/ Pros and Cons / 14 Pros and Cons of Declawing Cats

14 Pros and Cons of Declawing Cats

navajocodetalkersadmin on March 31, 2015 - 6:42 pm in Pros and Cons

Cat owners are often on two ends of the declawing debate. Declawing a cat, also called a onychectomy, involves surgically removing the claw from the cat’s paw. They do this by removing the cat’s third and fourth toe bones. A highly controversial procedure, that is still widely performed. Should you declaw your cats? What are the pros and cons? Let’s take a closer look.

Pros Of Declawing Cats

1. Reduced Risk
Cat’s that have had their claws remove pose a much lower risk to other pets and children. This is one of the biggest things that people take into account when making this decision.

2. May Save A Life
Aggressive cats that have severe behavior problems pose a safety risk due to their claws. Getting them removed saves these cats from having to be left at a shelter or euthanized because of their behavior.

3. Furniture Friendly
Cats scratch, it is a natural thing for them to do. Expensive furniture often suffers because of this feline trait. Declawed cats cannot scratch up furniture.

4. Normal Function Remains
While there are some side effects of the procedure, the majority of normal functions can still be performed without problems. This includes walking, climbing, and pad sensations.

5. May Improve Relationships
Due to the fact that the cat can no longer scratch people and other animals, their relationships with them may improve greatly. You are able to feel a closer bond with an animal that you are not afraid of.

Cons of Declawing Cats

1. Weakened Self Defense
Cats that have had their claws removed may feel extremely threatened because their main source of defense was taken. This level of hostility can actually make them act out even more.

2. Behavior Issues
The pain and hostility that cats typically experience after this procedure can lead to very troublesome behavior problems. Not using the litter box is the most common. This is due to the pain that they feel in their feet, the litter box may make it worse. They will stop using it and this will become habit.

3. It’s An Amputation
When a cat is declawed it is not just the claw that is removed. In order to remove the claw the actual toe is also shortened at the knuckles. This is like removing your fingertips.

4. Still Aggressive
If a cat has serious behavior problems, then declawing may not solve these issues. Cat’s still have their teeth and back claws to attack or defend themselves with.

5. Arthritis
The tendons that are cut during the medical procedure of declawing can cause a cat to develop arthritis in their paws. This is very painful for the cat.

6. Continuing Problems
The bones that are left in the paw after the procedure can continue to dig into the skin. This digging is extremely painful and can cause serious problems like infections.

7. Let Cats Be Cats
Scratching is a completely natural (and necessary) trait of cats. This feline behavior is normal and should not be altered.

8. Avoidable
In many cases, declawing of a cat is not a complete necessity. People often think that it is their only option, but it is often not.

9. Complications
There is a very high amount of things that can go wrong during the medical procedure done to declaw cats. This risk is higher than with most other veterinarian procedures done.

Important Facts About Cat Declawing

  • Cats scratch for a variety of reasons. It is normal feline behavior to help them maintain their nails, preserve muscle tone, and mark their territories.
  • There is a common, alternative procedure, to declawing called tenectomy. This involves cutting and disconnecting the tendons that extend the claws out. This also has medical consequences however.
  • Cats, especially ones that have troublesome scratching tendencies, calm down significantly as they age. So if you cat is exhibiting these behaviors, give it time!
  • There is a rapidly growing number of veterinarians who are refusing to declaw cats. They consider is inhumane and a cruel, unnecessary form of mutilation.
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