The Truth About Declawing Cats
Choosing to declaw your house cat is the choice that many people make, but is it the right choice? Many people declaw cats for the main reason of saving their furniture from being shredded. Cats tend to scratch their sharp claws at furniture, pillows, drapes, etc. Nobody likes to have their nice things ruined by their beloved pet. Others may have concerns of being scratched.
Owners should educate themselves on the different procedures of surgery to declaw their cat. Although changes have been made in the way cats are declawed, these surgeries are usually unnecessary and traumatic to our pets. Cats can easily be trained to use a scratching post and save our homes from destruction.
People are under the assumption that declawing cats is a simple surgery. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The operation is more than just simply removing the claws. To declaw a cat is to amputate the last bone of each toe which is equivalent to amputating each finger of the last knuckle of a human. This can be very traumatic to a cat due to a painful healing process. Also cats are digitigrade, which means they walk on their toes. The cat's body is designed to support and distribute its weight across the toes as the cat walks. Therefore when declawing cats the foot meets the ground at an unnatural angle causing the cat to walk abnormally.
Another procedure is laser surgery. Instead of using a scalpel, a laser beam is used. Declawing cats with a laser consist of a beam of light that cuts through tissue by heating and vaporizing it. This usually means less recovery time and less bleeding, but the effects are still the same.
A more recent procedure is called tenectomy. This surgery deactivates the claws by severing the tendons and retains them in the paws. It is thought to be more humane since recovery time is shorter and the claws are not being extracted. Therefore it may be less traumatic to the cat. Though this may be true there are still complications that go along with this procedure. Owners must be aware that their cat can no longer scratch to keep their claws at an appropriate length. Therefore they must trim the nails to prevent the claws from growing into the pads of their feet which can cause infection. It has also been found in studies that bleeding, lameness, and infections are associated with all
procedures. Tenectomy is not recommended as an alternative and all surgical procedures for a majority of cats is unnecessary.
There are many health issues that can occur after declawing cats. They can develop arthritis, bone infections, nerve damage, hemorrhaging, paw deformation, etc. Many cats also suffer a loss of balance after being declawed because they can no longer secure their foothold on their amputated paws. Any surgical procedure should be withheld unless there is a medical problem that makes it necessary. The only other reason for
declawing cats would be if proper training was not being effective and the end result was to remove the cat from the home. In this case you may want to consider surgery at this time to avoid this from happening. In these circumstances you should be properly informed of all complications that may occur during and after these procedures. Owners should be aware of all detailed information there is to know about declawing cats.