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Why You Should Not Declaw Your Cat

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by Alexander Thompson
Aug 11, 2022
2 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Why Is Clawing Important to Cats?
  • Why You Should Avoid Declawing Your Cats?
  • What Are the Better Alternatives to Declawing?
  • Final Words
Claws are essential to the everyday life of your feline friends. They use them in climbing, playing, and even stretching. Declawing cats or removing their nails also mean you are taking off some of the bones of their toes, which is both crucial and harmful.
According to research, declawed cats are more likely to be aggressive and bite. They also tend to grumble, struggle with the litter box, and be prone to back pain.

Why Is Clawing Important to Cats?

Clawing has many positive effects on cats. For example, it keeps the claws healthy, gets rid of the sheath, and relieves stress. Cats may also claw to mark their territory or as a form of exercise to expel emotional energy.
The claws of cats extend out of their toes, helping them catch and hold prey better. They also use it to tear bones and meat, climb high spots, and defend themselves against third parties. You will find five clawed digits on a cat’s front paws and another four on each of the rear paws.
You can click to learn how to care for your cat’s paws.
Cats naturally want their nails to stay sharp, especially in the wild. Sharp claws are crucial to effectively climbing, hunting, and escaping predators. That is why their nails grow in layers. Sharpening removes the old outer layer, allowing the new inner layer to emerge.

Why You Should Avoid Declawing Your Cats?

When you declaw your cat, you surgically amputate their entire toe bones and the attached claws. The American Veterinary Medical Association classifies this surgery as a significant painful surgery that comes with lasting effects, including;
a cat paw

Depression in Cats

The aftermath of a declaw surgery forces the affected cat to walk on the surgical sites. That limits their movement considerably, pushing them into depression and untold suffering.
Check here to learn more about how to help your cat deal with anxiety.

Defense Mechanism Deteriorates

Cats without their claws are defenseless. Such cats will struggle to survive outside, especially when under attack. Declawed cats also tend to be aggressive to humans to mask their loss of self-protection ability.

Problems with the Use of Litter Boxes

It is common to see cats urinate wrongly after declawing. This is usually due to the pain from their paws when they paw around in their litter boxes. In some cases, this issue may persist for a long time, putting the cat at the risk of being abandoned.

Poor Balance

As digitigrade walkers, cats rely on their toes to walk and maintain balance. Once these claws are gone, their balance becomes poor, forcing them to be at a greater risk of falling off.

What Are the Better Alternatives to Declawing?

Here are other things you can do instead of declawing your feline friends;
  • Create a scratching post and encourage your cat to use it regularly. You can move the post to a more discrete spot once they get used to it.
  • The scratching post should be the same length as your cat when fully stretched. This allows your cat to stretch in every direction, including vertically and horizontally.
  • It is advisable to use durable scratching posts; weak posts or those that slide along the floor may discourage your cats from scratching.
Offer your cats multiple textures to scratch, especially materials that allow them to sink in their claws. These include posts made from carpet, corrugated cardboard, sisal rope, and similar materials.

Final Words

Cats stand to gain nothing from declawing. It is only done to make humans more convenient. Except declawing is necessitated by a medical condition, it will always be a difficult procedure on a cat.
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