Bringing a pet into your home is a joyful time for any individual or family. Cats are an extremely popular choice of pet and have been shown to offer their owner a range of benefits, including companionship, lower stress levels, better sleep and a reduced risk of developing depression.
If you are relatively new to owning a feline friend, you will undoubtedly have a lot to learn about her care. You may spend a great deal of time online researching exactly what your new, furry family member needs to remain healthy and happy. You may also speak to a local veterinarian or other owners for advice. One suggestion that you may be given is to arrange to get your cat de-clawed as soon as possible.
Declawing is a surgical procedure designed to remove an animal’s claws. Contrary to what many people believe, declawing is way more than just a manicure. In order to properly declaw a cat, the veterinarian must amputate all or part of the end bones, also called distal phalanges, of your feline’s toes. If the same procedure were to be performed on a human, it would basically be the same as cutting off each of your fingers at the last knuckle!
When you take into account exactly what declawing entails, perhaps it is unsurprising to learn that while declawing is a relatively common practise in some parts of the United States, many Californian cities have passed bans on the procedure. It is also illegal in most European countries, including the UK.
There are really only two reasons why veterinarians are requested to declaw cats. The first is that removing a cat’s claws can prevent her from scratching up the furniture, flooring and other household items.
Secondly, vets are asked to declaw cats because their owners are worried about their cat scratching them or other humans that their feline comes into contact with.
When you consider how serious the procedure really is, many people consider these reasons to be inadequate, particularly when it is entirely possible to train your cat not to scratch either people or furniture. Scratching is an instinctive behavior for felines. However, by providing scratching posts and by spending a little time teaching your kitty appropriate and inappropriate behaviour, you can ensure that your cat’ scratching traits are down to a minimum.
Unsurprisingly, the effects of declawing are largely horrendous for your furbaby.
The procedure itself may be performed using anesthetic, but post-operative pain is pretty much guaranteed, and it can take your cat’s paws several weeks to heal. Declawing also changes the shape of her paws, and this means that the way in which her paw meets the ground can also become uncomfortable, with many vets likening it to wearing a pair of shoes that are a size too small.
Although declawing is supposed to be permanent, there is always a small risk of regrowth – an agonizingly painful process for your pet.
Most owners don’t realize that it will be necessary for them to replace their kitty’s usual litter box litter with shredded paper while her paws heal. This is so the litter doesn’t irritate the wounds and cause infection. However, this change in their routine often upsets cats and you may find she avoids using the litter box altogether.
Mother nature designed cats to have claws. Unfortunately, removing them can inhibit her natural instincts and she may feel vulnerable without her first line of defence. She may even become aggressive to compensate for her lack of claws.
Cats are also known for being extremely agile, but this is largely due to their claws. By declawing her, you may affect her ability to walk, climb and even balance.
Cats that have been declawed have been known as being more likely to develop arthritis in the joints of their feet and hands. This is because the attachments of the tendon have already been cut and must be realigned.
Arthritis can be extremely painful and debilitating for your cat, and treatment can be prolonged and expensive.
We firmly believe that declawing your cat is an unnecessary and ethically questionable practise. If you are concerned about your cat’s claws and her behaviours, our experienced team would be delighted to work with you to address these problems in a non-surgical way. Please contact our offices for more-information.