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Articles and Advice from our Pet Expert

What are your thoughts on declawing a cat?

CatClawsDeclawing is a very controversial topic. I think it’s important to first understand the actual procedure, recovery period, and what behavioral issues could possibly emerge for your cat post surgery.

Did you know that declawing is an American thing? People do it for their own convenience to protect furniture, draperies, etc., without realizing what actually happens to their cat. In England declawing is termed "inhumane" and "unnecessary mutilation." In many European countries it is illegal.

Personally, I would not declaw my cat. However, if you are faced with declawing your cat in order to keep him/her versus giving him/her to an animal shelter because you are unable to tolerate or cope with the clawing behavior, then I would say declawing is better than your cat becoming homeless. There are already thousands and thousands of cats and kittens waiting to be adopted.

Veterinarian, Christianne Schelling suggests that before you make the decision to declaw your cat, you should know these important facts. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your cat's claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's "toes." It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing. Wheelchairs and bedpans are not an option for a cat.

Many veterinarians use laser surgery to perform declaws. If you must declaw your cat, I suggest you go to a veterinarian who uses the laser, as it offers a few benefits to your cat in terms of healing time and pain.

Your kitty is better off if you can work on behavior modification to get them to claw on acceptable surfaces.

Kristen Buck60x60

Written by:
Kristen Levine, Pet Lifestyle Expert

September 11, 2009

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