To many people the option of declawing their cat seems very appealing… No more struggles with Mr. Whiskers scratching your expensive furniture or digging into your chest with purrrrrr delight as he gets his head scratched. But have you ever wondered what that seemingly simple procedure means to Mr. Whiskers? Not only is declawing an excruciatingly painful procedure but it can have very negative emotional effects on your cat as well. For those who don’t know exactly how it works, you’re basically having a part of your cat’s toe amputated. During this surgery they do not only remove the nail; they also remove bone, nerves, ligaments, tendons as well as the joint capsule. Not only does the procedure hurt, but your cat would be in pain for a long time after this surgery. Cats are digitigrades which mean they walk on their toes, unlike other mammals and humans that walk on the soles of their feet. Having the tips of their toes amputated means extreme pain for the considerable future even if they do not suffer from medical drawbacks which could include infection, tissue death, lameness and back pain. Then, of course, there are certain emotional effects to declawing your cat; all of which could make life very difficult for a loving pet owner. Cats are natural hunters and because of this, they also need defense mechanisms. That’s exactly what their claws are for and even if your cat is an inside cat, it still has those instincts and thus when the claws are removed your cat will suffer emotionally. Often times declawed cats will become more aggressive and will actually start biting. Declawed cats may also become depressed or nervous and might feel vulnerable without a defense mechanism. In these cases, you might find your cat hiding or perching on high spots within your home in order to stay safe. Other cats may develop behavioral issues in regards to using the litter box. For the first few days after the declawing surgeries, kitty litter cannot be used as it can irritate the fresh cuts to their toes. Instead, shredded newspaper is used in the litter box but this may cause your cat to start avoiding the litter box altogether. The rough surface of the litter box itself could also cause discomfort when scratching around in there, which is another reason why declawed cats often stop using their litter box.There have been arguments that having a cat declawed due to their owners health is justified. In these cases, the owner might have a disease that thins out their blood and makes it very dangerous to get scratched. What they don’t realize is that being bitten and having cat litter in the house could be an even greater risk. Perhaps the best option for these kitties and their humans would be finding a new loving home; it certainly beats being mutilated. People often tend to excuse mutilating their beloved pet because of expensive rugs or furniture, but they don’t realize there is a much cheaper and more humane way to keep their fancy furniture from being scratched up. If Mr. Whiskers is trained from around 8 weeks to use scratch posts by making them more intriguing with toys and treats, chances are the scratch posts will satisfy your cat. Also, be sure to afford your cat options, vertical and horizontal as well as different textured posts could keep kitty busy enough to not have to worry about that gorgeous sofa. Should this not be enough, consider clipping your cat’s nails weekly or even use kitty nail caps . With all the options out there, why even consider putting your animal through unnecessary pain?
Article by Zerelda Daniels