Paw Tracks-Declawing Cats
I am adding a new series to Tabs and Tidbits called Paw Tracks. This series is meant to bring friendly awareness to feline issues and will also feature issues about other species as well. However, since Tabs and Tidbits focuses primarily on cats, you will mostly find Paw Tracks highlighting the issues surrounding cats.
Today’s Paw Tracks is bringing awareness on declawing cats. As you can see from Cooper’s picture, he is not declawed. My family nor I have ever had our cats declawed. However, it was not uncommon to meet a cat that had been declawed when I was a kid. What alarmed me was to find out that declawing cats is still a common solution that cat owners consider and actually follow through with on their cats.
Declawing is not simply the removal of the claws, contrary to popular belief. Declawing is a surgical procedure that removes the last knuckles of the cat’s paws. In other words, part of the cat’s bones are amputated. To visualize this, look at your hands and find the joint/knuckle just below your nail. Now imagine completely removing that part of your fingers, every single one. Imagine the guaranteed pain, complications that can arise and learning how to adapt without having that part of your fingers. Okay, so I think you get the idea of the severity of declawing. I will not go into the gruesome details nor the examples of what can go wrong. I want to keep this as light as possible but to just bring an awareness on the severity of declawing cats.
Declawing cats is a drastic step tp take when there are easier, cheaper and painless solutions.
- Clip your cat’s claws. This is the most recommended solution. Cat nail clippers are easily accessible at stores and online. Just make sure to avoid cutting too low and hitting the quick. If you or your cat is not comfortable having their nails trimmed at home, take your cat to their vet for a nail trim. Your vet can give you some tips on how to clip your cats nails, or you can just take your cats on a regular basis for a nail trim.
- Put nail caps on your cat’s claws. This is not the easiest task for everyone, but some cat parents find this to be a great solution. It is certainly a humane solution. You can purchase nail caps at pet stores, online or from your veterinarian. You can even have harmless fun and get funky colors and designs.
Cats instinctually need to scratch. They need to exercise and stretch their muscles and naturally have the need to condition their claws. Your furniture may be an appealing place to put their claws at first. Furniture is not cheap, so there are solutions that will help your cat to avoid the furniture.
- Get a scratching post or scratching mat. Scratching posts and mats come in several types of materials. Your cat may not take to one and completely love another. So you have to play around with the options to see what your cat likes.
- Apply sticky strips to your furniture. These strips are similar to double sided tape but are made for the purpose of applying to furniture.
Cats do not look for people to scratch or attack. They react to their environment. If they are afraid or sense danger, they may act out. Giving your cat a safe and secure environment will help minimize the risk of them acting out. On the other hand, cats like to play too. If they have sharp nails, they may accidently scratch you. It is recommended to not use your hands as an enticing toy for cats and kittens, but it happens. As cats adapt and grow, they will learn through trial and error on how to use their paws and claws with their family. To help prevent your cat giving the accidental scratch, keep those nails trimmed or put on nail caps.
In closing, for anyone considering declawing their cat, please reconsider. I know your furniture is expensive property, but there are much better options for you and your cat. If you are unsure of what option is best, you can discuss those options with your vet. I have personally never had a vet recommend procedures such as declawing. A good veterinarian’s interests are in the wellness of the pet. On the other hand, some cat owners still demand declawing as a solution, and some vets accommodate their request. I kindly ask cat owners to consider alternatives to declawing. Paws need claws! 🙂
Cooper seconds that motion!
You can find more information at The Paw Project. This organization goes into much more detail about declawing. If you are considering declawing your cat, I would recommend you to visit the site to learn more about the process. I am not affiliated with nor have I been contacted by The Paw Project. I do, however, appreciate their passion behind declawing awareness and the effort to ban the procedure altogether.
I am not an advocate for preaching to the choir or pinning someone in a corner to convince them to believe what I believe. Harassment of people and their choices is not something I participate in nor suggest others to do. I am simply bringing an awareness to an issue that is not a reasonable solution for cats and their claws. There are easier, cheaper and painless solutions to cats and their claws.