Cat
 
Cat Declawing

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Cats use their claws for various purposes.  The claws are important to cats, as they are an essential part of balancing.  If you’ve ever noticed a cat jumping and latching on to a high object, you’ve probably noticed that he uses his claws to pull himself up.  When climbing trees, cats tend to use their claws to latch onto the bark and climb towards their destination.    

  

Cats also use their claws for stretching, walking, and running as well.  The claws are also a cat’s primary source of defence against other animals and humans as well.  Most cats keep their claws extremely sharp, as their claws and teeth are basically their only weapons.  The claws are also essential for using the bathroom as well, as cats use them to cover up their mess with dirt. 

 

 
 

Cats also use their claws to scratch things, which mark their territory.  Their claws have glands, which contain a secretion.  When they leave their mark on something, the secretion is transferred to the area they scratched.  This is detectable to other cats although not to humans.  Sometimes, they will also scratch something to remove the older claw which will fall off and give them a brand new claw that resides underneath.   

  

People generally have cats declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious cats are declawed. In the United States, some landlords require that tenants' cats be declawed. As sad as it is, a lot of pet owners choose to put their own possessions above their cat, such as their expensive furniture or carpets.  These cat owners are afraid that they cat will ruin their furniture or carpet, and therefore will choose to get their cat de-clawed. Declawing is a major surgery known as onychectomy, performed under anaesthesia that removes the tip of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the cat's forepaws. There is a slight chance of death in the surgery, and a declawed cat may have an increased risk of infection and life-long discomfort in its paws. This surgery is not recommended for an adult animal and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some countries (see below).  

  

Getting a cat’s claws removed is a surgical procedure, one that can only be performed by a veterinarian.  The owner will need a good reason though, as a vet won’t do the surgery just to keep one’s furniture or carpet protected.  

 

Veterinarians are generally critical of the procedure and some refuse to perform it because:    

 The absence of claws in a cat: 

1. Deprives it of its main defence abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees; 

2. Impairs its stretching and exercise habits, leading to muscle atrophy; 

3. Compromises its ability to balance on thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls; 

4. Can cause insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite. 

 

Those who decide to own cats should know that a cat can scratch on occasion.  If someone isn’t prepared to deal with that fact, they shouldn’t own a cat in the first place.   

 

This operation is rare outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing is forbidden by the laws against cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is forbidden under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless "a veterinarian considers [such] non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of (the) animal". In Britain, animal shelters find it difficult to place imported cats that have been declawed and subsequently most are euthanized. Read more about The Shocking Truth About Declawing Cats.  

  

An alternative to declawing is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic replacement when the cat sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the cat will still experience difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as claws. Want to try them out? Proceed to Cat Soft Claws Nail Caps Red Small 5-10 LBs  

 

Cats are great pets, although they do have claws and they will use them on occasion.  There are plenty of other great pets out there, if you aren’t up for handling a cat.  If you’re just worried about your furniture or carpet, there are ways that you can keep your cat from scratching on your belongings.  

  

The first thing to do is to get your cat a scratching post and let him know where it is and how to use it.  You can also get a rush mat as well, which will help your cat with his instincts to scratch.  You may have to demonstrate how to use the mat or the post at first, although your cat should catch onto it quick.  Once you have shown him the ropes, he will scratch on the post or the mat – and not your furniture or your carpet. 

  

Although many don’t realize it, there are other ways to protect your things other than getting your cat de-clawed.  If you’ve been thinking of getting your cat de-clawed, you should know that the process can totally change his personality.  Once the cat is de-clawed, he will be in pain and confused.  He may not be able to jump in the window or on the couch, and he may not be able to play like he once did.  Some cats, after being de-clawed, tend to get aggressive and bite with their teeth.   

 

To make a long story short, the cat will be completely miserable – which is a tough thing to bear for those who love their cats. Getting a cat’s claws removed is very painful and confusing to the cat, and may totally change his outlook on things.  Before you decide to take the inhumane path of getting your cat de-clawed, you should look into your other available options- your cat will like these options much better.