items. If you find loose claws around your posts, don’t worry, cats lose their claws and replace them with newer sharper claws. If you wish to trim your cat’s claws for the safety of your family or others, ensure you get a vets advice so as to ensure you do not hurt or alarm your cat when doing so. Only trim if necessary, as cats use their claws for many different things, and life is easier for them when they’re sharp, not trimmed.

  • Toy mice and other fun toys will help keep your cat entertained and give some exercise.

Decide whether your cat may go outside

If you do let your cat outside, be sure to install a cat flap so she has a way back in. Magnetic cat flaps are recommended as then other cats cannot enter your house. Keep in mind there are a lot of serious hazards outside for cats, but often over time, cats should come to recognise dangers and avoid them eg. Busy roads or regular dog walkers. Cats that go outside may bring you ‘unwanted gifts’ but this is just in their natural hunting instincts. Also, if your cat starts going to the toilet outside, you’re less likely to have to clean out the litter tray as often.


Socialize your cat or kitten

Some cats or kittens with limited human contact might be uncomfortable around people. If your kitten runs, hides, and hisses or spits if she can’t get away, she’s not being aggressive, just fearful. Place the kitten in a cat kennel that’s in a room in the house where there is a lot of human activity, like a kitchen or living room, so she can slowly get used to the TV, radio, and normal everyday human activity.

  • Go slow. Don’t force your cat or kitten to interact with you. Gradually let her come to you.


Let the cat or kitten get comfortable with you

Use small bites (less than a fingertip full) of canned kitten food on a spoon tip to entice the kitten to you. In very fearful kittens that do hiss and try to run, wear leather gloves to avoid bite wounds to the hands. Wrap the kitten in a towel with only her head sticking out. This calms the kitten and protects you from scratches.

  • Hold the kitten close to your body so your warmth and heartbeat soothe the kitten. Do this for a couple of hours a day to make her comfortable with you. You will know you’ve been successful when the kitten is comfortable enough to purr and fall asleep while you are holding her.


Watch your cat in her new surroundings

Now that you have a new cat in your home, make sure all the family members know how to care for her properly. Teach children not to be too rough, and introduce the cat to other animals so that she won’t be afraid. If you have a kitten, don’t let larger children play too rough with her. Pay attention to your cat’s eating, behavior and bathroom habits so you’ll know if she seems ill.

  • Play with your cat often and meet her needs. You’ll find your new pet makes an excellent companion.


Part 3 reprinted from:

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Abys Cat Adoption Process and Checklist Part 2

Abys Cat Adoption Process and Checklist Part 2

Find a cat that matches your personality!

Test Drive your potentially new room mate

Just like a new car or another large purchase, you want to make sure that you are comfortable and making the right decision. So contact your local breeder or animal shelter and spend time with your potentially new house guest. If you are interested in a purebred cat, meet your local breeders and ask about their adoption process and how to get started.

Regardless if you are looking for a cat from a breeder or from a shelter, talk with the staff. They will be knowledgeable about their cats and kittens behavior and habits. Describe to them your routine and what you’re looking for.  They will be able to help.

  • It’s possible to check craigslist or newspaper advertisements in your area, but understand that will be risky. These cats may not be up to date with their vaccines or have other health deficiencies that go undisclosed.

Contact Abys to identify a reputable cat breeder in your area.


Look for a healthy and happy cat

The eyes should be clear, with no discharge or tearing. The nose should be clear of discharge or mucus and the cat shouldn’t sneeze or cough. The hair coat should be clean, reasonably smooth and free from matting in long haired cats. Run your hand against the grain of the hair to check for fleas (small, brown quick moving bugs along the skin.

  • Kittens with “pot bellies” may have just eaten or they may have intestinal worms. You should also look for any sign of diarrhea in cats or kittens (either in the litter box or smearing around the rear end).


Make friends with many different cats

During your visits to a breeder or a shelter, or other source, play with the cats that you are considering and look at multiple different ones to get a better idea of what you are looking for in both the short and long term. It’s incredibly easy to fall in love with a cat, so when you do make sure it is the right cat for the right reason. Consider if your personalities match, if they will fit in your current and future home, ask for any other observations to make your decision easier.

  • Are you looking for a cuddly cat? Do you need it to sit in your lap? If so, you should be able to tell very quickly if the ones you’re looking at will fit your needs. Or are you looking for one with a bit more independence?


