Not Being Able To Claw Brings Stress
Clawing is a natural and intuitive cats behavior. When the cat is unable to scratch, they become stressed and anxious.
Remember how nice it feels to scratch your nose when it tickles? What a relief! Thankfully, your nails and fingertips are always ready to scratch your nose. For cats, scratching is something as intuitive as scratching our nose is to us. I would hate not being able to scratch my nose when needed. I neither want to deny my cats the ability to scratch their claws when they have the need.
Why Do Cats Scratch My Furniture
Cats are not being evil or spiteful when they scratch your furniture. Cats have a basic instinct to scratch in order to leave a visual and scent marker that they were there. Cat graffiti! Naturally they want this work of art to be seen, so they usually leave their mark on high traffic areas. This is usually why the arm of your couch or speaker ends up being the target.
Five Reasons Why You Should Never Declaw Your Cat
Your cats claws serve many purposes. And when their claws are taken from them, they can suffer in many ways. A few states in the US have banned declawing, but there are many states where this practice is still legal. Some people argue that more cats will be euthanized if declawing is not permitted. But, obviously it goes without saying that unwanted litters is the number one reason why cats are euthanized each year. I personally feel that you should never declaw your cat, and I know that I am not alone when I say this. If you know the truth about declawing, the damage it can do to your cats mental state should be reason enough never to do it. To say that declawing is cruel is putting it lightly.
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Why People Declaw Cats
It is often done to protect furniture and other household items from excessive scratching, but it can also be used as a form of behavioral training for some people who dont have time to train their cats not to scratch things they shouldnt.
Many animals are kept indoors exclusively in todays world, meaning they dont have opportunities to wear down their nails by running on rough surfaces outside.
It can lead to overgrown claws and painful conditions called lamellar dysplasia where bones inside the cats paw eventually enlarge, which causes pain with every step taken.
Cons Of Declawing Cats
It is fair to say that the advantages of declawing cats seem to directly affect the cat guardians and not the cats themselves. There is no medical benefit for the cat unless it is used as treatment for a specific physical problem. The possible problems, however, can be detrimental to the cat’s well-being. They include:
- Painful procedure: the removal of the distal phalanx is a procedure which requires incision of the tendons and nerves around it. This is very painful and management of this pain is required before, during and after surgery. General anaesthetics might be used, depending on how many fingers are going to be declawed. As cats are often very good at tolerating pain, it can be difficult to know just how uncomfortable they feel. Analgesics need to be administered at least 24 hours after surgery, but veterinarians are conflicted over both how well they work and even what drugs should be administered. A 2016 systematic review found that no clearly superior analgesic treatment was identified. Most cats seem to have a great reduction in pain after two days, but many still show pain symptoms long afterwards.
- Surgical complications: any surgical procedure comes with risk. For an onychectomy, this might include hemorrhaging, reopening of the wound, infection or temporary paralysis.
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What About Laser Declawing
Laser declawing is a modern improvement to the traditional declaw where amputation is done with a laser instead of a scalpel or clipper. However, there are some pros and cons so make sure to do your research.
Before you opt for any method of clawing or scratching prevention, consider your home and your individual cat:
In some cases, a cat may be so docile and friendly that it doesnât need their claws trimmed at all, or they may allow you to clip the claws with no struggle, making it a win-win.
If a cat shares a home with larger or more aggressive animals, it may need the claws for protection, making them a good candidate for the scratching post option.
If your cat is prone to scratching people, pets, or furniture, getting your catâs nails clipped or covered regularly may be necessary.
Cats do the most damage with their front claws, and in some cases wonât bother other living things or furniture with their back claws at all, which means the back claws can be ignored altogether.
Most vets seem to agree that any cat that spends time outdoors should not have their claws capped or clipped to retain this important defensive mechanism.
The Kitty Cant Defend Themselves
Cats nails are their primary defense mechanism. Without them, the feline is constantly scared, frustrated, and anxious because they have no way to defend from the threats. They use teeth for protection instead. Its not uncommon for a declawed cat to become a biter.
If your declawed indoor kitty ever escapes from the house and gets into a fight with other cats, she wouldnt stand a chance. Other cats with full on claw equipment would hurt your precious kitty and she could not do a thing.
Still not convinced? See the Paw Project movie about the bad sides of declawing. I didnt see it myself because its quite graphic as I heard, but it gets the message out.
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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.
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Pro: Most Normal Function Remains Unchanged
Taking away a cats claws limits their ability to defend themselves and may impair their ability to pick things up with their paws. Beyond that, however, they should be able to function normally.
This includes being able to walk, run, and climb, so you may not notice much of a difference in your cats ability to move after the procedure heals.
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It Leaves Them Defenseless
Cats use their claws to defend themselves against predators. Taking away their claws leaves them without any method to protect themselves. Imagine if your kitten got outdoors and couldn’t defend herself! It can also lead to bullying from other household pets who are bigger than them.
Cats who are declawed have also been known to use biting as a way to ward off threats which can lead to both strangers, owners and the cats getting injured. The back claws, if they remain, are an ineffective form of defense because they require the cats to lie on their back, leaving themselves vulnerable.
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.
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Should You Declaw A Cat
The destruction of property and personal injuries created by scratching are problematic. While we might not like the idea of mutilating a cat, the outcome of declawing is very desirable to those who have had to put up with aggressive behavior and property damage. Alan M. Beck from the Center of the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University makes the argument that declawing saves lives. His claim is that there are too many cats being brought to animal shelters due to behavioral problems. His also claims his research conducted with colleagues shows that declawed cats stay in homes for longer as less people give them away to shelters.
