Declawing cats: Far worse than a manicure
People frequently make the mistake of believing that declawing their cats is a harmless “fast cure” for their cats’ excessive scratching. In their ignorance, they fail to see that declawing a cat might make it less inclined to use the litter box and more prone to bite. Declawing your cat might potentially result in long-term bodily difficulties for him. Declawing is prohibited in a number of nations. A declawing procedure is not recommended by the Humane Society of the United States, except in rare circumstances when it is essential for medical reasons, such as the excision of malignant nail bed tumors.
Clawing, on the other hand, is not recommended by infectious disease specialists.
The truth about cats and scratching
Scratching is a regular part of a cat’s life. It is not done to do damage to a cherished chair or to get revenge. Using their claws, cats scrape to remove the dead husks that have accumulated on them, mark territory, and stretch their muscles. Cats begin scratching when they are around 8 weeks old, according to the ASPCA. That is the best time to teach kittens to scratch on a scratching post and to allow for nail trimming. Declawing pets should not be considered a normal preventative measure for undesired scratching by pet owners.
What is declawing?
Too frequently, individuals believe that declawing is a straightforward procedure that involves the removal of a cat’s nails, which is analogous to getting your fingernails cut. Unfortunately, this is far from the case. Declawing usually entails the removal of the final bone of each toe from its socket. If this procedure were conducted on a human individual, it would be equivalent to chopping each finger off at the last knuckle. It is a pointless procedure that delivers no medical advantage to the feline involved.
Declawing Your Cat
If you are a cat owner, it is virtually guaranteed that you have found yourself on the receiving end of your feline companion’s claws on more than one occasion. When used properly, they are a highly valuable tool for your cat, but they may also be a source of irritation for him or her. Declawing is a type of pet care that is mostly used in the United States, although it can assist you to reduce the number of issues that arise as a result of your cat’s claws.
Reasons for declawing a cat
There are two major reasons why individuals opt to declaw their cat: medical reasons and aesthetic reasons.
Protect their family
The first reason is because cats have an incredible capacity to injure people with their claws when they aren’t looking. Cats are incredibly nimble and possess the ability to leap enormous distances. They are also capable of balancing on objects that appear to be far too little to be able to maintain their weight. Their claws are a key tool for their agility, since they aid them in climbing and grasping objects. However, even when they don’t want to scratch or dig in, they may do it by mistake, or their claws may scrape into you as they climb on you.
The declawing of a cat is popular among many individuals, particularly those with small children, who want to guarantee that family members are not accidentally injured.
Protect their home
Cat claws may also cause damage to carpets, floors, soft furnishings, and even physical furniture in the home if they get caught in them. Again, it might be wholly unintentional, but their normal movements around the house can result in tears and scratches on clothing. The second reason why cat owners opt to declaw their cats is to keep the interior of their home safe from damage.
Reasons against declawing your cat
Declawing is considered a contentious practice in various areas of the world, and it is even prohibited in several nations, notably the United Kingdom.
Declawing is much more than a manicure
Many people are under the impression that declawing a cat is similar to getting a manicure. This is incorrect. As an actual surgical treatment, it entails the amputation of the initial digits of each forefoot, and it is a dangerous one. It is possible that your pet will be in discomfort for a period of time following the procedure. It is also possible for the nails to regrow within the paw in rare cases. This can cause your cat to suffer from excruciating agony, yet it will be nearly hard to detect.
Claws are your cat’s natural defence
If your cat enjoys spending time outside, she is likely to come into contact with a variety of animals, including other cats. If she were to get into a fight with them or be assaulted, she would not be able to defend herself since she lacks the necessary skills.
Declawed cats have their natural agility inhibited
Declawing a cat disrupts the cat’s natural equilibrium. This is due to the fact that declawing includes the removal of both bone and nail. Consequently, declawed cats will lose most of their skill and will have to learn new ways of walking, climbing, and maintaining their balance as a result.
Declawed cats can become more aggressive
Many declawed cats actually become more aggressive as a result of their lack of natural defense, as they feel unsafe and uncomfortable in their new environment.
Alternatives to declawing
There are certain actions you may take as an alternative to declawing, or at the very least as a trial run before scheduling your cat for a declawing treatment, that you should consider.
Trim their claws regularly
The hooked point of a cat’s claw is responsible for the majority of the harm it does. You may be able to completely eliminate the problem of unintentional scratching if you remove this section of the claw on a regular basis.
Buy scratching posts
It is normal for cats to scratch, and it is this habit that helps to keep their claws in check. You can rescue your cherished furnishings by giving them with a designated location where they may complete the task. The average household should have at least two scratching posts, one of which should be tall enough for your cat to completely stretch herself out and one of which should be rough enough to satisfy their clawing requirements.
Train your cat to scratch in the right places
Cats are exceptionally clever creatures who may be taught to utilize scratching posts by rewarding them with food and other incentives. If you discover your cat clawing your furniture, make sure to gently reprimand her by telling her out in a loud, forceful voice or by gently squirting water out of a toy pistol at her back.
