Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Declaw Your Cat and What To Do Instead

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I have a cat, but I’m not a cat person. I think they’re cute, but cats scare me. But I still care about their well-being and think declawing is cruel and painful.

When you hear “declawing” when it comes to a cat, it sounds like a simple procedure. But I promise you it is not. It isn’t simply clipping the cat’s nails or removing the nails.

When a cat is declawed they actually cut the tip of their toes off, this means through the bones!

Image credit: guardian

Once a cat has been declawed, they can not be allowed to explore the outdoors because they can no longer defend themselves. But there is so much more that declawing does to a cat.

Declawing can cause issues with a cat’s ability to walk because it can cause ongoing chronic pain for them.

Image credit: coleandmarmalade

If you know anything about being in chronic pain then you know how that can affect your mood… it’s the same for cats and can cause them to display aggressive behavior.

Researchers did a study that involved the examination of 274 cats, half had been declawed, and the other half still had their claws.

They noticed that declawed cats were more likely to pee in places other than the litter box.

Cats in pain tend to have potty issues and will urinate and defecate in spaces they normally wouldn’t. They also show pain by licking and chewing their fur excessively.

The result of this research reinforces my opinion that declawed cats with unwanted behaviors may not be ‘bad cats’. They may simply need pain management. We now have scientific evidence that declawing is more detrimental to our feline patients than we originally thought and I hope this study becomes one of many that will lead veterinarians to reconsider declawing cats.

Nicole Martell-Moran, Texas veterinarian and a director at the Paw Project

So what can you do instead of removing the claws on your housecat? Well, train them!

People think cats can’t be trained, and while they tend to like to be the boss… they are trainable. I have friends who specialize in cat training.

One of the best things you can do is to provide designated areas for your cat to scratch as much as they want. This is a natural need for a cat, so a scratching post is a must.

You can add some catnip to it to make it your cat’s favorite spot to go when they feel the need to extend the claws and scratch.

Positive reinforcement is a term that we use as animal trainers and it also applies to cats. When your cat uses the scratching post, reward them with extra affection.

If your cat chooses the couch or doorframe, then you need to tell them no and redirect them to the allowed scratching areas.

With dedication and time, you can train your cat to only scratch where allowed, and save your cat from the pain of declawing.

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