This blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a veterinarian if your pet is ill.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Should I have my cat declawed?

Declawing is a very controversial issue among veterinarians these days. It is an illegal procedure in many European countries including Germany. I just want to set the record straight as to exactly what declawing is.
Simply put, declawing is a painful and permanently crippling procedure requiring serious surgery. Under general anesthesia, the cat's last joint of each toe is amputated including the bone, not just the claw.
After surgery, complications may arise - reaction to anesthesia, hemorrhage, infections, nerve damage and nails regrowing inside paw and needing x-rays periodically to check for this painful condition. Declawing causes gradual weakening of leg, shoulder and back muscles, affecting the cat's ability to walk.
Declawing also affects the cat's personality, often making them morose, reclusive and withdrawn since their main mode of defense has been removed. Without their claws some cats may bite to defend themselves.
There are more humane alternatives to this procedure including regular nail trimming to clip off the sharp end of the claws which hook into furniture; setting up several scratching posts and teaching the cat how to use them with toys and catnip; or using soft nail claw caps. These are soft vinyl nail caps applied to the newly trimmed nails by a groomer or vet and lasts 4-6 weeks.
Many vets refuse to do the declawing procedure and will be more than happy to help you work out a suitable alternative method. Please explore all possible solutions before you declaw. Your cat will thank you!


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