Six Painless Alternatives to Declawing Your Cat
Six Non-Invasive Alternatives to Declawing Your Cat (with Pictures)
Six Painless Alternatives to Declawing Your Cat
Dr. Sara Barnhart contributed to this article. At the time of spaying or neutering, cats are frequently declawed to prevent them from damaging household furniture and other belongings, as well as from scratching humans in the home.
It will be discussed in this post how declawing is performed, why it is contentious, and possible alternatives to declawing your cat.
Cat declawing is a contentious practice that has lately gained attention in the media following New York’s decision to become the first state in the US to outlaw the treatment. Declawing a cat, also known as onychectomy, is already prohibited in the majority of European countries, certain Canadian provinces, and some U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver, among other places. As a result of all of this attention, many are looking for alternatives to declawing. Declawing domestic cats should only be considered after all reasonable efforts have been taken to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when the cat’s clawing poses an above-average health risk to its owner(s), according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
What is Involved in Declawing?
A common misunderstanding is that the operation is quick and painless. This is not true. Declawing is the amputation of the third phalanx of the femur (end of the digit). This does not only require the removal of a nail; rather, it is analogous to a human having the end of his or her finger removed at the very first joint. Regardless of whether or not pain drugs are used, the process is painful. Aside from acute pain, infection, bleeding, edema, and nerve damage are some of the short-term risks of the procedure that might occur.
The likelihood of these issues increasing with the patient’s age at the time of the treatment.
Why Do Cats Need to Scratch?
There are a variety of reasons why cats scratch. Claws are essential for hunting and climbing, and scratching helps to maintain the motion that is required by the claws. The act of scratching also helps cats maintain the health of their claws as well as communicate with other cats.
Alternatives to Declawing
It is important to maintain a regular nail trim routine to avoid harm or damage to home goods and persons. If at all feasible, begin clipping your cat’s nails when he is a kitten to get him acclimated to the operation. The use of plenty of rewards and positive reinforcement makes things run more smoothly. If you need assistance, look for instructional videos on YouTube or contact your veterinarian for assistance.
2) Synthetic Nail Caps
If claw trimming is not effective or is not sufficient, consider using plastic nail tips such as Soft Paws instead. To minimize furniture damage and personal harm, these covers are glued on to the front claws after they have been cut and filed down. The caps have a lifespan of around 4-6 weeks and must be changed when they get detached. Nail caps are available in a variety of colors and designs.
3) Provide Appropriate Scratching Surfaces
When it comes to scratching, cats have quite specific preferences as to what and where they prefer to scratch. Experiment with different foods to find which ones your cat prefers. Many various textures and kinds of scratchers are available; probable alternatives include carpet, sisal rope, cardboard, and wood scratchers, all of which are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and come in a variety of textures and patterns. Even a log discovered in the woods might serve as a scratching post for your cat.
Consider placing scratchers in locations where your cat rests or near furnishings that you want to keep them from scratching to discourage them from doing so. Scratchers may be made more appealing by adding catnip or goodies on or around them.
4) Environmental Enrichment
If their emotional and physical needs are not addressed, some cats can scratch and claw at their owners’ furniture. Environmental enrichment and stimulation are extremely essential for feline mental health, and they can help to minimize excessive scratching behavior in some cases. For additional information on environmental enrichment, see Cat Friendly Homes or the Ohio State University’s Indoor Pet Initiative.
5) Synthetic Facial Pheromone Spray/Diffusers
A feline face pheromone spray, diffuser or collar can aid to ease tension and anxiety that may otherwise manifest themselves as damaging scratching behavior.
6) Protect Furniture and Household Items
If your cat has turned a favorite piece of furniture or home object into a scratching post, consider covering the area with tin foil or double-sided tape to prevent it from happening again. These are surfaces that cats do not want to come into touch with, and scratching on them may cause them to lose their scratching habit in particular regions. More information may be found in this blog article by Dr. Franklin on how to prevent your cat(s) from scratching in places where they shouldn’t. Having a scratching post or several scratching posts accessible might assist cats in directing their scratching to more appropriate areas.
Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is always glad to trim your kitty’s nails and apply synthetic nail caps (which must be purchased in advance and brought to the appointment).
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Declawing cats is harmful. Do this instead.
Declawing can cause persistent discomfort in your cat, which may cause him to become more aggressive. Pexels The information in this post has been updated. It was first published on May 23, 2017, and has since been updated. Declawing a cat may appear to be a rather innocuous treatment, similar to getting your nails cut, on the surface. According to one research, cat toe surgery includes removing the bones at the tips of a feline’s toes, which might cause long-term difficulties for your feline companion.
- Their paw stubs are also known to be chewed, and they have been known to suffer from chronic agony as a result.
- Researchers evaluated 274 cats of varying ages, half of whom had been declawed, in order to determine the long-term effects of declawing on the cats’ health.
- They also looked at the felines’ medical histories as well as behavioral reports from their veterinarians and their owners to make their decision.
