Don't Subject This Barbaric Procedure On Your Cat: Know The Truth

Why you should never subject your cat to this torturous procedure that vets are still performing! Know the truth of the horrifying pain and repercussions that can happen throughout the cats life.

Declawing a cat Is Not a Nail Trim or even Nail Removal - it's Amputation.

Declawing a cat is the same as cutting a human's fingers off at the knuckle.

Once declawed, the cat cannot live around other animals because it does not have its front claws for defense, nor can it be let outside for the same reason. Further, it can't climb trees or do other activities natural to our feline friends.

Declawing is Painful Surgery

Think of it as 10 amputations (if only the front feet are declawed). Pain meds may help initially, but phantom pain may last for weeks or months, as nerve endings heal.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman describes the pain following surgery: "Unlike routine recoveries, including recovery from neutering surgeries, which are fairly peaceful, declawing surgery results in cats bouncing off the walls of the recovery cage because of excruciating pain.

Alternatives to Surgery

There are several alternatives to a complete declawing, including trimming or a less radical (though more involved) surgery to remove just the claws.

Ask your vet about this alternative surgery.

Cats are sometimes born with extra toes - this is called polydactly. These toes will not harm the cat, but you should keep his claws trimmed just like any toe.

Nail Caps - Soft Paws - These are non-toxic, soft nail caps that are glued on to the existing trimmed nail. 
Diversions - Get a scratching post. There are many to choose from. You may need to "teach" your cat how much fun it can be. A popular variation on the traditional scratching post is the cardboard model filled with catnip. If you have an old rug, roll it up and stand it in a corner. Cats love it.
This is a clever DIY scratching post

Trimming the claws - regularly is an excellent way to reduce scratching damage and work on training and distracting your cat to use designated scratching areas. Most owners do this at home. If you are unable to, your vet or groomer can perform this service or teach you how.

Dangers of declawing a cat

Altered Gait May Lead to Later Joint Problems

Domestic cats are digitigrade, meaning they walk on their toes. Walking with an altered gait because of the lack of the first digit of the toes can affect all the joints of the leg, resulting later in arthritis of the hip and other joints.

Something I wish more American veterinarians would counsel their human clients about is de-clawing cats. It is a practice seen as diabolical in other nations, it's only practiced in the US.

This is not a procedure akin to cutting our nails. It's an operation that cuts off the end of the cat's paws - akin to having our fingers cut off past their first knuckle. It is, to a degree, debilitating.

 Declawed cats often associate the pain when digging in litter with the litter box itself, and will avoid it, choosing softer carpeting instead.

Cats that have been declawed avoid litter boxes as the cats feet are sensitive to the litter, and will go on the floor, for this reason.

There is ample evidence that declawing does result in increased biting and litter box avoidance, the behaviors that scientific researchers and shelter workers agree are the most common behavioral problems cited as reasons for relinquishment.

Declawing Sometimes Leads to Biting Problems

When cats lose their ability to give a quick warning scratch, they will often resort to their second line of defense: a good, hard bite. The cat's owner may sometimes find himself the victim, just when he thinks his cat is enjoying a petting session.

Why Are So Many De-clawed Cats Surrendered?

At the shelter, I believe we see a disproportionate number of de-clawed cats surrendered, and I think I've figured out why.

People get cats de-clawed because they don't want the animal to, essentially, be an animal. They don't want to have to train the cat to not scratch here, not climb there, and in essence do what cats do until they are trained.  Continued on next page>