• Sara Michalowicz

The truth behind declawing your cat

It is often thought that declawing your cats is a harmless “quick fix” to protect from unwanted scratching. Unfortunately, this is not true. Declawing cats is something people do for their own convenience and benefit without realizing what actually happens to their pet. Many people don’t realize that declawing is not only painful, but it can also make a cat less likely to use their litter box or more likely to start biting.

Photo courtesy of ctcatconnection.org

Declawing your cats is serious surgery. A common misunderstanding is that your cat’s claw is similar to the human fingernail. This is not true. Cat’s claws are closely adhered to the bone. So close, in fact, that in order to remove the claw, the last bone of the cat’s claw must also be removed. For a human being, this would be the equivalent to cutting off each finger at the last knuckle. Ouch!

The recovery period of declawing your cat is painful as well. During the time of recuperation, cats still have to use their feet to walk, jump and scratch in their litter box regardless of the pain they are experiencing. These are actions cats must do every single day, no matter how bad it hurts.

“The body of a cat is perfectly designed to give it grace, agility, and beauty that is unique to felines. Its claws are an important part of this design,” said Veterinarian, Dr. Christianne Schelling. Scratching is normal behavior for cats and it is not something cats do with the intention of ruining furniture or hurting someone. Cats scratch to remove the dead husks from their claws, mark their territory, and stretch their muscles.

As you may have already realized, declawing your cat is an unnecessary surgery that provides no medica

l benefit to the cat. The Humane Society of the United States oppo

Photo courtesy of raisinghappykittens.com

Cats can easily be trained to use their claws in a manner that will allow everyone in the house to live together without the issues of scratching or other post-surgery physical problems cats could begin to have. As a cat owner, you can provide stable scratching posts around your home and use toys to attract your cat to use the posts

Declawing should only be reserved for very rare cases in which it is absolutely necessary to the cat’s health, as previously mentioned. Is it really worth it to put your cat through pain just for your own benefit? Before considering declawing your cat, think about the pain your cat will be going through during and after the surgery.

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