Why you shouldn't declaw your cat

Why you shouldn't declaw your cat

It's illegal in many places - for good reason

 Many cat owners, faced with a cat that is scratching people or destroying the furniture, have considered declawing their cat. But  what these owners don't realize is that declawing is cruel and medically dangerous. Many vets refuse to perform the procedure, and declawing is illegal in many countries, as well as several cities in the United States.

Declawing is the equivalent of amputating at the last joint of each of your fingers. Not only is this a horrifying thought, but it throws off a cat's gait and can cause a lifetime of pain, because it forces the cat to walk on a joint - the amputated stub - that was not designed for it.

Declawed cats often have difficulty with normal clumping cat litter, because the missing toe segments allow litter to get worked farther into their toes. Declawed cats need to use special litter made from newspaper shreds or corn cobs. And needless to say, many cats don't like the transition to a new kind of cat litter.

Declawing also leaves your cat helpless if it ever does have to defend itself. Although hopefully this situation will never arise.

A better solution is to use a soft nail cap, which is harmless and painless and affordable. Your vet can show you how to apply these caps, which come in a variety of fun colors. The soft plastic prevents the cat from damaging anything, but still allows the cat to practice all of its normal behaviors.

If your cat is scratching the furniture, first of all, you must invest in a good scratching post. It should be sturdy enough for the cat to jump and climb it without knocking it over, and it should be placed somewhere central. Don't just buy a cheap little plastic post covered with carpet and stick it in the back of the laundry room! 

Some cats really like those cardboard scratchers, and others prefer sisal or rope. Experiment to find out what your cat likes. Consider it an investment in your home furnishings! It's cheaper than buying a new couch.

Once you have a solid scratching post that your cat enjoys using, train the cat to use it by rubbing it with catnip. At the same time, put double-sided tape on the edges of the furniture, and keep a squirt bottle handy to squirt kitty when the claws come out on the wrong object. Your house will be safe and sound in no time.