One of the issues of cat ownership is whether you should declaw your cat. Many will tell you it's a cruel and unusual punishment. There just might be a reason to declaw a cat, though.
But before you make that choice, here's some information about declawing.
What Is the Procedure Like to Declaw a Cat?
Basically what happens when you declaw a cat is an entire claw is removed, along with a piece of the bone. If you don't remove the bone too, then the claw will try to grow back. There are a few different procedures which are done, but the best way to do it is to remove as little bone as possible when declawing a cat.
Some believe that this procedure is very painful for the cat. There could be complications after, too. Any surgical procedure has the potential of causing complications. If cats are born with claws, then they really should keep them barring some complications or conditions.
Why Would a Cat NEED to Be Declawed?
There are medical reasons to declaw a cat. If the claw is damaged beyond repair, then it will be more beneficial for the cat to have it removed. Also, tumors may create the need for a cat to be declawed. This procedure should be avoided as much as possible, though.
Sometimes a cat owner might have to declaw a cat because it would be dangerous medically for the cat owner to get scratched by a cat. People with suppressed immune systems or people on blood thinners can't be exposed to the bacteria on a cat's claws.
Most of the time, however, people get their cats declawed to prevent them from scratching up the furniture.
What Alternatives Are There to Declawing for a Scratching Cat?
If you are dealing with a cat who likes to scratch before you jump to declawing you should consider other options.
Declawing should be a last resort. To stop a cat from scratching your furniture, you need to train him to scratch on a scratching post, scratching toys instead.
This can be harder to do with an adult cat. However, putting some packing tape on the couch or chair where a cat likes to scratch will deter him from doing it to the furniture and you can redirect him to the scratching post.
Okay, we know packing tape isn't ideal to have on your furniture, but it's better than scratched-up furniture. And once you get the cat consistently using the scratching post you can likely remove the tape.
If your cat is scratching people, then regular trimming of his nails will help with that. However, he might then turn his attention to your furniture, so make sure you have a scratching post on the ready if you're going to start regular trimmings.
If all else fails, declawing a cat is better than trying to rehome a cat. So if you have exhausted every option to redirect the scratching or you have a medical problem which requires you to get your cat declawed, then do it. However, make sure it's done with the least amount of bone being removed.
If you have a declawed cat he must remain an indoor cat. If a cat does not have his claws, then he has lost all defenses against predators outdoors. So if you're not prepared to keep your cat as an indoor cat and you can't keep the cat with claws, then you would be better off rehoming the cat.
Do you believe in cat declawing?