Starting the cat adoption process

After you found the perfect furry friend, you should consider what the next steps are to take the cat to its new home. Depending on whether you are buying from a breeder or animal shelter will dictate what steps are required. In any case, you will need fill out paperwork and pay a small fee to take the cat home. Breeders will likely charge a significantly higher charge for a cat. Both breeders and shelters should offer paperwork documenting the current and past health and immunization of the cat.

  • Breeders require in nearly every circumstance, evidence of a safe and favorable home environment before discharging the cat. Shelters will likely ask similar questions and require a written statement from your landlord (if you rent), stating the cat is allowed on the premises.


Take you cat or kitten to the vet within the first week

Within the first week that you bring your cat to your new home, be sure to bring it to your own personal veterinarian. Review the documentation that the breeder or shelter provided with the vet and ask them to provide an additional analysis on your cats health.

  • Taking proper preventative measures with your veterinarian can prolong the life and happiness of your new cat.


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Abys Cat Adoption Process and Checklist Part 1

We at Abys know that you’ve been thinking about getting a cat just by the fact that you landed on our page. If you’re at the point where you’re still tossing the idea around in your head, you are in the perfect spot. Before adopting a cat you need to do some research and really put some thought into what kind of cat you want and will be happy with. After all, a cat can live for 15 or more years! Before adoption, consider a cat’s sex, age, and personality. Also consider if your home or apartment is an environment where your cat can be happy throughout its lifespan.


Do your due diligence before adopting a cat

Deciding what kind of cat fits your personality and lifestyle

Are you interested in a purebred Aby cat? Or a mixed breed cat with unknown heritage? Aby purebred cats are an excellent option for someone who knowns and appreciates cats. With a mixed breed cat there is the uncertainty of potential health issues which come attached if you adopt from a humane society. If you do adopt, make sure that the breeder or shelter has tested for diseases and provides you with the testing report before you adopt!

  • If you do your research and determine you are interested in a purebred pedigree cat be sure to research reputable breeders who treat their cats well. Make sure that the breeder comes with experience with the cats genetics and breeding, and who will support you even after your adoption.
  • If adopting from a shelter or rescue, do not adopt before you see that the cat is up to date on the vaccinations and spayed or neutered.

Contact Abys to identify a reputable cat breeder in your area.


Determine what kind of breed of cat you want.

Do your research to find out which breed of cat suits the time you have available for it and your needs. Afterall a cat will be your friend for 15 or more years! Different breeds and different mixed breeds have very different personalities including energy levels, playfulness, being held, scratching, and other habits. Traits that should be considered in a cat before adoption are:

  • Energy level
  • Need for attention
  • Affection towards owner
  • Vocality
  • Docility or calmness
  • Intelligence and independence
  • Need for grooming (sheds a lot or very little)
  • Compatibility with other pets

What age of a cat should you adopt? How long are you looking for a companion?

How much time and attention are you able to provide your pet? Kittens are extremely energetic and often immature and non-independent. This can lead to the cat being neglected if proper care and attention is not provided. Adult cats (over the age of 1 or so years) are often much more dependent than kittens and can usually take care of themselves for extended periods of time. If your family will need to compete between the needs of your kittens and your family, then perhaps an older cat is more suitable for your lifestyle.

  • If you have the time and energy for a new kitten, they are always an adorable addition to any family. If you are on the older side and are looking for a more mature friend, consider adopting an adult cat. Older cats also tend to be overlooked at shelters and make for excellent lap cats and companions later in life.


Do you want a male or a female cat?

In most scenarios the average cat owner will spay or neuter their cats. After this occurs, both the male and female personalities are rather similar to each other. Despite what you may hear from rumors, after a cat is spayed or neutered both male and females have the same chance of being a nice, friendly, lap cate. If you decide that you do not want a cat that has been spayed or neutered, consider these key behavior differences.

  • Male cats tend to get into fights, and want to roam outside and are often not good indoor pets. They also tend to be more liberal with using the litter box.
  • Female cats tend to be very vocal when in heat. They will also try to leave the house to get outside and mate. If they do get out and get pregnant there is the task of a new litter of kittens and the possibility of something going wrong during birth.


Consider one or more cats!

Humans love company and cats do to! If you adopt two cats, you don’t have to worry about one being socially deprived or bored and getting into trouble. So if you’re going to take a leap, go for two.

