September 03, 2018 3 min read

The practice of cat declawing is being increasingly restricted or prohibited in many countries of the world. Yet, more and more “caring” cat owners still want to do it to their pets.

We all love those little Nubbins on the pictures; we squeeze them, and baby talk with them, but some of us are not ready to realize that a cute baby will grow up and reveal its natural cat instincts. In most cases, in order to fight the discomfort from what mother-nature gave the cat from its birth, the owners make a serious decision like declawing.

In order to understand why so many people are against this measure, we first need to make it clear why cats need claws. Many people think that cats need claws to deliberately spoil furniture, carpets, wallpapers and scratch their owners, but is this true?

  • First, you should not forget that cats are predators, and they use claws to deftly grab and hold their prey.
  • Secondly, cats need to defend themselves and what might be better for attacking or defending against the enemies than sharp claws?
  • Thirdly, with the help of their grippy claws, cats can freely move not only in a horizontal but also in a vertical plane – of course, this may be a useless skill at home, but in wildlife, this feature is quite helpful.

How the “Soft Legs” Operation Works

Even if you take such a desperate decision, make sure you find a veterinarian who will execute this operation (its correct name is onychectomy) in a professional manner – which is not so easy. As with any other surgical procedure, declawing requires general anesthesia. The doctor removes not only the claw itself, but also amputates a part of the paw — this is necessary in order to remove the claw root and, thus, prevent the growth of a new one.

If we compare a cat's paw with a human hand, then it would be like the person lost half of each finger.

What Might be the Consequences of Declawing?

Severe pain – girls who have ever had their nails broken can understand it like no one else: infection, suppuration, development of sepsis, etc.

Disturbances in the coordination of the animal’s motor patterns. After the operation, some cats cannot even stand on their paws, let alone walk or run.

Changes in the animal’s psyche and behavior. Even though no research in this area has been conducted, and there is no direct evidence, many owners say that after the operation, their cat became more aggressive, started pooping in the wrong places, etc.

A cat with no claws should not be allowed out into the street, taken to a village, as it simply has nothing to protect itself with against the aggression of other animals.

Alternatives to Declawing. Cat Nail Caps

Teach your cat to use a scratching post from an early age – you can buy one at any pet store or craft it yourself. It takes only a few simple lessons, and your cat will sharpen its claws in the right place. Even if there are any problems, you can always attract the cat to sharpen its claws at a scratching post with the help of a special herb – catnip.

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Regular claw trimming at home is not only a simple procedure but also a quite pleasant one (if you accustom your pet to it) as you will spend a few extra minutes in close contact doing a useful thing. It enough to trim the claws once every 2-3 weeks. Read and watch the video on how to do it.

In extreme cases, use anti-scratch cat nail caps. These are special plastic cushions that you need to apply on the claws of your pet with glue. They are sold in pet shops and veterinary pharmacies. At first, they will bring some discomfort to your cat, but this option is still much more humane than the declawing operation.

Probably, the only situation when it is a good idea to support declawing is a direct medical reason for the removal of one or several claws in case of a tumor or when the claw is dislocated, and the removal is a must.

And if you are allergic to cat bacteria, suffer from a bleeding disorder and cannot be scratched, if you have expensive carpets and sofas, then show some love to cats and, therefore, do not take any as pets!

If a cat is given claws, it means that there is a reason for it, and you should not go against nature.

Kawaii Meow
Lover of Japanese culture, cats, and self-help hacks. The biggest cat online store.

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