Declawing a cat: all you wanted to know
Declawing cats, possibly one of the most discussed topics in the cat blogs all around the internet! Is declawing cats wise? Is it safe? There are way too many questions, and someone had to answer those. Therefore, we decided to create one big article that will cover anything and everything related to declawing cats.
In case if you don’t know what Declawing Cats is, Wikipedia says that it is an operation that you perform to take out the end phalanges (Shout out to all Friends Fans) of animal’s toes. Let’s not go that far! We all know that declawing cats simply mean that taking care of their extra part of nails so that we don’t get scratches.
If you are living in North America, Declawing might have been a very common task that you perform or ask your vet to show you. In many parts of the world though, declawing is seen as a harmful activity. Declawing itself is not bad, to be honest. But you have to make sure that you are not cruel about it. There are certain things that you can do, and there are certain things that you should never do when you are declawing your cat.
Are declawed cats happier?
We will look at everything in this article.
Declawing a cat: what is this
Before we go ahead and talk more about declawing, you should know that it is risky! Some people think declawing cats is as easy as going for a manicure, but it is nothing like that. You can’t just declaw your cat like the way you cut your nails. If you are confident that you are going to declaw your cat, make sure that you take it as a surgery and not as a regular thing to do.
When you are declawing your cat, you are simply taking a dead part of the nail out of your cat’s paw. To do this, you have to be very careful because a major part of soft bones is attached to the dead part. It is not like us humans, where you can easily differentiate the dead part of nails from the painful parts. In paws, it is tough to address, and if you have a furry cat, it becomes even more difficult.
Does declawing a cat hurt?
Yes, it is!
Cat parents do not realize that declawing cats is one of the most painful experience for them. Even if you do it the exact right way, your cat will still feel pain for at least a week before the nails grow again. It is tough, and thus, you will see cats jumping around in pain after declawing is done.
You will hear arguments that if it is done right without touching sensitive bones, it is not painful but do not believe that. Yes, probably one percent of vets around the world can make it painless for your cats but it is still a high-risk operation, and there is no point in taking the risk if you love your cat enough.
The anatomy of declawing a cat
So, what should you do?
You see, claws or nails are your cat’s defense system. They need it to feel safe, and it is their natural habit to scratch around with their beautiful nails. We have heard reports of cats changing their behaviors after they were clawed. Though the vet community does not buy this idea, we still think you should not go for declawing your cat.
If you really have to take care of your cat’s scratching needs, one good idea is to go for a cat scratching post. We did a whole article on that topic so it should not be tough to find the desired scratching post for your cat. Your cat might still want to scratch those sofa and bed covers, but the tendency will be much lower.
Should I declaw my cat? Probably no
By now you already understood that declawing is not one of the greatest things to do! Let’s go deep! What are the negative effects of declawing your cat? There are a few of them, and each is dangerous enough individually!
Obviously, the pain is there to worry about. Declawing is a painful experience for your cat, and you do not want your cat to go through this. There can be discussions on the level of pain, but there is no confusion with the thought that this is a painful process.
The second point to worry about is the infection. Paw is a very delicate place, and your cats walk everywhere with their paws. At one time your cat can be on sand, and next moment, you will find it on top of your toilet cover.
Infections can easily come from any of these locations. There are germs everywhere so you should not take chances.
The next effect is nerve damage. Every paw (even human feet) has nerves that are directly connected to the brains. You do not want to mess with the nerves. The effect of nerve damage can be long term, and it can even result in brain diseases for your cat.
Apart from these major negative effects, there are those weird ones too.
For example, you know that cats like to scratch and hide their ‘things’ after using a litter box. As your cat will have pain in scratching now, it might stop using litter boxes.
Do you want that?
We don’t think you do!
2 Alternatives to declawing
Think about it. We are talking about declawing here. So the main issue is cat nails.
1. But you can actually trim them! Check our guide with the best cat nail clippers on the net.
2. The other option that we see is going for cat nail caps. These are plastic made soft caps that will keep your cat’s claws hidden.
Wrapping it up: is declawing cats bad?
The idea is simple. Try not to do anything about your cat claws at all. If you really have to do something and there are no other alternatives out there, go for cat nail clippers or caps. This is not a great choice but a decent one to fix problems.
Did you know? Declawing cats is illegal in many countries!