What Can I Do Instead Of Declawing My Cat
Nail caps or claw covers, such as Soft Paws, can be a great and immediate way to protect your surfaces while youre working with your cat to redirect any undesirable scratching behavior. The nail caps can be applied by you, your veterinarian, or a cat groomer, just place adhesive inside the nail cap and slide it on.
Let Us Get To The Core Of The Debate
I have had my pets declawed before.; When I heard that declawing takes a digit down to the first knuckle, I was horrified!; That cannot be true!; I saw for myself that the claw was gone with just a stitch or two at the end of the digit.; Was I wrong?
If you want my answer to the question, why should I declaw my cat, watch this video
You can see it is true, it is a horrible procedure that none of us would EVER want to go through so why would we consider it for our animals.; However, at the same time, what can we do to keep our cats from turning out couches inside out, our screens into ribbons or rugs into cotton balls?
Every Surgery Carries A Risk
When the kitty is under surgery, theyre put under anesthesia. Even if it hardly happens , some cats never wake up after being put to sleep for the surgery. Anesthesia should only be used when its necessary for the cats health. Declawing kitties is an unnecessary procedure that brings a risk of not only a;bad reaction to the anesthetic agent but also other health issues Ill bring up.
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Give Your Cat Lots Of Tlc
Ramifications Of Cat Declawing
The biggest consequence of cat declawing is chronic pain. Cats are very good at hiding signs of pain and discomfort, so they can be uncomfortable for many years without you knowing, Dr. Richardson explains. Its important to monitor mobility for changes in gait or obvious signs of discomfort, as declawed cats may be more prone to degenerative joint disease and arthritis as they age, due to the change in the way they must bear weight on the paws after this procedure.
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Young Cats Deal Best With Declawing
The best candidates for declaw surgery are young cats. Younger animals tend to heal better and typically weigh less than older cats which means less stress will be put on the paws after surgery. A young cat can be declawed at the same time he/ she is neutered/ spayed, thus sparing the cat from going through a second anesthetic event.
Is Declawing Cats Illegal
Declawing a cat used to be considered an effective way to deter destructive scratching in cats. However, times are changing, and a movement to ban the declawing of cats has emerged.
This movement to make the practice of declawing cats illegal has grown in recent years, and the result has been an increase in anti-declawing legislation in many levels of government.
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Why Spay/neuter Is So Important For Cats
While there might be some differing opinions about the proper age to spay or neuter your cat, theres no disputing that its one of the most responsible things a pet owner can do, not only for the life of a pet, but also to reduce pet overpopulation. Too often, we view spaying and neutering through our own eyes, and how it might affect us, and assume that our pets would look at it the same way. As Coates puts it, physiologically and behaviorally speaking, cats are made to reproduce as frequently as possible. Obviously, we have to put a stop to that. I think it is more humane to surgically eliminate the desire to mate than to block mating but leave the urge intact.
Of course no medical or surgical procedure is without risk, she adds. For instance, neutered male cats are at higher risk for developing urinary blockages, and cats who have been spayed or neutered do have a tendency to gain weight if their diets arent adjusted accordingly. Owners should always talk to their own veterinarian about what is best for their particular pet, but the benefits of spay/neuter almost always outweigh the risks.
It is our responsibility to take care of our pets to the best of our ability, Denish says. They live in our world, our homes and interact with our family and other pets. That means that if spaying/neutering is beneficial, it should be done at any safe time.
Pros Of Declawing Cats
While declawing is technically a mutilation, the onychectomy procedure has many supporters. The main concern people against the practice is that it appears to benefit human guardians, but has little to no medical benefit to the cat itself. There are some instances where declawing might benefit a cat physically, but this is only if they have a pre-existing condition. Here are the potential benefits of declawing a cat:
- Protection of property: since even singular instances of a cat scratching furnishings can cause serious damage, declawing a cat protects property.
- Improves bond between cat and owner: since the destruction of property can cause resentment, declawing is seen by many as a way to help cats and their owner get along. Some reports have suggested a perceived improvement of the relationship after onychectomy.
