Our feline friends can be the joy of our life. Cats are highly intelligent, full of vigor and vibrancy, and some of the longest sleepers I have ever seen. There is no doubt that they are wonderful companions, but they have such long sharp nails and just love to scratch furniture, curtains, and other fabric articles. They can also either accidentally (or depending on the cat) intentionally scratch their loving owners, and sometimes those scratches are like a paper cut, small but painful!
Many people opt to have the cut declawed. It is a relatively quick procedure that involves taking the nails out of your cat’s paws. Voila, no more scratches, malicious or otherwise. However, this common practice is scrutinized with many vets. Some humane societies will not let you adopt a cat if they are aware that you declawed your previous cat. So what is it about this procedure that is causing such a stir?
Many people in North America declaw their cat. They want to keep their furniture, and we all work very hard for these items, and furniture is not a cheap item. Many vets will declaw your cat, but many owners are unaware of the procedure that declawing entails.
Without getting too graphic, the process of declawing your cat is a gruesome one. Let it be known that most of Europe has outlawed declawing of cats, and that most veterinarians in England have referred to it as “mutilation”. The process involves the veterinarian cutting the claw of your cat. Do not confuse a toe nail is a claw, it’s a common misconception .The claw is close to the bone. It is so close that the vet must cut the last joint of the cats toe bone as well as the claw. This is where problems begin.
Cats are a proud creature. If they are feeling pain, they certainly will hide it until the final hour. Cats are strong and work around pain and continue with their routine. The procedure is a painful one for cats. They have to readjust to a missing bone, and they often walk what looks to be on their “tippy toes” for a while. Think of it like a human missing the ends of their toes. One must relearn how to walk and how to function without missing toes. This obviously for a cat is a painful process.
There are many alternative solutions instead of declawing your cat. Scratching posts may not be perfect, but if you are lucky enough to have your cat as a kitten, you can train him or her to use the scratching post rather then your furniture! Others say that constantly clipping your cat’s nails keeps damage virtually non existent. A third option is a product called Soft Paws. Soft Paws are lightweight vinyl caps that you can put over your cats claws. The cusps are rounded, which causes the cat to not scratch any of your belongings. This product is also good for families with small children, so the child can also avoid being scratched by a playful or angry cat. This product is great for indoor cats and lasts up to six months.
We work hard for our things, and furniture is very expensive. If you are very interested in having a pet, it is so important that you consider the steps of declawing and how so many advocate groups are against this practice. It is also important to reflect as to why so many other countries have outlawed declawing of cats and why so many more are exploring the option of making this process illegal. There are many other options for protecting your furniture to explore, and if the market sees a keen interest in people looking for alternative measures for their cats, we can definitely see more products on the market in the near future.