Declawing Your Cat
Pet owners declaw their cats in order to protect their furniture or themselves from being scratched. Little do they know that cats stretch their bodies and tone their muscles by scratching.
Scratching is instinctive for cats; they do it to mark their territory, for exercise and in defense. This is why some cats become physically or psychologically damaged after declaring. Claws are necessary for outdoor cats to defend themselves against threatening animals.
Most pet owners believe that declawing removes only a cat's claws, but in fact declawing is a major and painful surgery that actually amputates each front toe at the first knuckle. Declawing a cat's front paws costs $70-$160. Recovery can take two weeks or more.
Declawing has produced many post-surgical complications - lameness, abscesses, joint stiffness and even arthritis in cats. In some cases, cats grow their claws back and must endure the painful surgery twice. For these reasons some vets won't perform cat declawing.
Laser Declawing is a new procedure that costs $50-$150 more than traditional declawing. It causes less bleeding and swelling and reduces your cat's pain, but it doesn't guard against infection, abscesses and psychological difficulties later on.
- Scratching posts - use catnip to attract the cat to the post.
- Apply sticky strips or plastic to furniture.
- Trim your cat's nails regularly.
- Cover nails with soft plastic or acrylic caps (available at pet stores).
- Tenectomy or Tendonectomy - removes part of the tendon to each toe, and prevents claw digging. Risk of infection is lessened and recovery is rapid and less painful but you still have to trim your cat's nails.