To Declaw or Not Declaw
Declawing your cat is a highly controversial topic with advocates on both sides holding their position steadfast with little room for compromise. A poll put out by the Associate Press in 2011 states that nearly 60% of pet owners think that declawing your cats is acceptable. Today, we take a look at the pros and cons of declawing here at EntirelyPets.
Benefits of Declawing
Curiosity might not kill your cat- but it can still do some serious damage. Sometimes cats will explore new textures and animals by extending their claw to get a quick touch. Though this habit is harmless enough in most cases- if that claw comes in contact with an eye, it can cause permanent damage and in some cases, require surgery to repair or remove a pierced eyeball.
A less crucial benefit that is more likely to have a definite impact is the salvation of your furniture. Many cats are satisfied with scratching posts but have a momentary lapse where they see a new piece of furniture that they may assume is just for their scratching pleasure. Other cats might have an obedience problem and scratch anything in sight. Rather than put a trouble-scratcher into a shelter, declawing it might be beneficial in the long run.
Most of the controversy is concerning the standard declawing procedure in which a blade makes a straight cut through the bone from which the claws grow. This procedure can indeed be painful and cause discomfort in cats; however, a much more comfortable procedure is possible, known as cosmetic declawing. In cosmetic declawing, rather than cut through the bone, the bone is removed from the paw in its entirety to prevent discomfort. The reason the controversy likely rages on is that the cosmetic procedure is difficult to perform and not available through all veterinarians.
A cat in good health will recover quickly from the surgery and adapt to its trimmed nails quickly, using its toes to replace its nail’s function for balance. The average recovery time for a declawing is between the recovery times for neutering and spaying, making it the second quickest recovery time for a surgical procedure.
Keep Those Claws!
Danger is afoot with no claws on his foot. Cats use claws to defend themselves from potential dangers and other hostile animals. It’s recommended that declawed cats remain indoor cats for their own safety. With cats’ independent nature, it might be best to keep the claws and find an alternative to declawing.
Even with cosmetic declawing, the process of declawing your cat is a major surgery that thusly deserves considerable thought. Each major surgery carries risk and entails a possibility of infection. Declawing your cat might not be the best solution if your cat is already in dubious health.
You can always train your cat to redirect their scratching on something more appropriate like a scratching post, or this awesome cat DJ scratch deck. Cats have an instinct to scratch and often do it to maintain healthy paws and claws. Give them an outlet for their scratching and teach them what is off limits and you should see an improvement in their behavior.
Nail clipping is one way to curb cat scratching and its effects. There are a wide variety of nail clippers out there to give your cat a nice manicure that should reduce their ability to tear apart your couch. There are also tools to help shape your pets nails after you cut them to make sure your cat’s balance isn’t affected.
An alternative to nail clipping and declawing is using plastic caps to prevent scratching while indoors that can be easily removed or replaced. These handy caps can save your furniture while preventing unnecessary discomfort or pain that your cat might experience.
There is a lot to be said about declawing one way or the other- are you for it or against it? Leave your opinions in the comment section!