Declawing Cats Pros and Cons

Declawing CatsJust mention declawing cats and you will hear strong opinions both pro and con. Declawing cats is the equivalent of cutting of the last joint of your fingers and toes, including the nail. There are three ways this can be done. In the first (and fastest) way, the veterinarian takes a specialized tool resembling a nail clipper and chops off part of that third joint, along with part of the pad and the entire nail. The pad is then stitched. While this method of declawing cats is fast for the veterinarian, recovery is long and painful for the cat. Recovery takes several weeks. The second method involves making and incision, cutting the ligaments that hold the third joint and then removing it along with the nail. Surgery takes longer but recovery is faster. The third and newest method is laser declawing for cats. This surgery will be more costly because the veterinarian would have spent as much as $40,000 for the laser equipment. The laser is used to remove the third joint and nail. Recovery time is fastest with this method.

Those in favor of declawing cats point out that once the cat is recovered, the pet and owner will have a more harmonious relationship. It will stop cat scratching carpet and stop cat scratching furniture. In some cases, the pet may live with someone whose immune system is compromised. The bacteria that live on cats’ claws can pose a serious health risk to these owners. If the only choices are to euthanize the cat or turn it into an outside cat, even many animal rights activists will support declawing cats.

Those opposed to declawing cats point out the brutality of amputating parts of perfectly healthy limbs. If the pet somehow got out, it would have no way to defend itself. There are cat declawing alternatives. Cats can be trained to claw appropriate things, especially if you start early. Sprays are available that repel cats. You can put double sided tape on areas that the cat scratches. Cat nails can be trimmed weekly. Acrylic cat claw covers can be glued onto your cat’s claws.

Remember, it is the very nature of cats to scratch. They scratch to stretch, strengthen and to mark their territory.