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Reasons To Never Declaw A Cat


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Equivalent to Cutting off your First Knuckle

When a cat’s claws are removed, it is similar to cutting off the last knuckle at the end of each finger on a human hand. The claw isn’t just clipped. Actually, the whole bone is removed, including the ligaments and tendons. With five claws on each paw, feline declawing is similar to performing ten separate amputations.

Personality Changes

Some cats are deeply changed by de-clawing. They can become more nervous or fearful than they were before, and this can lead to aggression. Because they cannot mark with their claws, declawed cats sometimes result to spraying urine instead. Declawed cats are over-represented at shelters and have difficulty finding new homes, because of both physical and behavioral problems associated with being declawed (deformed and painful feet, biting, avoiding the litter box, etc.)

Litterbox Problems

After declawing cats will have really tender paws and cat litter won’t feel very good to walk on. As a result, some cats may associate the litter box with pain and refuse to use the litter box. It is recommended that pet-owners provide a paper-only litter box option immediately following surgery to avoid this problem.

Surgical Complications

Petar Neychev / ptnphotof - Fotolia

Following the surgery, there is no question that the cat will experience pain for several days. Cats do not exhibit pain the same way humans do, but elevated blood pressure, an increased pulse rate, fever, and limping are evidence that pain exists. Complications such as bleeding, swelling and infection may also occur. If any of these complications arise, it means another painful and expensive trip to the vet. A Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine study on 163 cats reported that 50% of the cats experienced one or more of these complications. About 20% experienced further complications such as infection, nail regrowth and lameness.

Back and Joint Problems

Removal of the claws means removal of a cat’s ability to stretch its its back muscles and changes the way in which the feet hit the ground. This can lead to back problems, including pain and muscle atrophy. Think of it like wearing improper shoes in humans.

Life Long Pain

Declawing can be very painful. Some cats might get nerve damage and hemorrhage (loss of blood). And while rare, some long-term problems include re-growth of deformed claws inside the paw.

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