  • Make sure you have the time, space, and financial resources to manage and care for two cats.


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Why Shouldn’t I Declaw my Cat?

For this edition, I’d like to take the time to answer the most common question that I have received over the past year or so. This question was asked by about 30 of our readers from the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Nail Trimming as an Alternatives to declawing cats

The question we are trying to answer is:  What is the best way to deal with my cats claws? Is declawing a cat the right thing to do? Are there any alternatives to declawing my cat?

Many of our readers ask this questions because they find that their cat will use furniture, carpet, rugs, or even wood trim as a scratching post. So if you don’t have a dedicated cat scratching post start by getting one!

Many of our readers also say they are pressured by their family members to have their cats declawed so they can stop having their furniture or homes damaged by the darn cat!

The answer to the age old question of how to deal with your clawing cat can be answered by another one of our veterinarian readers who suggests that declawing is not a natural thing for a cat and is distinctly different than trimming our (human) nails.

Declawing has become one of the hottest debated subject among cat lovers, haters, and owers. Cats are born with claws for many reasons ranging from hunting, playing, and climbing. And because of these reasons they should keep their claws.

Annie writes, that she would never have her cat or another cat declawed again. After she de-clawed her first cat she noticed a distinct change in the cats behavior including problems balancing stress, proper use of the litter box, substituting biting for clawing, and many more. She also writes that she was present for the surgery and that the process seemed painful for the cat.


Declawing Impact on Cats and the human equivalent

Furthermore, when declawing a cat, it is far more than just trimming their nails.  The declawing process removes the section of bone from the cat’s paw where the claw would normally grow. To picture this on yourself would be the equivalent of having your fingertips chopped off.


Making the Scratching Post More Appealing to your Cat

Make sure that the scratching post that you provide your cat offers many different materials such as wood, fabric, or other textures. Understanding the areas that your cat likes ensure the proper use of the post. This includes having both horizontal as well as vertical scratching options.

Move the scratching post next to the areas where your cat is troubling your furniture. Give the cats an option between the naughty scratching area and the scratching post. You can even stack the deck in your favor by spraying or smothering the scratching post with catnip.

If making the post more desirable doesn’t work try making the furniture or troubled area less desirable. Cats detest areas covered with clear masking tape.


Final Option: Trimming your cat’s nails

I am a strong advocate for trimming your cat’s nails as a last resort. If your cat is a friendly lap kitty, then this task may be a breeze. If your cat is not such a people person it may be a good idea to take them to the veterinarian and pay to have their claws trimmed.

The benefits of trimming nails for your cat is to allow for the old claw tissue to be removed and regrown. If your cats nail tissue does not wear down and become replaced, the nail will grow into a very sharp spike causing nasty cuts to you and potentially your furniture and upholstery.

Many other options exist including a kitty nail claw cap. If your cat doesn’t like its nails being trimmed, try adding a soft pad to cover the nail spike.

How to Trim nails on a cat who doesn’t like their paws being touched

If you’re like our reader Austin, his cat doesn’t like their paws being touched. This makes trimming the nails extremely difficult. The trick he learned from his veterinarian was to hold the cat and slowly massage the cats paws when the cat is on your lap.  Feel the sharp tips of the nails by slowly pressing in the middle of the paw pad while you are massaging your kitties feet. As the nail is pressed outward, trim the clear section of the nail while leaving the pink area untrimmed.

Be sure to reward your cat after you trim their nails so they remember it as a pleasurable experience. That way next time, it will be that much easier.

Happy trimming!

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Abyssinian Cat Allergies

We all know that family member who get all stuffy, coughy, itchy, or red swollen eyes around pets. Whether you are that family member or not, there are always ways to help live with pet allergies. Life with cat allergies can raise many questions, such as: Will you regret making your kids happy by gifting them a cat? Will a hypoallergenic cat allow you to live a life without sneezing and sniffling? How can you explain a cat allergy to your child’s endless allergy / cold symptoms?

Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about cat allergies, from what causes your specifically, to treatments, and a worst case scenario, avoidance.

Causes of Cat Allergies estimates that roughly 10% of Americans have pet allergies, with the majority of those being related to cat allergies. In fact, cat allergies account for twice the number of dog allergies. The cause for this increase from dog allergies is attributed to the fact that it is not just the cats hair or fur that causes the allergy (as is the case with most dog allergies). Instead, people with cat allergies are most commonly allergic to the proteins in the cat’s saliva, urine, and dander (skin).

