Lucky Chance Rescue
Paws Need Claws! Please Don’t Declaw!
THE TRUTH ABOUT DECLAWING
A cat’s claws are vital – they are not only a defense mechanism – they provide balance, mobility, exercise, and they allow him/her to mark their territory. Countless people consider it a cruel form of mutilation and it has been banned in many cities and countries. Claws (scratching) serve important and necessary functions for a cat;
- Conditioning their claws by getting rid of its dead outer sheath/layer.
- Marking their territory by leaving a visual mark as well as their odor through the scent glands on their paws.
- To stretch their entire body at the same time flexing their feet and claws.
- To show dominance by scratching in front of other cats. To defend themselves against large dogs, bigger cats, predators, etc.
Declawing a cat is the equivalent to cutting off a human finger at the last knuckle.
People think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat’s nails—the equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed. The feline nail, unlike the human nail, is embedded within the bone and in order to remove it, veterinarians amputate the last bone of each toe. The most common way of declawing is to place the nail and the last bone through the guillotine of a nail clipper and cut if off (bone and all!)
The removal of the bone and claw has unhealthy, harmful side effects for your feline, including infection, abnormal claw growth within the toe. If this occurs, infection can form around it causing puss to enter their bloodstream and affect their liver and heart, which can sometimes be fatal. Declawing causes inflammation, arthritis, behavioral changes such as increased aggression and biting, litter box aversion, as well as emotional trauma and an inability to walk comfortably.
DID YOU KNOW?
Declawing is Painful Surgery
Think of it as 10 amputations (if only the front feet are declawed). Pain medications may help initially, but phantom pain may last for weeks or months as nerve endings heal. The pain from declawing can be excruciating for the animal, and lead to serious behavioral and physical issues.
Declawing Robs a Cat of its Chief Weapon of Defense
A typical counter-argument is, “My cat is indoors only.” Even indoor cats sometimes manage to escape. A declawed cat does not stand a chance against a large dog, a bigger cat, or a predator. Although it still has teeth, a declawed cat would need to get close to a predator to bite it, at which point it may already be too late.
Declawing May Lead to Litter Box Problems
Cats naturally are inclined to use their claws to bury their waste, which is why most take to using a litter box relatively quickly. Digging in litter or any other substance is painful for a declawed cat, and they’ll likely associate the pain with the litter box itself. That may mean they avoid using the litter box altogether.
Declawing Sometimes Leads to Biting Problems
When cats lose their ability to give a quick warning scratch, they will often resort to their second line of defense: their teeth. Be prepared for a declawed cat to resort to biting when it feels defenseless or otherwise in danger.
Cats Need the Exercise Their Claws and Toes Provide
Watch a cat stretch, whether horizontally on a carpet or vertically with a tall scratching post. It will grab with its claws, using the resistance to pull and stretch its muscles. Cats’ claws actually play a large and positive role in their muscle tone and agility.
Declawing Can Lead to Joint Problems
Domestic cats walk on their toes. Removing the toe’s first digit will alter the way your catwalks and may affect the joints in its leg. This may eventually lead to your cat developing arthritis in its hip and other joints. So removing its claws can be seriously detrimental to your cat’s long-term health.
Declawing Does Nothing to Benefit the Cat
Declawing does nothing positive for the cat. It’s most often done as a matter of convenience to its owner to avoid scratching furniture and people. There are great alternatives to declawing so these things do not happen!
Because there are so many humane alternatives to declawing, there is really no valid reason to consider declawing as a solution for scratching. As we like to say, paws need claws! Please don’t declaw.
Lucky Chance Rescue
Saving Pets Is What We Do!
We are committed to the ethical treatment of animals, through pet adoption, promoting spay and neuter to end overpopulation and unwanted animals, reuniting missing pets with their owners and educating pet owners on the importance of veterinary care. Below you find great information to help you on your journey of being a successful and happy pet owner.