- The researchers also discovered that declawed cats were three times more likely to be diagnosed with back discomfort (perhaps as a result of having to change their stride as a result of missing toe bones) and/or chronic pain in their paws than their non-declawed counterparts.
- When cats are in agony and have no other means of defending themselves, they may turn to biting.
- The results of the study would have been stronger if the researchers had been able to examine the cats both before and after the declawing surgery, in order to determine with certainty if the negative effects were caused by the declawing procedure.
- Nicole Martell-Moran is a veterinarian in Texas who also serves as the director of the Paw Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to put a stop to cat declawing.
“It’s possible that they only require pain management. As a result of this study, we now have scientific proof that declawing is more harmful to our feline patients than we previously believed, and I hope this is the first of many that will inspire vets to rethink declawing cats.”
How to train a cat not to scratch your stuff
Declawing is prohibited in many industrialized nations, however it is not prohibited in the United States or most of Canada. Many American veterinary associations, on the other hand, are opposed to declawing, except in extreme circumstances. Instead of declawing your cat, consider training it first. It may save your life. Cats can be taught, and this is true. And it’s not nearly as difficult as it appears. Here are a few pointers:
- Get at least one scratching post for your home (ormake your own). Ensure that the vertical scratching post is tall enough so that your cat can reach out to utilize it if it is vertical. Also, make certain that it is stable. Ideally, the post should be placed near your cat’s favorite napping location and/or near the furniture that it enjoys scratching the most. In order to make the post more appealing than the sofa, catnip or toys should be placed on it. Every time the cat uses the post, give it a cheek scratch or a treat to show your appreciation. If it starts scratching the sofa, simply say “no” loudly and firmly and move it to the appropriate scratching post. Reward it for switching to that method instead
- If the condition persists, see your veterinarian.
7 Alternatives to Declawing
It has been a contentious issue for quite some time that cats should be declawed. Many veterinary groups, notably the American Association of Feline Practitioners, have launched a major campaign to put an end to this practice in recent years. The City Way Animal Clinics has made the decision to side with these groups and will no longer provide onychectomy surgery services going forward. We think that the needs and healthamoxicilinof your pet should always come first.
What is onychectomy surgery or declawing?
Declawing is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the last toe bone. In humans, this is analogous to losing the tip of your finger from the last knuckle bone on your hand. Dr. VanDeLeest wrote an excellent, in-depth piece about declawing last year, which you can read here. Our Feline Companions! Permanent lameness, arthritis, and other long-term consequences may ensue from declawing. More information on the long-term consequences of declawing may be found at the Paw Project.
Why do people choose to declaw their cats?
Certain frequent reasons for having your cat declawed can be readily corrected with training, changes to the cat’s surroundings, or regular cutting of your cat’s nails. The following are some of the most common reasons why people opt to declaw: In order to prevent scratching and damage to furniture and valuables. Cats may be taught not to scratch objects such as furniture or other components of the house if they are properly educated. Providing adequate environmental resources, such as scratching surfaces, reduces the likelihood that this may be an issue in the future.
Knowing how to properly handle a cat, avoiding rough play, and cutting the cat’s nails on a regular basis will help to prevent the majority of cat scratches on people.
In order to safeguard the other cats in the home that have already been declawed, the procedure is performed.
The most effective strategy to maintain harmony is to address any resource management or inter-cat difficulties as soon as they develop.
Why do cats scratch?
Scratching is a normal action that your cat engages in to accomplish a variety of tasks. It is common for cats to scratch to remove the dead outer layers of their claws, to leave their smell and mark their territory, to release tension or express other emotions, or to extend their body and feet, among other things. When providing your cat with appropriate scratching surfaces, it is important to remember that they are likely to find a few inappropriate scratching surfaces such as furniture, drapes, carpets, and anything else they can get their claws into if you do not provide them with appropriate scratching surfaces.
Taking the initiative in educating your cat to scratch in the areas you want them to is critical if you want to avoid your house or your relationship with your cat being ruined by them scratching in places you don’t want them to scratch.
So, what can you do to stop your cat from scratching?
Restriction of access to surfaces that you do not want your cat to scratch (temporarily, at least). Creating an unappealing environment for your cat to scratch on should encourage him or her to cease scratching on the designated area. Double-sided tape, Sticky Paws, and aluminum foil are all popular options for deterring cats from scratching unsuitable objects around the house. Another effective deterrent is citrus – fill a spray bottle with water and lemon juice and spray objects that are off limits a couple of times a day until the problem is resolved (be sure to spray a small test area for staining first).
While all of these deterrents are excellent short-term remedies, you should offer your cat with acceptable scratching alternatives to avoid permanent damage.
Watch your cat’s scratching patterns to learn when, where, and what sorts of things he or she prefers to use.
