De-claw your cat?
I’ve heard so many arguments about de-clawing, the pros and cons, that I decided to put up a page that deals exclusively with this subject.
First: Look at the babies pictured above. Do they look happy to you? They are NOT being declawed – they are waiting for their bottle. If this is their face in hunger what must they look like when they are in real pain? Would you, intentionally, put any of your kittens through pain?
De-clawing sounds so benign, so “run of the mill”, that many Vets suggest it as a matter of regular care. Before you think of doing this barbaric procedure on any of your pets please consider what is being done and the alternatives out there.
What is being done? In a nutshell, they are taking clippers and physically cutting off he first joint of the cats toes – each one of them. OUCH! They do not simply remove the cats claws – they would just grow back, so they cut off the entire nail bed which is the first joint. Now picture your fingers being cut off at the first knuckle. Assuming you have children, imagine they develop the nasty looking habit of picking their nose. Do you immediately whack off their fingers to prevent it? Or do you show them a better use for their fingers. God willing you opt to show them alternatives.
What are some of the alternatives? First of all, if your furniture means so much to you that you can not bear even training your cat not to scratch then take your cat to your Vet and have him fitted with “soft Paws”. These are little rubber caps that are glued onto the cats claws – much like press on nails. You can even get them in colors (although I wouldn’t suggest subjecting your male cats to pink nails).
As the cats claws grow out the soft paw comes off – then you simply glue another one on. These make the cats claws virtually harmless, save him the trauma of going through that surgery and, should he get out it does offer him something in the way of defense. There is also a new procedure called a tendonectomy. In this the cats tendons, that allow him to extend his claws, are cut.
You may be interested in this The Myth Of Terminal Curiosity And Cats
See description * The method most cat lovers use is simply cutting the claws themselves. This should be done about every two weeks. To do this you simply need a pair of cutters – bought at any pet shop – and cut the tip of the claw off. You never want to cut below the vein you can see in their nail. Now if you do, it’s not the end of the world. You just keep a styptic pencil on hand and apply it to stop any bleeding.
However, ongoing claw trimming is a must or the cat can use its claws again to some degree and there is a risk of the nail growing back into the pad unless they are kept trimmed Some veterinarians have reported joint fusion and arthritis problems. Most veterinarians do not favor this tecnique because of the potential of the client’s dissatisfaction and ultimate desire for declawing.
The training: This is not difficult to do – it just requires a little time and a lot of patience. When your cat starts to use your new couch or good chair to scratch on squirt him anywhere on his body, but be careful of his eyes, (they ARE delicate!) with a water gun or a squirt bottle filled with water. This damages only his ego. Does he like water? Some do, but we have our ways. Try filling an empty coke can with several pennies and shake it loudly by him when he begins to scratch. Again – this damages only his ego.
Cats are fairly intelligent and will catch on quickly. After you have stopped him from using your chair/couch take him to a scratching post and taking his little feet in your hand, place then on the post, and show him how to use this. You can try rubbing the post with cat nip to entice him over to it. A good scratching post will be tall enough to allow the cat to stretch up, the full extension of his body, to allow him to scratch.
You may not be aware of this but in Europe De-clawing is a felony! Good for them!!!!
Now, don’t you feel better about yourself? Thank you for taking the time and trouble to raise a happy cat with all lines of defense still intact.