- Stops scratches: a cat may scratch at you for various reasons, often problems during socialization or other sources of aggression. Declawing a cat means the cat still try to take a swipe at you, but will inflect no damage. This can be particularly beneficial to elderly and younger people who might incur more physical damage than others.
- Prevents abandonment and euthanasia: scratching can become such a problem for cat owners that it leads to their abandonment in cat shelters. This is often because their aggression is making co-existence seem untenable. The result is often euthanasia as there are not enough sufficient resources to care for all of these cats.
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Provide Alternatives To Declawing For Your Kitten
The single greatest thing you can do to avoid cat scratching damage to your home is to provide appropriate scratching posts. Some care must be taken to choosing the best scratching post, one that meets the needs that cats have for scratching. Some attributes of a good cat scratching post include:
- Appropriate height. Your kitten isn’t very tall when she stretches up to her full height right now, but she’s going to grow. And she’s still going to want to stretch up vertically to her full length against a scratching post. You must choose one that is tall enough to accommodate this activity.
- Maximum sturdiness. Your kitten also doesn’t weigh very much right now, but when she’s finished growing, she will need to be able to throw her weight into a cat scratching post without experiencing any wobbliness. If a post shows signs of toppling over, a cat won’t use it.
- Cat-satisfying material. Many cat scratching posts are covered in carpet or soft materials. These are not ideal for scratching. Cats want rough surfaces to scratch, materials that mimic tree bark because trees are the most common scratching posts outdoors. The best materials for cat scratching besides bark are sisal material and heavy-duty corrugated cardboard.
Playing with your kitten on and around the scratching post is a great way to get her interested in it. You can:
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What Should I Know About The Recovery Process
The recovery process is usually between 2-6 weeks after the operation.
Paws are bandaged up for 24hrs immediately following the operation. Carefully monitoring their recovery during this time, we provide them with sedative or pain medicine if they are in distress or experiencing large levels of pain. The following day, after the dressing is removed, your cat is kept for a specific period of time while they recover and adjust. This is to allow us to track their recovery and ensure they get the proper type of rest needed so they can get back to bouncing on all four paws as soon as possible. During their recovery process, it is recommended to use shredded paper over kitty litter due to the sensitivity of their paws.
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This Is Personal For Me
My cats are family.; They are loving, affectionate members of my family and they bring me lots of joy.; Maybe you are like me.; Maybe you have more pictures on your phone of your feline family than you do of your kids.
We all understand how hard it is when you are at that point and you ask yourself the question, should I declaw my indoor cat or why should I declaw my cat.; At Love Our Cats, we are not here to judge or to tell you what to do about your fluff ball or what not to do with your fluff ball.; We want to give you information, share stories, get YOUR opinions and be a place for cat health information.
When Should I Not Declaw My Cat
If your cat is primarily an outdoor cat, we do not recommend declawing your cat. Claws are a cats natural defense. Without claws, their safety is put at risk if they come across aggressive cats, dogs, or other wildlife while outdoors. Generally, once a cat is declawed, they become house cats.
If your cat is older, we do not recommend declawing your cat. The experience can be traumatic and painful for your pet at an older age, which is why declawing is recommended when they are still kittens.
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Pros Of Declawing A Kitten
The pros of declawing a kitten are pretty straight forward. If your cat is a scratcher, declawing them will help keep those in your household safe from scratches. It can also help protect your other pets and animals in your neighborhood. Additionally, declawing a kitten can help save your furniture if your cat is ruining it by scratching them.;
What Cat Litter Should You Use For Declawed Cats
Why do declawed cats pee outside the litter box? As your cats paws are more sensitive than a non-declawed cats, every step can be painful at times. Because of this, gritty cat litter can make your cats feet feel like theyre stepping on glass. This is why so many declawed cats stop using the litter box, it hurts! Thankfully, if your cat isnt reacting well to standard cat litter, there are softer cat litters for declawed cats so they can comfortable use the litter box. Here are a few of the most popular soft cat litters for declawed cats.
