To Declaw or not to Declaw?

Cat claw with extended sharp claws macro

We love our cats so much when they look so cute and they are being so funny. However, cat owners don’t usually think it’s cute when their cat decides to sharpen their claws on your furniture. So, as a cat owner you try to look for a quick fix for the situation so you can live with your cat in peace without having your furniture destroyed. On the search for a solution the questions to declaw or not to declaw usually is asked.

Before you decide on doing this procedure. Yo

u ought to understand what declawing is, what it entails and what this means for your cat. Declawing is the process of removing of claws from our cats. This is done by the removal of the bones at the forefront of their toes. To give you a much clearer picture, spread your fingers in front of you. Wherever your first knuckle from the tips of your nail are, that’s where the process of declawing would take place. Talk about a painful and excruciating procedure.

However, when I asked my vet his thoughts on declawing versus not declawing, he stated that he believes if it’s a choice between declawing your cat or giving it up, declawing is the better option because there are already so many abandoned cats being euthanized every day. There are also ways to manage the pain. Below are some of the side effects, both good and bad, of cat declawing.

  • Some studies show (though they are not inconclusive) that declawing of cats tend to affect and change their moods. This is because they are usually in a lot of pain.
  • A cat’s first line of defence is its claws. Take that away you leave it defenceless hence it will switch to biting as a first line of defence. This is not good as studies show cat bits tends to cause more infection as compared to cat scratches.
  • A declawed cat tend to relieve itself in very weird places; like on carpets, mats and blankets. This is because their cat litter tends to be rough for them as they do not have claws anymore to be able to create a better place to do its business.
  • You as the cat owner have to commit to always attend to your cat. You cannot allow it to go outside as it cannot protect itself from other cats and animals.
  • Cats do walk while putting their body weights on the tips of their paws. That cannot happen anymore as it has to switch to walk on their inner paws. This destroys their normal walking posture.

Most people do declaw due to social issues which are actually not necessarily in the interest of the cat. As a cat owner you ought to make a decision that will benefit both your cat and you. Let the decision be for genuine reasons, like when it’s medically necessary to remove their claws. They’re also other options to uses like teaching your cat that scratching furniture is not right. You can increase the number of scratching poles around your house or purchase furniture guards so that your cat can’t scratch the furniture. Also, by trimming your cat’s nails regularly this will deter them from scratching.

Before you jump straight to declawing, we encourage you to explore other methods for managing your cat’s scratching.

What methods have you found successful for controlling your cat’s scratching?

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