When your kitten starts to get into that playful destructive phase and begins to shred your furniture I'm sure that there must be a strong urge to consider having your cat declawed. Many experts agree that this really should be your last resort not only because it is a painful procedure for your kitten to go through, but it can also lead to a reduced quality of life. The aim of this article is to provide you with some of the consequences of having your kitten declawed as well as provide some helpful alternatives that may reduce the possibility of any your furniture or possessions being destroyed.
What are the Consequences of Declawing your Kitten?
There are many consequences to the health and well being of your kitten if you decide to go down the route of declawing. The obvious is that the procedure is very painful. The pain and swelling can last up to two weeks. This may be a problem for you because the cat will require more hands on attention from you. Even with new techniques in declawing, such as laser surgery, your kitten will still go through enormous amounts of pain for a few weeks after. You will have to also consider the cost in having the claws removed at the Vet's office as well as the pain medication after the procedure.
Something that you may or may not have considered is how the procedure with affect how your kitten goes to the litter box. Kitty litter is very abrasive on your kitten's paws so a cat that has had their claws removed is more prone to infections from the irritation that can occur on the kitten's paws. An alternative to kitty litter would be to use shredded news paper, but this is going to require that you shred the paper for the box. Shredded paper is also not as convenient as kitty litter when it comes to removing the waste.
If you do have your kitten declawed expect to see a change in their affectionate and cuddly personality. It has been reported many times that cats compensate for not having their claws by reverting to biting. Cats use their claws as a form of self-defense. When you remove the claws, they start to use their other form of defense, which is biting. This can lead to many owners giving up on their kittens because it isn't the experience that they envisioned. The pain that your kitten goes through after the procedure can also cause him/her to be very agitated and irritable.
The declawing can also affect your kitten later on in life. Not only do cats use their claws to help them stretch their muscles, tendons, and joints, but they also play a crucial role in helping the cat walk on their toes. Without claws, your cat may have problems with its joints due to not walking correctly and may also effect their muscle tone and agility.
What are the Alternatives to Declawing?
The simplest and easiest way to prevent your kitten from ripping up your furniture is to purchase a scratching post. A tip to enticing your kitten to use the scratching post is to buy some spray cat nip. Spray some of the cat nip on the scratching post and bring your kitten over to it to get acquainted. It will start to associate the scratching post with a good time. If your kitten is still scratching the furniture, the material on the post may not be to its liking. You may want to try getting the same material as the furniture for the scratching post. Also place the scratching post in the area of your home that your cat is doing its scratching.
Clipping your cat's nails is also a good way to reduce the damage that your cat can do with its claws. The other option along this train of thought is to have your cat undergo a flexor tendonectomy. In this procedure, the vet will cut the tendons that your cat uses to extend his/her claws. This will cause the claws to permanently retract. If you do have this procedure done, you will have to remember that your cat's claws will have to be trimmed a minimum of every two weeks. The downside to clipping your kitten's nails is that you may have a very hard time holding him/her still when trying to get the nails clipped.
There is now adhesive nail covers that you can you use with your cat. It has been reported that the application of these covers is very easy to do and will cost about $20 for a six month supply. The negative to applying these caps is that you will have to hold your kitten for a few minutes to give the glue a chance to dry. One of the many positives is that they come in different colors so you will be able to get creative with your cats claws.
If you are dead set on getting your cat declawed, consider getting a cat from the humane society that has already been declawed.
For more information on kitten and cat care, visit My Kitty Care Site [http://www.mykittycaresite.com]