What makes these proteins so allergenic? Why are humans more susceptible to cat allergies than other household pets? The answer is: The immune system of someone with allergies is hypersensitive to normally harmless things (cat dander or saliva for example) and confuses them for dangerous compounds such as a virus or bacteria. This hypersensitivity to aspects of your pet cat is the cause of the allergy symptoms.

One of our readers also reminded us that pets can also transport other known allergens by being outside, and transporting those allergens to your home. Cats can transport pollen, spores, and even poison ivy on their fur and transfer that to you!

“So can’t I just get a hairless cat?” You might ask. Many people hear that an expensive hypoallergenic cat may be able to solve you or a loved ones cat allergies. Well, as we mentioned above, not everyone is allergic to the cat fur or hair, it can be the cats saliva or urine causing the outbreaks. Therefore, any cat has the potential to cause allergic reactions, and if you are truly looking for a cat, and are considering a hairless cat please consult a doctor first. Test your body to see if it is the cat hair or other aspects of a cat causing your allergies. Without knowing for sure, getting a hypoallergenic cat, regardless of the type, is not a safe plan.


Common symptoms of cat allergies

The most common of pet allergies, specifically cat allergies typically include at least one symptom below

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Red and swollen eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing

These symptoms can take a few minutes up to several hours to take effect. Nearly 25% of people with one or more cat allergy symptom have severe outbreaks after coming in contact with a cat for as short a time as 1 hour.


How to find out if you have a cat allergy

As mentioned before, your pets and cat in particular is capable of gathering allergens on its fur and releasing the pollen and spores in your home. So with this in mind, don’t think that a cat allergy is as obvious as it seems. In most cases it’s a good idea to schedule a doctor appointment to conduct an allergy test to pinpoint the cause of your allergies. Don’t just blame the pet!

Depending on the allergy, your doctor may conduct either a skin or blood test to determine the root cause of your pesky allergy. Don’t be surprised if the doctor can’t be 100% conclusive after the test, as the tests are not perfect. In many instances a doctor will suggest living with a cat or keeping your cat indoors for a month or two to measure the impact on your allergy symptoms.


Fixing your cat allergy problem through treatment

Cat allergies are possible to control with allergy medicine, but seeing as how I’m not a doctor I’ll let you consult yours before taking online advice.  If you are interested in potential recommendations check out webmd for suggestions.

If you are looking to solve your cat allergies the best option outside of modern medicine, is to reduce your exposure to cats. In order to do so here are a few tips and tricks which will help manage cat allergies.

  • Don’t touch, cuttle, hug, or kiss cats. If this isn’t second nature by now, make it! Even a small amount of brief contact may be enough to trigger allergies.
  • Watchout for friends with cats! – Even if your friends and family leave their cats at home, the dander that they can transport on their clothing may be enough to trigger your allergy symptoms.
  • Plan accordingly! – If you have to stay in a house with cats, let the owner know of your allergy. Ask them to keep the cat out of the areas you will be using, specifically sleeping in for a few days before your visit.  If possible ask them to vacuum or add an air filter.

Don’t ignore the symptoms of a cat allergy, instead visit a doctor and find a way to understand, manage and control your allergic symptoms.

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NAR – Abyssinian Placement Program

NAR – National Abyssinian Rescue – Priority

Over the course of several weeks we have had numerous readers and local residents contact us through our website as well as our local humane society partners (who regular feature healthy and happy cats on their homepage).  And what we have found is that we have placed all 3 of the Abyssinian cats that were brought to use because their current owner is no longer able to attend to them.  However, through the humane society we have brought in over a dozen cats every month and are struggling to find homes for all of these beautiful animals.  Therefore, we would like to announce our partnership with the Humane Society of Michigan to sponsor and assist with cat adoption the week of November 3, 2017.

Michigan Cat Adoption – NAR

The Humane Society of West Michigan is hosting a cat adoption special, where all adoptions will be properly spayed or neutered as well as properly vaccinated. This will be taking place from November 3 to the 6.

The Humane Society will be reducing their adoption fees for cats to $10 and for kittens to $25. Dogs of all breeds are undergoing a similar adoption week where the prices are reduced by 25%, bringing the vast majority to under $100. For more information on where the adoption event will take place, contact the Michigan Humane Society here.