- Is there a certain area of your home where your cat prefers to spend time or where they perform the most of their scratching? The following are the locations where scratching items should be put! As an alternative, place a suitable scratching surface next to the area you don’t want your cat to scratch and leave it there overnight. In the event that you have more than one cat, make sure that each cat has at least one scratching post or pad. Scratching materials such as corrugated cardboard, sisal, and wood are excellent choices. Every cat is unique
- Some prefer to scratch vertically, while others prefer to scratch horizontally, while some prefer to scratch at an angle, or a combination of all three. When selecting a scratching post, make certain that it is tall enough to allow your cat to stretch out to their maximum height on top of it (at least 28-36 inches). It should have a broad, substantial base so that it doesn’t topple over when your cat attempts to scratch at the furniture. If the post wobbles or falls over while your cat is using it, it is probable that your cat will seek out a more sturdy alternative. and it’s likely that it won’t be a choice you’ll be happy with
Make use of an attractant such as Feliscratch or Catnip to draw the cat in. Catnip is really popular with cats, so take advantage of this fact! Cat scratching posts and pads should be sprayed with catnip oil or sprinkled with dried catnip. Another excellent alternative is Feliscratch, which is a synthetic version of the pheromone that cats naturally emit from between their toes when they scratch and is quite effective. It may be put to surfaces that you want your cat to scratch, and it has been scientifically proven to improve the likelihood that they will scratch such surfaces.
- When you notice your cat scratching their scratching posts or pads, shower them with praise, pets, and goodies.
- What should you do if you notice your cat clawing surfaces that shouldn’t be scratched?
- Replace the unwanted site with a peaceful relocation of the animals to a spot near or on the surface you want them to scratch.
- Nail trimming or nail caps on a regular basis.
- The frequency with which you cut your cat’s nails is determined by your cat’s lifestyle.
- If at all feasible, begin trimming them as kittens so that they acquire accustomed to the procedure from an early age.
- Nail trimming should be done in a quiet setting with positive reinforcement.
- If you’d prefer not take on the process yourself, our crew would be pleased to assist you, or you may contact Furr: Pet Spa’s cat groomer for assistance.
- Applying the nail caps is simple and may be done by you, your veterinarian, or a professional cat groomer; simply apply glue inside the nail cap and slip it on.
- Once your cat’s scratching habit on appropriate surfaces has returned to normal, you can discontinue the use of nail caps.
- Cats might engage in destructive scratching if their requirements are not being addressed in a satisfactory manner.
For cats to be able to engage in their normal activities and maintain control over their social contacts, they require enough resources. Your cat’s fundamental requirements are as follows:
- Ensure that your cats have consistent meal times and distinct food dishes for each cat in your home. a bowl of clean, fresh water at a spot that your cat will find pleasant
- It is handy, clean, and private to use a litterbox
- Having a safe location to sleep
- Familiar territory– Face-rubbing and scratching surfaces leave your cat’s smell on the surface, marking the area with a distinctive personal touch.
Consult with an expert in animal behavior! If you’ve done everything above and still haven’t gotten results, you might want to consider hiring an animal behaviorist. The history, temperament, surroundings, and reaction to various situations of your cat may all be assessed by a behaviorist in order to better understand what is required to manage or modify your cat’s behavior. To discover a behaviorist in your area, check out one of these excellent resources: the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, the Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists Association, or the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.
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Put an end to your cat’s scratching troubles as soon as possible! These easy-to-apply nail caps, which were developed by a veterinarian, protect your cats’ claws while also protecting your skin, floors, and furnishings. Cats also seem to be unaware that they are wearing them. Visit SoftPaws at www.softpaws.com for more information. By providing your cats with the ideal scratching surface, you can alleviate their scratching urge. The Purrfect Post (www.purrfectpost.com), which was designed by a veterinarian to be robust, functional, and visually appealing, is the ultimate scratching post.
Declaw Awareness Day is Saturday, March 29th!
Sharing our Facebook pages will help us spread the word about why declawing should not be an option and educate people on alternatives to declawing.
Written by Veterinarian, Dr. Christianne Schelling
If you are thinking of declawing your cat, please read the following. It will only take a few moments, and it will provide you with crucial information that will assist you in making your choice. First and first, you should be aware that declawing is mostly an American phenomenon, and that it is something that individuals do for their own convenience without recognizing what is truly happening to their beloved cat. Declawing is considered “inhumane” and “unnecessary mutilation” in the United Kingdom.
- It is against the law in several European nations.
- There are certain essential factors you should be aware of before making the choice to declaw your cat.
- It is a major operation.
- It is, in fact, tightly adherent to the femur bone.
- Declawing is essentially an amputation of the final joint of your cat’s “toes,” which is why it is called “toes.” Taking this into consideration, it becomes evident why declawing is not a compassionate practice.
- Also keep in mind that your cat will still need to use its feet to walk, leap, and scratch in its litter box during the period of recovery from the surgery, regardless of how much pain it is feeling.
- There is no question in the minds of cat lovers that cats, with their considerably more acute senses than ours, suffer from pain.
Apart from being self-assured, they are also inherently aware that they are in danger while in a vulnerable situation and will go to great lengths to conceal this fact.
This is not a procedure that should be taken lightly.