There is truth to Beck’s argument, but only because of the limitations of cat guardians. There are many ways to deal with a cat’s scratching problems. These deal with the reasons why a cat is scratching destructively in the first place. This means addressing emotional, behavioral and environmental issues which might be leading to the negative behavior. It also involves some practical techniques you can use to get your cat to scratch in a less destructive way. Our article on how to prevent your cat from scratching everything can help you do this.
Your Best Resource For Cat Health & Wellness
If your cat has an excessive scratching habit, having them declawed isnt on the list of healthy and safe options. Having your cat seen by a veterinarian can be the key to determining the reason for scratching and finding the best solution for you and your cat. At Catonsville Cat Clinic, our veterinary specialists have many years of professional experience in caring for cats both young and old, and can help you find the right way to lessen your cats bad habits while keeping them happy and healthy.
Contact us today to learn more or schedule a visit.
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Is Declawing A Cruel Form Of Animal Torture
Declawing is a procedure in which an animals claws are removed. Most cats, dogs, and other mammals are to protect the animal from injury or damage.
Declawing causes trauma to cats since they experience pain while undergoing this procedure. Declawing also causes stress and pain for the cat since their natural instinct is to scratch to maintain their territory.
Some people believe that declawing should be done because it prevents them from scratching furniture or other items that they might damage while scratching at their litter box.
However, some people oppose declawing because it can cause problems with urinating and the possibility of infection morbidity and mortality morbidity and mortality risks.
The Pros Of Declawing Cats
Here are the primary benefits to declawing cats:
1. A veterinarian firmly asserts that declawing cats may even save lives. This is also justifiable when the cat is not trained in using its claws in a proper manner. This is beneficial in modifying the behavior of cats.
2. Medically, there is a need for the claw to be removed when it is damaged or when it has its tumor. Other peoples immune systems may not be likely exposed on bacteria that are found in the cats claws.
3. Declawing cats is beneficial to stop them from tearing up the furniture and becoming more destructive. The purpose is more on saving the furniture and protecting the sides of the couch. The positive point is to be one hundred percent sure that the couches are free from scratches.
4. Without the front claws, the cat has only little threat to the children or other pets inside the house. They can no longer scratch and lash out anyone when they are out of fear or anger or during playtime.
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Why Is Declawing So Controversial
Many experts say studies suggest that declawed cats are more likely to have health problems, such as back pain, or behavioural problems, such as aggression.
“Some studies suggest cats who have been declawed have a higher percentage of cortisol , which is often associated with pain,” says Steve Dale, an animal behaviour consultant and pet journalist in Chicago.
Meanwhile, a study that scanned declawed cat paws found that “very few people actually do it properly – the procedure tends to leave bone fragments,” says Prof Gunn-Moore, adding that this could leave cats stepping on tiny fragments of bone when they walk.
Dr Endersby says that cats can continue to feel pain after the declawing procedure. “Part of its weight is borne on its toes – so after the declawing process their gait changes as they put their weight through their paws.”
However, Dr Drew Weigner, a vet in Atlanta who works on a foundation that funds feline medical research, cautions that “behavioural studies are notoriously difficult to accomplish successfully”.
Many vets, he argues, simply consider the procedure unethical now because it’s an unnecessary procedure.
Shakes-purr-rean cat at Stratford-upon-Avon cafe
The Truth About Declawing
Will Declawing my Cat Reduce Damage to Household Items?
The Wisconsin Humane Society works hard to save cats. We provide extensive medical services and socialization for cats that are abandoned and we love every one of them for their beauty and unique personalities. The last thing that we want is for anything bad to happen to any cat. That is the reason that we actively educate people about the perils of declawing their cat. And, were confident that if people take our message to heart and follow some easy instructions on safeguarding their furniture, they will not need to have their cat declawed.
Many people assume that having their cat declawed is a routine and necessary activity. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is easy to train a cat to use a good scratching post and WHS has cat and guardian approved scratching posts available for sale. The post should be at least 30 tall, mounted in a stable base and covered with sisal rope.
Here are some more eye-opening facts and opinions about declawing:
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Does Declawing Kill A Cat
Some people believe that declawing is cruel because it deprives animals of their claws, which are an important part of their natural behavior.
On the other hand, some people argue that declawing is necessary so that cats dont get in trouble with their claws and harm their family members.
The truth is that declawing does not kill a cat instantly, but instead can take up to two weeks for the pain to stop completely.
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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What You Can Do Instead
- Trim your cats nails regularly. When the cat is relaxed and unafraid, gently press on his or her toes until the claws extend. Use a pair of nail clippers, and cut only the tip of the nail, taking care not to damage the vein, or quick. The nail hook is what tears upholstery, so removing it virtually eliminates the potential for damage.
- Buy multiple scratching posts. Ideally, you should have two or more scratching posts in your home. Make sure that theyre sturdy and tall enough to allow your cat to stretch . Soft, fluffy carpeted posts wont fulfill your cats clawing needs, so look for rougher posts.
- Teach your cat where to scratch and where not to scratch. Encourage your cat to use the scratching posts by sprinkling catnip on the posts once a week. Discourage your cat from scratching furniture by using a loud, firm voice whenever he or she starts to scratchcats dont like loud noises! Never use physical force. Instead, you might try using a squirt gun full of lukewarm water directed at your cats back.
Is It Cruel To Declaw A Cat
Many people think declawing cat is cruel because it involves cutting off their cats claws which is back passageogous to humans losing their fingernails this is true for some cats but most of the time, owners who have had their carpets scratched or furniture ruined find having them done more humane than constantly dealing with these problems!
The word declawing can give people the wrong idea. In fact, its more like getting their nails trimmed! A common misconception is that this process is as bad as removing claws entirely from an animal and may lead to increased aggression in pets.
But with careful instruction on how to properly execute this simple procedure, youll find your cat will be just fine even if she has her paws done every month or two for quick maintenance!
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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.