Declawing or onychechtomy is the surgical removal of your cat’s claws. And it is not a pleasant experience for your cat. How’d you like it if you were anesthetized only to find upon waking up that you have lost your nails from their roots and they are never coming back? Not nice. This, when our nails are hardly as important to our lifestyle as claws are to a cat’s existence. Oh, and by the way it’s not just that their claws are removed, a part of their toes is cut – to prevent the claws from growing back again.
Declawed cats often suffer from behavioral and psychological issues. This leads to abandonment of the pet, placing them in shelters, and often euthanasia. Why? Because we neglected to provide the cat with a scratching post or a fixed mat or something similar when it was still in its early habit-forming phase. Sometimes, we just tend to take the easy way out and it’s the animal that has to pay the price for it. Before we decide to become pet parents, it is our duty to first learn about what it takes to be one and then decide if we can make the adjustments. If my sofa covers and rugs are dear to me, I will probably forego having a pet cat.
Many people mistake declawing for trimming. Worse, some people try and perform the procedure at home. It is a surgical amputation of the first joint of the cat’s toes. Trimming, it most definitely is not.
Unlike neutering, there isn’t a single health benefit associated with declawing. So, don’t let somebody talk you into getting your cat declawed. A declawed cat is totally defenseless against larger prey and is unable to grip or dig surfaces. Cats unable to dig develop litter problems and begin to avoid using the litter box to avoid the pain from instinctive digging that precedes and follows the act. Cats hook their claws onto surfaces and stretch their bodies, the claws are crucial in enabling a cat to exercise its back and shoulder muscles.
Complications that can arise out of the surgery include hemorrhaging immediately after the operation or when the bandages are removed. An infection of the wound can lead to lameness. Sometimes the bone shatters and part of it remains embedded within leading to the formation of an abscess. This may necessitate another surgery and further distress for the animal.
Remember, declawing provides zero medical benefits to your cat. It is simply unacceptable that it should be put to risk from the anesthesia and then face the long post-operative period of recovery. England, Australia, Italy, and Sweden are just some of the many countries where it is either illegal or considered inhumane – to be performed only under special circumstances.
There are alternatives to declawing out there that will keep your cat healthy and whole and at the same time keep your drapes safe from its claws. A simple post set in the corner of a room is the easiest and least expensive object that one can use to keep a cat from using household furniture when its gets the urge to claw at something. Trim the cat’s claws so that it does not have to do it on your cushions.