NAR Role in Cat Adoption

In order to assist our readers and the communities in which the live in (feral and stray cats included), we have begun answering questions and calls regarding the resources, local cat organizations, shelters, rescue groups, veterinary clinics, spay and neuter clinics for readers in the Midwest and Northeast Michigan. All of our advice is free of charge and is designed to give our readers the best experience with their new cat.  We also specialize in helping new cats adapt to a new home. For specialty lessons click here.

If we refer you to a local resource, please be aware that each group or program is run separate from ours. Some may focus on only spay/neuter projects, while others may  help foster kittens and cats in order to find homes for them.  Regardless, we will be happy to help locate and care for your community cats and provide you with the information required to keep them safe.

If you know of a group of have reached out to one for help, please send us an email with the group you used, and your contact information to:


NAR Adoption Partners

Over the past year we have worked closely with the following organizations to help provide top of the line cat care for Abyssinian’s as well as other cats in need.

Humane Society of West Michigan

For over 130 years the Humane Society of West Michigan has operated under a seemingly simple mission, one that we feel provides both animals and those who care for them with an irreplaceable resource.

Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan

The Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan was founded over 75 years ago to help shelter the homeless animals of southwestern Michigan. We continue that mission today by providing programs and services that annually impact thousands of people and pets in our community.

Humane Society of South Central Michigan

The Humane Society of South Central Michigan (HSSCM) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identification, age, disability, national origin, marital status or veteran status.

Milwaukee Windows

We are Milwaukee’s Premier window contractor serving the Milwaukee area for over 20 years, with our eyes set on our first expansion into Michigan in the summer of 2018.  We are happy to help Guy Little and his colleagues find homes for cats whose owners have deceased or no longer want them.

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Cat Grooming Basics

Grooming is one of the basics of caring for a cat. No matter what breed, from the street cat to the prestigious Abyssinian, grooming should be included in the maintenance for many reasons. Obviously, grooming serves to take care of the basics like keeping the coat healthy and a general overall health check up. However, it is also an excellent time to spend with your kitty bonding. It gets them used to being handled early as well.


It is easy to add a few extra steps.

  • Purchase a good grooming brush and begin early by brushing every day.
  • Be sure to play with the nails by pushing them out of their sockets. Play with feet so they are comfortable with this. Start clipping nails right away so that this becomes a weekly habit.
  • Depending on the type of cat you have baths may be a major part of grooming. Breeds like the Abyssinian’s can have very oily skin and need a bath every other week or so. Starting when they are young is the only way they will learn to tolerate this.
  • If a Persian or Maine Coon is part of the regular family shaves may be necessary. Again, starting this when they are very little will provide them with comfort as they ride in a car to the groomer and become used to all the noises associated with this adventure.
  • Check out the ears regularly as many times wax can build up and they will need a gentle cleaning.
  • If you have an Abyssinian or Exotic Shorthair you may need to regularly clean around the eyes as they tend to drip. The color of a cat’s tear is reddish brown.
  • The mouth should be checked regularly and brushing your cat’s teeth is a great way to ensure good dental hygiene.
  • Lastly, checking around the back end is important. A long hair cat can get matted in that area, and a “vanity” shave is sometimes needed.


Basic Grooming Material For Abyssinian’s:

  • Several kinds of brushes- a Furminator is awesome for cats with thick or undercoats.
  • Q-tips
  • Paper towels
  • Cat shampoo and conditioner
  • Kitty wipes
  • A grooming kit for long coated cats
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Towels
  • Nail clipper
  • Talk with your vet and your groomer to identify the best long term grooming care for you and your kitty.It can also be used to remove fur from furniture. Some grooming gloves can be used for brushing, bathing, massaging, and to clean the furniture and carpet. Now are you brave enough to groom your nice kitty? If you are, then you have a slew of products to work with to make your wonderful feline friend as well groomed as possible. Brushing your cat will be the most fun part of grooming her. Many cats are playful when brushed and some will even twirl around in a low-sided box while being brushed. A good box for this is one that green peas or soft drinks are packaged in.
  • If you start grooming your cat when she is a kitten she will be easier to condition to the idea of being groomed.


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Declawing Surgery and Ethics

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 an Aby cat uses its claws for. They use them to mark their territory, and to survive. 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.

Declawing Surgery

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.


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Cat declawing is a thorny issue and deciding whether to do it or not is one of the most important decisions a car owner has to make.

