• Why You Should NOT Declaw Your Cat!

    Posted on January 31st, 2014
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    Declawing your cat is not the answer!

    If you are thinking of declawing a cat, or a veterinarian suggests declawing at the same time as neutering, before you make a decision for non-reversible surgery, please consider these reasons NOT to declaw.

    Your cat will live his remaining years with the result of your decision, one way or another.

    First it is important to know scratching is normal. Cats scratch for several reasons. First, it feels good. It also “files” their nails and helps make room for newer growth.

    Declawing can trigger behavioral problems. Although veterinary research has not turned up evidence that declawing alters a cat’s personality, the simple mechanical changes the procedure brings can eventually result in behavioral changes. Declawed cats may be more likely to bite, for example, since their first line of defense is gone.

    Declawing your cat rids him of his chief weapon of defense. A typical counter-argument is, “My cat is indoors-only.” Even indoor cats sometimes manage to escape. A declawed cat does not stand a chance against a large dog, a bigger cat, or a predator. Although he still has teeth, by the time he gets in close enough to bite, it may be too late.

    A declawed cat will lead to other problems such as resistance to using the sandbox. Declawed cats often associate the pain when digging in litter with the litter box itself, and will avoid it, choosing softer carpeting instead.

    When cats lose their ability to give a quick warning scratch, they will often resort to their second line of defense: a good, hard bite. The cat’s owner may sometimes find himself the victim, just when he thinks his cat is enjoying a petting session.

    Cats need the exercise that their claws and toes provide. Watch a cat stretch, whether horizontally on a carpet or vertically with a tall scratching post. He will grab the carpet or sisal with his claws, using the resistance to pull and stretch his muscles. Cats’ claws actually play a large and positive role in their amazing muscle tone and agility.

    Instead of declawing your cat, consider other options. Trimming your cat’s claws frequently and buying a scratching post to sub in for that treasured armchair (sprinkling catnip on it may help get him interested).

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