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August 14, 2019

How Declawing Can Negatively Impact Your Cat’s Health

How Declawing Can Negatively Impact Your Cat's Health

The Biggest Debate in the Cat Community

One of the biggest debates in the cat community is whether or not a cat should be declawed. The biggest argument for declawing a cat is to prevent scratching and ruining furniture.

But what if you found out that declawing your cat could negatively impact it’s health? Suddenly, the damaged furniture might not sound like such a big deal anymore, especially when considering there are alternative methods to stopping your cat from scratching everything is sight. 

Let’s start with the basics:

What is Declawing?

More often than not, people are led to believe that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat’s nails, something like the equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed. Unfortunately, this is not the truth. 

Declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. Look at it this way: If performed on a human, that would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.

How is a Cat Declawed?

According to the Humane Society, 

“The standard method of declawing is amputating with a scalpel or guillotine clipper. The wounds are closed with stitches or surgical glue, and the feet are bandaged.

Another method is laser surgery, in which a small, intense beam of light cuts through tissue by heating and vaporizing it. However, it’s still the amputation of the last toe bone of the cat and carries with it the same long-term risks of lameness and behavioral problems as does declawing with scalpels or clippers.

A Few Negative Affects of Declawing

1. Pain in the paw
2. Risk of Infection
3. Tissue necrosis (tissue death)
4. Lameness and back pain.

Removing claws changes the way a cat’s foot touches the ground and this can cause pain that is similar to wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes 24/7. There is also the risk of regrowth of improperly removed claws, nerve damage, and bone spurs.

For a few days post surgery, people typically use shredded newspaper in the litter box to prevent litter from irritating declawed feet. This unfamiliar substitute, accompanied by pain when scratching in the box, can potentially lead cats to stop using the litter box and relieving themselves all over the house instead. Also, note that some cats may become biters because they no longer have their claws for defense.

Some Tips To Help Prevent Unwanted Scratching in your Home

1. Keep their claws trimmed to minimize damage to household items.

2. Provide stable scratching posts, boards, and ramps around your home. Offer different materials like carpet, sisal, wood, and cardboard, as well as different styles (vertical and horizontal). Use CatNip to entice your cat to scratch these surfaces.

3. Ask your veterinarian about soft plastic caps that are glued to the cat’s nails. They need to be replaced about every six weeks.

4. Attach a special tape to furniture to deter your cat from unwanted scratching.

Thank you for taking the time to read this

We hope you found this article helpful in providing the best life possible for your cat. What do you think of declawing? Let us know if the comments below.

 

 

 

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