June 24, 2010

What You Need to Know about Declawing your Cat

Filed under: Declawing Cats — Dr. Amber Reed @ 6:14 pm

Some pet owners, when they first get a kitten, consider having their cats declawed.  After all, we already have our cats spayed or neutered in addition to shots and other treatments, but there are few treatments met with as much controversy as declawing.  Mainly, animal lovers feel that declawing is inhumane and even cruel and some countries have even banned the practice.  Before having your cat declawed, you should definitely consider the issue very seriously.

First of all, it is important to understand the purpose of the claws.  Through evolution, cats have developed claws to help them with climbing (and thereby avoiding danger), to defend against other animals, and of course to hunt for prey.  However, domestic cats often use their claws for inappropriate behaviors like scratching furniture, carpets, and draperies, not to mention scratching people.  It is also important to understand that a cat’s claws are actually a part of the paw, unlike human fingernails which grow over the finger.

The main reason people disagree with the practice of declawing is that cats without claws are defenseless.  It is felt that the procedure is in the best interests of the owner rather than the best interests of the cat.  More importantly, cat owners need to understand that declawing is actually a kind of amputation for cats that is very painful.

While you may consider declawing to be the only way to protect your furniture, the fact is that there are other things you can do.  Regularly trim your cat’s claws and ensure that you have a scratching post or another avenue for your cats to satisfy their desires to scratch.  Cats can be trained to scratch the posts exclusively meaning it is not absolutely necessary to declaw your cats.  Whatever you choose to do, you will have your reasons but most animal experts advise against declawing cats.

About Dr. Amber Reed

has written 281 posts in this blog.

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