The claws on this creature are a key component of its design.
It also loses its major means of protection, making it vulnerable for predators if it ever manages to get out into the open again.
Despite the fact that this is not recognized as a potential adverse effect by the medical establishment.
Is there a workable option available?
A resounding, joyous, and humanistic YES!
“Cat Scratching Treatments,” which may be found at the link above, offers a variety of solutions as well as insight into the psychology of why cats scratch.
You have the option of trimming the front claws.
Soft Paws TM is one of the most effective methods I’ve discovered.
They’re especially handy in families with small children, as well as for adults who are away from home for long periods of time and are unable to maintain the level of watchfulness required to educate a cat to use a scratching post.
They are available in either transparent or colored versions, which are incredibly enjoyable.
The colorful caps look great on Tabby or Tom, and they have the added benefit of making it easier to see when one of them finally slips off.
Soft Paws TM may be found on the internet by clicking here or by calling 1-800-989-2542.
A list of nations where declawing is either outlawed or considered to be highly cruel and is only performed in exceptional circumstances or for medical reasons may be found by clicking on the following link.
You’re still not convinced? “The Truth About Declawing – Technical Facts” can be found by clicking here. Do you have any questions or comments? Do you want to make a contribution to this website? Please do not hesitate to contact us.
Declawing is a contentious treatment, and it is crucial to be informed about the procedure so that you may make the best decision for your cat. A cat’s claw and the portion of the toe bone from which the claw arises are removed during a surgical operation known as cat declawing by a veterinarian. Without removal of the little portion of bone at the end of the cat’s toe, the claw may attempt to regrow, resulting in more difficulties. The cat declaw technique is most commonly used to solve behavior problems involving clawing of furniture or people, among other things.
What You Need to Know About Cat Declaw
The toe of a cat is not the same as the toe of a dog or a person. The pad of the toe is anatomically comparable to the middle portion of the human finger in shape and size. A little bone is located at the end of the cat’s toe, and it is from this bone that the cat’s claw develops. It is customary for cats to keep their retracted claws and bones buried behind their fur so that they are not visible when walking or petting. It is via scratching that cats maintain the sharpness of their claws, extend their bodies, and exercise their muscles.
- If the cat has been declawed, the process is reversed.
- However, trimming a cat’s claws frequently actually encourages the feline to scratch harder in order to re-sharpen its claws.
- Cat declawing may be the only option if you want to protect your cat from destroying your furnishings.
- Declawing a cat is also preferable to converting a furniture-scratching cat into an outdoor-only cat; an indoor cat with claws is frequently tossed outside, which is not a good thing for the cat.
- Furthermore, declawed indoor cats will not be exposed to the dangerous infections that outdoor cats are susceptible to contracting.
- For your cats, this can result in a great deal of discomfort, which can manifest itself in various aspects of their daily lives, such as when they are walking or using scratching posts.
- The whole pad of the toe is kept intact in order to expedite the healing process.
- Walking, running, playing, leaping, and climbing are all activities in which the cat does not use its claws.
Despite the fact that many cat owners declaw their cats because of behavioral concerns, there are other reasons for a cat declaw, including the removal of a tumor in the region and the protection of an old or immunocompromised owner from the risk of cat scratches that might quickly get infected.
3 declawing alternatives
We adore our cats, but we despise the damage that their claws can cause to our furniture, carpets, draperies, and beds, among other things. In contrast to human fingernails, a cat’s claws grow in layers, with new material forming beneath the old material as the claws mature. As a result, when a claw has reached full maturity, it is shed. For this reason, discarded claw sheaths are frequently seen on or near the surfaces where your cat scratches the most. Scratching is a deeply ingrained behavior in a cat’s hardwiring, and it is a difficult one to break.
Cats are highly driven to maintain their claws as sharp as possible since dull claws might result in lost prey and a missed supper.
The Declawing Procedure
Declawing (onychectomy) has been regularly used on domestic cats for many years, but it is a surgical treatment that needs anesthesia and entails the removal of the third phalanx bone, which is a common problem in cats. As a result, it is sometimes compared to a human being who has had each fingertip removed. The process is followed by a time of suffering and healing for the animal, just as it would be with any surgical procedure. Furthermore, the operation is not 100 percent successful, since some cats develop claw regrowth or other post-surgical issues as a result of the procedure.
- We’ve taken this into consideration and have come up with three alternatives to declawing your cat.
- Keep attractive surfaces out of reach.
- Scratching surfaces should be made less appealing to your cat in order to do this.
- Another method of preventing your cat from scratching is to apply double-sided tape orSticky PawsTM to scratch-prone areas of the house.
- And if you like high-tech options, you may experiment with a motion-activated air sprayer, which emits a puff of air when your cat wanders too close to an area that has been designated as “off limits.” 2.
- It was a veterinarian who came up with the idea of using Soft PawsTM nail caps to function as sheath covers for your pet’s claws.
- The vinyl caps are only effective for 4 to 6 weeks and are lost together with the normal development of the nail substance during this time.
