If you’re a cat lover then you may have had to focus on this issue before. Is it safe to declaw cats?
The reason that some owners declaw their cats has more to do with how their concern about their home and fear of having to replace furniture. This procedure is major surgery. It’s important for you to get as much information as possible even beyond this blog post before you decide to declaw her.
A Behavioral Problem
Cats like to scratch things and the deeper they can go, the better. It’s a primal reaction and it also helps them shed excess claw tissue. If they are indoor cats and don’t have a convenient tree to place their claws into, they will usually find your favorite piece of furniture. But the issue about scratching furniture is really more behavioral and not necessarily a medical one. That’s why cat scratching posts were invented and they often have a covering of carpet that lends itself to a good deep scratch.
Good news? The cat can be trained to stay off your furniture, drapes and carpet without resorting to this surgery. Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM says that research has shown that declawing does not make your cat a better pet and, in fact, 30% of declawed felines develop other behavioral issues like no longer using the litter box properly.
What Is It?
Dr. Hofve states that declawing is actually amputating the front toes at the first joint of your cat’s feet. Cats are put under general anesthesia for this procedure. Declawing is actually considered inhumane and deemed illegal in lots of countries around the world. This type of procedure is really only common in the U.S. and Canada.
What are you going to do if you have a cat, who you have adopted from rescue agency and has a clawing problem? One alternative is a nail cap called Soft Claws. These are vinyl caps that are put over your cat’s nails which can be effective as you try to retrain your feline to not scratch your furniture or other items in your home. It’s certainly something to look into if you choose not to retrain your cat but also feel that declawing is inhumane.
So let’s answer the question from the headline: Is declawing safe or stupid? Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who feel that declawing is perfectly safe and many veterinarians recommend it as a matter of course.It will, ultimately, be up to you as your cat’s owner as to whether you want to put her through a surgical procedure and some pain later on. If you decide to declaw, consider leaving her back nails on. If she is an indoor/outdoor cat or if she gets outside by mistake, she will still have her back claws to help her climb a tree and get away from something that is chasing her.
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