Declawing Your Cat
This is a very controversial topic which has a lot of emotion
behind but it needs to be looked at. As a cat owner who has
experienced difficulty dealing with a cat scratching issue in my
home, it is difficult not to be biased but let's give the issue
of declawing its due and see what exactly the pros and cons
There are 2 types of surgical procedures which are commonly
done to eradicate this problem. One involves cutting the tendon
that attaches the claw to the bone in a cats foot. The claw stays
intact but the cat can't use it at all because it is no longer
attached to the tendon that works it.
The second procedure employs the use of a laser for cutting.
This procedure removes the lateral attachment. The claw is then
Proponents of both these procedures claim there is minimal
blood loss and discomfort. They also state that most cats are up
running around in no time after the surgery. Great!
However, what they fail to mention is that both procedures are
invasive (any surgical procedure is), both require general
anesthetic, and both can result in complications especially for
older cats. The second procedure is quite plainly amputation.
They also fail to mention what many people have stated - that
post-surgery their cat developed a biting problem that was not
prevalent prior to the surgery. What I have read also doesn't
account for the many reports of people's cats undergoing drastic
behavior changes afterwards.
One such advocate I read about stated that "there will be
medical reasons and other circumstances where this procedure will
be necessary." But it fails to cite any of those reasons.
For me at least, it all comes back to the question - "How
would you like to have part of the anatomy God gave you
amputated?" For me, there is only one "pro" After declawing, no
matter what procedure you opt to have done, your cat will no
longer be able to claw your furniture and carpets. The "cons"
however, are still stacked against this and they are many!
We had a terrible experience with our cat Milo, when he
recently developed a lower urinary tract infection and had to be
admitted to stay 2 nights in a local vet clinic while he
underwent surgery and monitoring for this common cat health
problem. After seeing how terrified he was at the clinic and then
worrying whether he would live or not because he refused to eat
anything for a week after we got him home and had to be forcibly
fed water to keep him hydrated, we simply could not bring
ourselves to consider the idea of declawing no matter how
stressful his clawing behavior was.
Milo is part of our family. God gave him all the parts he has
for a reason and declawing to us is tantamount to saying he is
less important than any other member of our family; something
that we couldn't bring ourselves to think.
Pets count on us to look after their best interests. When we
take on the responsibility of owning a pet we make what should be
a statement of promise to protect them, nurture them and ensure
that they are looked after. If you are considering declawing as a
way to deal with your cats clawing behavior, I would urge you to
please try some less invasive methods first before you resort to
such a drastic measure. Why risk potential side-effects and the
trauma that can accompany any surgical procedure if there are
clearly other, less invasive ways of dealing with this
by Brad Knell (c) 2005 All Rights Reserved
Brad Knell is the webmaster of http://www.stopcatscratching.com
one of several sites designed to help people with pet
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