Sharp Thinking About Cat Declawing

Just over two months ago, my family and I adopted two kittens from the Toronto Cat Rescue. Not until we adopted these beautiful, sibling kittens did I research and uncover the affects and impact of cat declawing – and I also discovered some alternatives to the procedure.

The Process of Cat Declawing

I am a cat-lover, and have always had cats. And in the past I have always had them declawed – to preserve my furniture’s upholstery, and my skin - and because it was just, I had always thought, a common, logical practise if they were solely indoor cats, something that was always done when the age arrived and cats were to be neutered or spayed – and the cat declawing was done simultaneously.

As a pre-requisite to the cat adoption, I was interviewed by a volunteer representative from Toronto Cat Rescue, who asked me to navigate an excellent web resource centered on the procedure and cons of cat declawing.

Cat declawing is an often costly, surgical procedure done by extracting the cat’s claws, which are in fact, part of the bone of a cat’s paw. The surgery involves the use of anaesthetic, post-surgery medication and recovery. The cat’s paws are bandaged and can remain tender and sore for a time following. Afterward, there is need to watch for paw infection, and there is the possibility of other painful, irreparable complications. 

Alternatives to Cat Declawing presents alternatives to cat declawing. First, a scratching post is a must for any cat owner – and an excellent alternative to cat declawing. Scratching posts are either straight or angled, and covered with varied and textured materials to help naturally dull a cat’s claws. And while entertaining for felines, scratching posts promote regular exercise. And there are also sturdy carpet fibre covered climbers, which incorporate the scratching post and staggered perches.

Clipping your cat’s claws is an art, although it is easy to grasp - and another excellent alternative to cat declawing. During a recent veterinary visit, I asked to be shown how to properly groom a cat’s claws. It is quite simple to do, and can be done with regular nail clippers. Pressing your fingers gently upon the cat’s paw will extract the claw, and then you will easily see where the claw needs clipping, and how far down to clip. Our veterinarian recommended that claw clipping be done about once a month. And I was assured that the cat will become comfortable with this grooming detail, as it is done more often.

A third alternative to cat declawing uses covers for the cat’s paws. These ‘paw protectors’ are put on, and then replaced regularly, by a veterinarian.

The website also offers useful information on potential feline behaviour changes following cat declawing, further details on claw clipping and cat declawing alternatives, and specific, step-by-step information and illustrations concerning the cat declawing procedure.



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