When it comes to dulling sharp claws, nothing beats a good old-fashioned nail trim.
If you have a cat who doesn’t handle nail clipping well, ask your veterinarian to demonstrate a few nail trimming tactics to make the operation more bearable.
Generally speaking, most groomers and pet salons provide nail clipping as an individual service or as part of a comprehensive grooming service package.
Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover with a strong affinity for cats and a tendency to be a bit of a crazy cat lady.
Her animals are all rescues from animal shelters, including the dog, who is afraid of the cats. She worked as a Veterinary Technician for eight years before deciding to pursue a writing career. Today, she contributes to a variety of websites, including this one.
What You Need to Know – Cat Declawing
At Aspen Grove, you can find out more about a Laser Cat Declaw.
What is declawing in Cats?
Surgical removal of a cat’s toenail as well as the part of bone from which it arises is known as cat declawing. Typically, just the cat’s front paws are declawed in the majority of cases. Amputation of the tiny bone at each end of each toe, depending on how the treatment is carried out, may be the most appropriate term. In order to perform a surgical procedure, general anesthesia is required, as well as proper and adequate pain management during the recovery process. After the healing process is complete, the cat may walk, climb, knead, and scratch without discomfort.
Your cat may need to stay in the hospital for a few days following the operation, and pain management drugs may be prescribed for the first few days after your cat goes home from the hospital.
Should I get my indoor cat declawed?
This surgical technique may be uncomfortable, and it may impair the cat’s movement during the post-operative recovery time; thus, it should not be regarded a routine or preventative operation for the feline. It is frequently performed after surgical sterilization to reduce the need for several anesthetics and thereby reduce the risk of infection. Many cats are spayed or neutered when they reach the age of 6 months or less. This offers you the opportunity to educate your cat where to scratch and how to utilize its claws in the most suitable manner possible.
Regular nail clipping, as well as the use of commercially available plastic nail covers, can help to keep furniture from becoming damaged.
In these instances, it may be able to prevent scratching and damage, but it will not solve the problem.
A scratching post is typically quite useful in this situation.
My cat is causing unacceptable damage. In this situation, is it acceptable to declaw?
“As many as 50% of cat owners who declawed their cats would not have retained their animals otherwise,” says the study. Declawing is a severe, yet effective, remedy for the majority of scratching issues. As previously said, it is possible that it may be avoided by paying close attention to training and preventive. In the event that all other choices have been explored, it is a rapid and effective method of removing itching issues from the body. In some households, the choice between removing the cat from the house and having it declawed comes down to a binary choice.
When a cat continues to cause damage to furniture or when a cat causes harm to people when playing or handling, this may be the situation.
Also, it may be argued that the short-term pain and discomfort caused by cat claws (which can be decreased by paying close attention to pain meds) is preferable to a life of continual confinement and excessive (and ultimately failed) attempts at punishment.
Despite the fact that it is believed that nearly 25% of cats in North America have been declawed, declawing is regarded unethical, if not illegal, in some jurisdictions and in other nations.
What is the effect of declawing on the cat?
There are several misconceptions and anecdotal stories circulating concerning the potentially fatal behavioral and surgical consequences of declawing. In the last several years, a number of behaviorists, pet psychologists, and epidemiologists have investigated the impact of declawing on the car, the owner, and the connection between the cat and their owner. At least ten scientific studies have looked at the interaction between a pet and its owner, as well as the effects of having a pet. According to the findings of these investigations, it has no effect on the cat’s behavior.
- There is no growth in the number of people who have behavioral disorders.
- Cat owners with declawed cats report a larger number of positive behaviors than cat owners with clawed cats, according to research.
- ” Certain theories have been advanced on the possibility that declawed cats may be more prone to biting or home soiling.
- Some cats may find it uncomfortable to use their litter during the first few days following declawing, and they may develop a litter avoidance problem at this period.
- Cats that have been declawed and cats who have not appear to have the same difficulties with house soiling.
- As a result, be sure to explore pain treatment alternatives with your veterinarian prior to having surgery performed.
- Overall, it typically allows individuals to keep their cats while also preventing damage to their homes.
- Lifelearn Inc.
- Used and/or modified with permission and in accordance with the license.
Cat Declawing: Pros, Cons, and Safer Alternatives
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If you have a kitten who is scratching up your furniture and generally tearing up your house, you may be tempted to have it declawed. Read this first.
The scratching behavior of cats is innate; they scratch to mark their territory, stretch their bodies, and remove the worn-out outer claws to reveal fresher, sharper claws beneath the surface of the skin. This natural instinct in an indoor cat may result in frayed curtains, torn up sofas, and carpets that are left in tatters—destructive and irritable habits that can leave pet parents dissatisfied and looking for a solution. It’s possible that some cat owners will be tempted to declaw their kitties.
This procedure prevents the cat from using its claws to scratch household items or injure others during rough play—or to defend itself if it encounters an aggressive cat or another animal outdoors—or to jump a fence or climb to get away from a predator.