The Truth About Cat Declawing

According to the veterinarian Neil Wolff, declawing is not only unnecessary procedure but it also inhumane. Declawing is an interference with the cat’s nature, and people often decide to do it because of their lack of information and incorrect knowledge.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, who is the author of The Cat Who Cried for Help, and the director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, thinks that declawing is the same as mutilation to a tee. He also says that this procedure is used as a model of severe pain for the testing of analgesic medications.

Declawing is a common practice in the USA, but it is not popular in Europe. In fact, this procedure is against the law in many European countries, for example in England, Germany, and Switzerland.

The Declawing Surgery

The standard declawing procedure involves the removal of the claws, the cells that are responsible for the claw’s growth, and a part of or all of the terminal bone of the toe. This procedure aims to stop the cat from scratching furniture, people or other animals. Declawing can be defined as an amputation and is similar to the removal of the fingers of the human hand at the last knuckle. The manipulation causes significant pain to the cat, and the healing process is quite painful, too.

What You Should Know

Cat owners should know that the cat’s claws are not toenails as in other animals. Claws are movable digits that are attached to the muscle in the same way fingers are attached. Cats have powerful ligaments and tendons that extend and retract the claws. If you remove these, the cat will not be able to grasp, walk, run and spring properly. If the end digit and the claw are removed, the sensory and motor nerves are damaged and destroyed. Thus the cat should walk on the stub end of the second digit. People who undergo such procedure usually rest while cats must continue scratching in their litter box, they walk and try jumping, no matter the pain they feel.

How is Declawing Performed?

Declawing can be carried out in several different ways but the aim is the same: to completely remove the third phalanx, which is the last bone in the toe, and the claw that is growing from it.

Some veterinarians use laser surgery which is considered to be less painful and to cause less bleeding. The procedure uses a laser to cut the tissue by heating it. This means that the bleeding, the pain and the healing time are significantly reduced. However, the cat’s toes will still be in bandages and a few weeks will be needed before the cat starts walking normally again. In some cases, cats recover very quickly; this is typical for kittens.

There is another method, called penectomy, which is becoming very popular. During this procedure, the law is not amputated but is removed a piece of the tendon that controls the extension of the claws. The result of the surgery is intact claws that are permanently extended. Cats usually can use their claws to some extent, but they cannot scratch properly. Cats cannot sharpen their claws, and they grow excessively, so claws’ trimming is required very often.

Alternatives of Declawing

1. Provide a scratching post

The scratching post should be strong enough and tall enough. You can use sisal and corrugated cardboard for the service of the scratching post. The usage of carpet is not recommended as it tears up very easy and the cat may be confused with the carpet on the floor and scratch there instead of on the post.

Cats should be praised when they use the post. You can try making it a fun place by putting the toy on it or around it. The position should be easily accessible. In case you want to make your cat stop scratching a piece of furniture, place the post in front of it and gradually move it away when the cat begins using it regularly.

2.Train your cat

You should train your cat to scratch on the “right” things. Praise the cat every time she scratches on the post. If the cat scratches on the place where she should be doing so, call her by her name, tell her “no” and move her to the scratching post. You can put the cat’s front legs on the post and start making scratching motions to show her what she is supposed to do. Also, you can dangle a toy on the post, and the cat will touch the post as she goes for the toy.

3. Trim your cat’s claws

You should trim your cat’s claws regularly because it is essential for maintenance of the cat’s hygiene. This will also reduce the scratches you and your furniture may suffer. If you clip the cat’s claws once a week, the destruction of furniture caused by scratching will be reduced to a minimum. It is recommended that the clipping is performed by two people – one to hold the car and the other to clip the claws. Do not use regular scissors. You should use only special cat clippers. Also, remember to clip only the tip of the claw. Be careful about veins that are near the Claw’s base.

4.Nail Caps

Some years ago, a new product that reduces the damage on furniture had been presented on the market. “Soft Paws”™ (or Soft Claws®) presents plastic nail caps. They are glued to the cat’s claws after the claws have been trimmed. The results of using the product are great, and there are almost no scratch damages on the furniture. The caps should be replaced every month.

If you love your cat and care for your cat, you should not declaw her. You can train the cat to not scratch the furniture if you follow the advice mentioned above. However, a declawing procedure is excruciating and unnatural. So, give your cat love and affection, and provide her with a long and happy life without declawing it.

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