October 26, 2010

in Cats

Ah, the nail salon. Time to relax, rejuvenate and come out with hot pink nails! I look forward to visiting every two weeks. Declawing- it sounds so easy and painless. But it is nothing like my bi-weekly mani/pedi.

Declawing doesn’t sound like anything serious. The cat will be asleep throughout the process and will wake up and be fine, right?

Before you make that assumption you should hear about the reality. Declawing is nothing like a trip to the nail salon. Cat’s have claws, not toenails. Their claws are actually attached to the bone in their feet. So in order to remove the claw, the bone needs to be removed as well. Declawing = amputation. Think of the challenges that your life would hold if your knuckle below your nails was removed on every hand and foot. Life surely would change quite a bit.

Declawing is a very painful surgery, with a painful recovery period. During the week or more that your cat it recuperating from the surgery he would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing. Crutches, bedpans and wheelchairs are for people, not cats.

Although research by vet will tell you differently, if you speak with people in the rescue community you will hear several sad stories about the change in personality of your feline friend after a declaw. There are two big reasons cats are turned into rescue: 1. The cat is inappropriately urinating or defecating (not spraying) 2. The cat has started to bite

When I hear this I automatically ask, “Is the cat declawed?” Invariably the answer is year! Many cats start either of these behaviors after a declaw and here is why. 1. When a cat is trying to use the litterbox after a declaw the vet usually recommends using newspaper. No matter what material is used, the cat is a clean animal and wants to dig and cover after eliminating. This will hurt, leading to the c at to associate the litterbox with pain. Therefore, they find other places to eliminate. 2. Cats use their claws when they play with you. After a declaw sometimes the play escalates and the cat cannot use his claws to say, “Stop- I am overstimulated!” So, he uses his mouth to tell you this.

Really, the choices an owner has to help their cat use appropriate scratching materials is vast. There are cat condos and cat trees with a variety of sisal, natural wood and cardboard scratchers. Using Rescue Remedy or Feliway can help lower the stress levels.

The United States is one of the last holdouts where a cat can be declawed. It is illegal in Europe! Hopefully, we will soon follow their example.

Robert Baker manufactures quality cat condos at extremely affordable prices. If you are interested in more cat tips from Robert Baker, then visit his website blog where you can find out more about Cat Declawing

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