This significant procedure has the potential to cause persistent, lifelong discomfort in the animal as well as an alteration in the animal’s walking pattern.
Declawing is prohibited in many European nations, as well as in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Israel, among other places.
What is cat declawing?
Dr. Jamie Richardson, DVM, the medical head of staff at Small Door Veterinary in New York City, explains that “declawing a cat” is the surgical procedure that involves removing/amputating the first ‘knuckle’ of a cat’s toes, hence eliminating the area where the claw grows. A human’s fingers or toes are chopped off at the top joint in a manner similar to this. Dr. Richardson states that declawing cats “irreversibly physically alters a cat for the purpose of changing its natural behavior, which is most often performed for the convenience of the pet owner.” Dr.
“Cats that have had a full declaw will be sore on their paws for several weeks, and it is possible that they may be tender for the rest of their lives, due to the changed anatomy of the paw.” Removing the claws of an outdoor cat is one of the many blunders that cat owners should avoid at all costs.
Medical alternative: tendonectomy
Declawing is a medical technique that is being replaced by a new surgery called tendonectomy. The procedure, according to Dr. Richardson, is “short incisions performed behind the claw in order to snip the tendons that are responsible for a cat’s ability to extend its claw to its full extent.” However, while a tendonectomy maintains the claws intact and prevents the animal from suffering any negative consequences, the cat’s toes tend to curve inward and disrupt the cat’s typical structure, making them more susceptible to arthritis.
According to Dr. Richardson, there is also a risk of the curled claws puncturing the pads of the feet and causing discomfort and infection if the nails are not maintained precisely cut and filed.
When is declawing needed?
Photograph by Ingus Kruklitis for Getty Images While declawing is frequently performed to prevent cats from scratching their owners, other animals, or furniture, it should only be done as a last option in the majority of cases. When a cat’s excessive or improper scratching activity poses an unacceptable danger of damage, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, declawing should be considered “even after careful attention has been paid to behavioral retraining and alternate methods of control.” In the end, the choice to declaw the cat is up to the pet owner, who should consult with their veterinarian (provided that doing so is permissible in the area where they reside).
When it comes to declawing, some vets are willing to perform it if it means the cat won’t end up back at the shelter or on the streets.
Richardson points out.
Richardson, whose clinic is located in New York City, where declawing is prohibited, believes that it should only be performed when medically required, such as in the case of an infection of the bone or toe that cannot be treated medically, or in the case of cancer, for example.
Ramifications of cat declawing
One of the most severe side effects of cat declawing is persistent discomfort in the cat’s back legs. “Cats are very skilled at masking signals of pain and discomfort, so they may be miserable for many years without you knowing,” Dr. Richardson adds. Declawed cats may be more prone to degenerative joint disease and arthritis as they age, as a result of the change in the way they must bear weight on their paws as a result of this procedure. “It’s important to monitor mobility for changes in gait or obvious signs of discomfort, as declawed cats may be more prone to these conditions as they age.” Additionally, without the capacity to scratch, the cat might have a hard time extending her muscles and tendons, preventing her from keeping healthy.
Learning how to decipher your cat’s behavior can help you figure out what he or she is trying to communicate.
Safer alternatives to declawing
Having your cat declawed is a life-altering process for cats; many physicians believe it is immoral and unneeded, and they advise cat owners to choose safer methods to keep their cats from scratching up unwanted surfaces. These are some examples:
- Nail trimming is required. Every two to three weeks, you should trim your cat’s nails. If it’s too difficult for you to do it yourself, take the cat to a veterinarian or groomer to get it done professionally.
- Caps for your nails. Sharp claws may be avoided by gluing blunt nail covers to the cat’s claws before playing with the animal. When the nails begin to grow out, their plastic covers must be removed and replaced (every four to six weeks). Professional groomers can assist you if you are unable to apply the caps yourself.
- Cappings for your toenails Claw injury caused by sharp claws can be avoided by gluing blunt nail covers on the cat’s claws. When the nails begin to grow out, the plastic covers must be changed (every four to six weeks). If you are unable to apply the caps on your own, experienced groomers can assist you with this task.
Safeguard your furniture
Cavan Images courtesy of Getty Images Cat owners may also make adjustments to the interior environment and protect furnishings in order to keep their cats from engaging in destructive behavior. Create a fascinating and interesting environment for your cat, complete with scratching posts and climbing gyms, for him or her. It is necessary for the post to be at least as tall as the cat’s length in order for her to get a decent stretch and to drag her claws downward. Dr. Richardson recommends that, aside from height, you try with the numerous types of posts available, ranging from regular posts to corrugated cardboard ramps, to see which one your cat prefers.
To avoid having their sofas and chairs scratched, cat owners can go for materials such as leather or microfiber, which have a tight weave that makes it difficult for cats to dig into with their nails.
Follow these extra tactics to keep your cat from scratching your furniture in the last stages.
