High-five Your Cat The Right Way!
Get The Correct Declawing Facts.
Most of us are aware of the core responsibilities involved in adopting a kitten or cat, such as testing for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and FIV, vaccinations, and spaying or neutering. But how does declawing fit into this picture?
As we look into the future, procedures that were once common are now falling out of favor as we learn about the impact on our pets. Well publicized procedures known to many include ear cropping and tail docking in dogs. For cats, there is growing concern over the effects of declawing.
Do cats need their claws?
A cat's toes are an important part of their anatomy. Their entire bodies are engineered for toe-walking: their backs, shoulders, paw and leg joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are designed to distribute a cat's weight across the toes.
When a cat's claws are surgically removed, the claw isn't just clipped. The whole claw/toe bone is surgically removed, including the ligaments and tendons. Regardless of the surgical method used, this elective procedure has the potential to leave lasting damage. Some say that declawed cats can experience long term nerve damage, back or joint problems, litter box problems, personality changes or aggression, or other possible problems. The effects of declawing are still being researched by the veterinary community, although these days most veterinarians will only perform declawing in special situations. At this point in time, we generally do not perform declaws.
If you do not want to have your cat go through the declawing procedure, there are multiple alternatives.
- The most obvious alternative is Trimming the Claws. Just like a dog's nails can be trimmed, so can a cat's claws. It is an easy and pain-free task you can learn to do yourself at home.
- Another popular alternative is the use of Soft Paws. These are harmless flexible caps that are glued over the claws and are replaced at regular intervals.
- Just like dogs need to chew, cat need to scratch. You would never think of depriving a dog of their chew toys, so why deprive a cat of a scratching post? One reason we love our cats is because of that little Tiger that lives inside them! Scratching posts and appropriate/designated surfaces are essential to a cat's health.