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Has Declawing Been Banned Anywhere In The Us
New York is the only U.S. state to ban the practice of declawing. However, there are cities and towns throughout the country that have passed legislation;banning declaw surgery. There have been several attempts to pass anti-declawing legislation in various states throughout the U.S.
Nearly every state has had petitions and movements started by its citizens to get legislators to develop anti-declaw legislation. Some state lawmakers have introduced bills to ban declawing, but none have passed and been made into law.
What Does Declawing Do To Cats
Removing that joint from a cat cause your cats discomfort and pain, and that can lead to other medical issues in the future, such as arthritis.
In addition to physical problems, declawing can cause behavioral problems in many cats. According to Popular Science, in a study of 274 cats of different ages where half had been declawed, declawed cats were seven times more likely to pee outside the litter box, and four times more likely to bite.
These defiant and aggressive actions arent shocking when you think about it. If a cats in pain, its understandable its going to act out. Im sure weve all gotten grumpy when weve felt sick or in pain, declawed cats sometimes feel this pain constantly.
Sadly, many owners chalk up these behavioral issues as having a bad cat, not realizing that their cat is in pain, and end up rehoming the cat or putting it in a shelter. That may be how you got your cat if you adopted it declawed from a shelter. While you cant heal your cats feet, you do have some options to make your cat happier.
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Understanding The Procedure For Declawing Cats
As veterinary care providers we are here to help provide you with accurate and unbiased information about declawing cats in order for you to make an informed, educated decision on behalf of your furry feline friend.
- Blade Declawing: An instrument with a sliding blade cuts a straight line through the joint between the entire claw growth and the rest of the cat’s paw. This is the most common method of declawing kittens or adult cats, and is the most invasive.
What To Do About Your Cats Scratching Habit
Before resorting to declawing your cat, use these tips for calming their habit instead:
1. Trim your cats claws regularly. If youve tried to do it yourself and found your cat too uncooperative, your vet should be happy to cut them for you.
2. Get scratching posts for your cat and place them in the spots they frequent in your home.
3. Verbally or physically reward your cat when they use their scratching post by giving them affection or a treat.
4. Discourage inappropriate scratching by covering or removing the items they scratch for a temporary period of time, until their habit lessens.
5.Use a firm no or a startling clap when you notice your cat scratching where they arent supposed to. Using a squirt bottle can also be a harmless way to keep them from continuing certain behaviors.
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Alternatives To Getting A Cat Declawed
If your cat has a scratching problem, but you dont want to get it declawed, you have other options. Our favorite is the . You can just glue them onto your kittens nails and they solve the problem. You can also frequently cut your kittens nails so that they never get too long. Another option is to get your cat a toy that they can scratch, such as a scratching board. This will deter them from scratching humans, and it will also help wear down the cats nails.;
How Is A Cat Declawed
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.
If performed on a human being,;declawing would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.
A third procedure is the tendonectomy, in which the tendon that controls the claw in each toe is severed.;The cat keeps their claws, but can’t control them or extend them to scratch.;This procedure is associated with a high incidence of abnormally thick claw growth. Therefore, more frequent and challenging nail trims are required to prevent the cat’s claws from snagging on people, carpet, furniture, and drapes, or from growing into the cat’s paw pads.
Because of complications, a cat who has been given a tendonectomy may require declawing later. Although a tendonectomy is not actually amputation, a 1998 study published in the “Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association” found the incidence of bleeding, lameness, and infection was similar between tendonectomy and declawing.
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Supplements For Declawed Cats
There are a number of supplements you can give a declawed cat to keep them from experiencing too much pain and discomfort from progressive arthritis or joint issues. The longer your cat has been declawed, the most damage has been done, but it wont hurt to try some of these anyway. Always check with your vet before adding supplements to your cats diet, especially if theyre on other medications.
Fish oils are rich in omega 3, which in laboratory studies have been shown to relieve pain from rheumatoid arthritis and morning joint stiffness. Declawed cats often suffer the same kind of pain, so adding in fish oil or omega 3 can help lessen these painful symptoms in your cat.