- Dr. Jamie Richardson, medical director of Small Door Veterinary in New York City
- Dr. Samantha Canup, of Noble Creatures Veterinary Services in Washington, Georgia
- The ASPCA’s ” Destructive Scratching.”
- The American Veterinary Medical Association’s ” Declaw or Not?”
Declawing Cats: Examining the Pros, Cons and Alternatives
Affiliations: ASPCA ” Destructive Scratching.” AVMA ” Declaw or Not?”; Jamie Richardson, DVM, medical chief of staff at Small Door Veterinary in New York City; Samantha Canup, DVM, from Noble Creatures Veterinary Services in Washington, Georgia.
- Preoccupations with health for people in the family, which may also exclude the cat from being placed for adoption
- An immovable living environment in which the cat’s social behavior is incompatible with the limits of the family, which may also preclude the cat from being placed for adoption
Some of the factors that may influence your decision not to declaw your cat are as follows:
- Declawing a cat goes against the cat’s natural habits and instincts
- It is a painful experience for the cat, even with adequate pain medicine
- And it is an unpleasant experience for the cat’s owner.
Whatever your motivation, we are here to help you and make certain that the best interests of your cat are always a top priority in all you do.
Alternatives to declawing cats
The practice of declawing cats is not the only option available; nevertheless, the efficiency of these methods varies according on the age and temperament of the cat. The following are some of the most often used alternatives to declawing cats:
- The use of a toy or scratching post to distract a misbehaving cat is a far more successful choice for kittens than it is for adult cats. Easy to apply, they are vinyl nail caps for cat claws that are placed using surgical glue and are often accepted by cats within a few days of being introduced to them. A patient and devoted owner is required, but this is an acceptable alternative to declawing. Nail trimming on a regular basis: This is a less effective, but still extensively used, alternative to declawing cats. It entails cutting the nails to an extremely small length. This approach, on the other hand, will not prevent a cat from sharpening and utilizing its already existent claws. Having enough toys and scratching posts for your cat may seem like a no-brainer in the eyes of some cat owners, but having enough alternatives for feline entertainment and relief is really vital. Some cats are really fussy, so be certain that the equipment you choose has received their approval before purchasing it. Sprays and diffusers containing synthetic face pheromones: To assist alleviate worry or tension, you might want to consider utilizing synthetic face pheromone sprays and/or diffusers, which may or may not be connected to your cat’s scratching activity. Make use of a synthetic pheromone spray to deter your cat from scratching items or regions in your home that you don’t want him to. Cats are natural hunters and explorers, so providing them with appropriate environmental enrichment is essential. When we keep them as indoor pets, they might get stressed if they are not supplied with an enriching environment that allows them to express their curious and playful energy in productive ways. Providing items such as scratching surfaces, toys, cat trees, and other such items is part of creating an enriched habitat.
Understanding the procedure for declawing cats
When it comes to declawing cats, we as veterinary professionals are here to assist you in making an informed and educated decision on behalf of your feline companion. Declawing kittens or adult cats necessitates the removal of a claw from the animal. A cat’s knuckle is permanently attached to its claw, which implies that it must have all or part of its third bone removed in order to do this procedure. Cat declawing can be done in one of three techniques that are medically approved:
- Declawing with a sliding blade: Declawing with a sliding blade is a procedure in which a straight line is sliced through the junction between the complete claw growth and the remainder of the cat’s paw. Declawing kittens or adult cats with this approach is the most popular and intrusive method available. Declawing with a Laser: A laser is used to remove the third bone of the cat’s paw, which is known as declawing. Declawing using a laser is typically a bit more expensive than blade declawing, but it causes less blood during surgery and thus causes less discomfort and a quicker recovery period. Cosmetic Declawing: A thin curved blade is used to slice off the claw as well as the small portion of bone to which the claw is attached. Because the soft tissue and paw pad are preserved, and because the procedure is identical to laser declawing, there is less post-surgery discomfort and a speedier recovery period than with blade declawing. When compared to blade declawing, this is a more precise and time-consuming technique to do.
Does declawing a cat affect its personality?
Numerous studies that have looked at the possibility of a link between cat declawing and personality changes have concluded that there is none. You should keep in mind that it can take your cat a while to get used to walking on surgically sensitive paws, and that this could have an impact on his or her personality features and habits throughout the recovery period.
Consequently, it is always crucial to be nurturing and helpful during the healing process in order to aid in the facilitation of a rapid recovery for the patient.
Should declawed cats be allowed to go outside?
Giving your cat the freedom to roam about outside after he or she has been declawed might be risky since declawing a cat removes their capacity to protect themselves. Owners of cats who have their claws removed should be dedicated to keeping their feline companion indoors for the remainder of their feline friend’s life.
Schedule an appointment to discuss options with your veterinarian
We at Metropolitan Veterinary Center have offered knowledge and insight to many concerned and compassionate cat owners in order to assist them determine whether or not declawing a cat is the appropriate option to make. Contact us to book an appointment with a member of our veterinary team as soon as possible if you are considering cat declawing surgery or have any concerns regarding declawing cats.