Declawing a cat or kitten is usually done to prevent the owner's furniture from being damaged. If the owner has children in the house, then declawing is a drastic measure they might take to prevent any harm. However, it is very unnatural and unpleasant for a cat to live without claws.
First of all, it is important to know what declawing is. Contrary to what some might think, declawing does not mean that the feline is simply having their nails trimmed. To be declawed is when the entire nail is removed.
The only way that this can be done is through surgery. Not only is the claw removed, but also the cells that are responsible for the growth. Another addition which causes pain to the feline is the removal of the terminal bone of the toe.
After having their claws removed, the inability to scratch is not the only unfortunate event for the feline. They are also unable to defend themselves in a fight. Even if the cat stays indoors all of the time, you can never be sure when he or she will dart out the door behind you.
The cat will not only be unable to defend themselves, but they will not be able to climb up a tree in order to escape. Indoors, if your cat previously enjoyed jumping up on things, they will have difficulty.
Other studies have found that a declawed cat cannot even maintain cleaning itself normally. This is due to the fact that cats use their claws for grooming purposes. A cat with claws can reach certain areas of the head, mouth, or neck that a cat that is declawed cannot.
While many cats who have been declawed do adjust, their life is never normal after that day. Other cats have been found to become very aggressive and start to bite its owner in order to compensate for their insecurity.
The actual operation can be performed at any age, but many vets who agree to operate will recommend that it be done when the cat is still a kitten. This is due to the fact that the kitten will be able to adjust more easily to the new unnatural way of living, opposed to a cat that has lived differently for many years.
If the operation is not performed correctly, it can lead to serious problems, such as infections, paw deformation, or even the claws growing back. The overall recovery time is around five or seven days.
Generally, the process is quite painful for the cat or kitten. While during the operation, there is an anesthetic involved, but afterwards is when the pain hits. The final conclusion is that not only is having your cat declawed cruel and inhumane, it is also risky and unnecessary.
It is understandable that you do not want your furniture ruined. A cat scratching post is a sensible alternative. Some cats will even use it as their new bed, and you can purchase one that has a bed for the cat to lie on.
You will probably not see results overnight. It will take some time to train your cat or kitten to use the post instead. Kittens are also much easier to train, but there is no evidence that an older cat cannot learn a new trick as well.
One way to get your feline to warm up to the post instantly is to place raw fish or shrimp all around the post. The cat will flock to it and will eventually realize that the post is their territory, which is one of the reasons the cat scratches in the first place. While you do not have to leave smelly fish on the post all of the time, you can feed the cat its normal food there on a daily basis.
If your cat continues to scratch on furniture even after they have gotten used to the post, there are specific cat repellents that keep cats away from spots that they like to claw. You can talk to your veterinarian about these sprays. More than likely they have it at the veterinarian office.
Marc de Jong is a journalist, webmaster and long-time cat lover. He's the owner of http://www.cat-pregnancy-report.com, a highly popular site on cat health and pregnancy in cats.