Should I Declaw My Cat – Is it a Good Idea?
The best way to manage a scratching cat is to ensure they have a proper scratching post from the time they are kittens. That way, the cat will have an effective way to remove these sheaths without shredding your drapes or furniture.
Additionally, you want to get into the habit of trimming your cat’s claws regularly. This not only solves part of the desire to scratch but will keep the nails from eventually curling around and digging into the cat’s pads.
If your cat likes to scratch the same places over and over, it’s because they leave a scent behind each time they scratch. They return these areas to re-mark their territory, so to speak. When training him to use proper cat furniture you want to use some catnip to draw your cat to the post and then reinforce this behavior. You will also need to thoroughly clean your cat’s favorite scratching locations to get rid of the scent.
Trimming your cat’s nails
Some owners trim their cat’s nails as often as once a week. It’s best to start when they’re kittens, as adult cats will never learn to enjoy the process.
In addition to trimming you may want to consider soft claws, which are nail caps that slip over the cat’s nails and prevent the nails from doing any damage. The cat will still scratch, but the sharp nails won’t be able to dig into your favorite sofa.
Consulting with your vet
If your cat still wants to destroy your home one piece of furniture at a time, you may want to consider declawing your cat as a last resort. Your cat will need to be over three months before he can be de-clawed.
Before having the procedure done, you’ll want to discuss this option with your veterinarian. It is not a simple procedure and does carry some risks.
Performed under general anesthesia, each nail bed is removed at the last joint. The feet are then bandaged. Once you get your cat home, you’ll notice that his feet will be tender for a few days. The older your cat is, the longer it will take for him to recover. He may also require a longer period of hospitalization, up to two to three days.
As your cat heals, you’ll want to try to restrict him from jumping as much as possible for the first five days or so. If he is allowed to be too active, a scab may break open and bleed. While your cat heals, you will want to use stripped newspapers instead of little, so the litter doesn’t get embedded in the wounds. After a full week, you can reintroduce litter.
If your cat’s feet appear swollen or if your cat doesn’t want to walk at all, you will want to visit your vet again.
At one time, declawing a mischievous cat was fairly common, rather than the exception. But as you can see, it’s not recommended these days. Not only is it traumatic for the cat, but if your cat ever gets loose in the neighborhood (if they are an indoor cat), your furry friend may have no place to climb to safety. Claws may be used to shred your drapes or couch, but they also come in handy as a front line of defense or, as a last resort, a climbing aid.