why it is not recommended declawing older cats

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Why It Is Not Recommended Declawing Older Cats

July 13, 2016

What is actually declawing? Is it just as simple as removing the claws in cats? In fact, declawing is also known as onychectomy. It is a surgical procedure where the cat’s last bone and nail are removed from the cat’s front feet (sometimes in rear feet too).

When you declaw your cat, it won’t be able to scratch again, be it scratching human, other pets, or furniture. For some cat’s owners who have problems with their cat’s behavior, this may be a good solution. However, there are some cons in doing the procedure.

Before deciding to declaw your cat, you may want to consider using other alternatives, like regular nail clipping, using vinyl nail caps, or even behavior modification.

If you are sure there’s no good alternative of declawing your cats, you should also know that even though this is a personal choice, but it is considerably illegal. It’s because declawing will give disadvantages for cats, it’s like you remove the crucial part of your cat. And it’s included in amputation procedure. Most people think it’s cruel.

The procedure is usually very painful to the cat, and it often leads to further complications. If you want to imagine how painful it is to be declawed for a cat, imagine your first knuckle in your fingers being cut off.

So is it inhumane to declaw cats? It is ok not to declaw cat despite its bad behavior? What should I do if the other alternatives of declawing didn’t work out? To start off, whether it is inhumane or not depends on the circumstances and conditions behind the declawing. If you declaw your cat for medical reason and the purpose is to make your cat healthy, it’s OK.

It may be against the cat’s natural to declaw a cat if it’s not for a medical purpose. Even though it is not cruel if it’s done in the right way, it cannot remove the fact that claws are something cats were born with, like fingers and nails in us.

declawing older cats

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If you want to know the procedure, yes, it’s conducted under anesthesia. However, it can’t erase the risk of further infections and bleeding. In fact, those are the common risks in surgery. Declawing should be done by a professional vet, so it will be safe for the cat.

So what kind of reasons which it’s actually OK to declaw a cat? In some medical situations, there are several triggers why declawing your cats are the best way. Tumor is one of the reasons. If your cat has tumor and it’s already gone beyond repair, amputation is the best treatment.

The health of cat’s owners is also considered in this case. If you have particular medical conditions which make you can’t stand cat claws (like immune system problem or case of thin blood), then you bacteria in cat’s claws can damage you. So declawing is possible.

Apart from those reasons, not every vet would be glad to perform declawing surgery. Thus, the cost is high, because it’s very rare to find a professional vet who can do it without strong reasons.

Why Declawing Older Cats Are Not Recommended

why declawing older cats are not recommended

via face4pets.org

Declawing younger cats can be very painful, and the pain gets doubled if it’s conducted in older cats. Declawing older cats can be traumatized for the cat. It’s because the older the cats, the riskier it becomes in surgery. Older cats are prone to secondary infections after the procedure. Plus, it takes a longer time to heal in older cats.

So, it’s recommended to visit cat’s behaviorist instead to fix its scratching problem, rather than completely remove your old cat’s nail bed.

Pros and Cons of Declawing

pros and cons of declawing

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Many people are opposed to declawing, especially declawing older cats. Why? Because major reasons why cats’ owners want to declaw their cats is because of social issues, like keep scratching the furniture, or clawing everyone, and more. However, sometimes, declawing cats is something necessary to do because of certain reasons.

One of the reasons to declaw cats is to prevent nail infections from advancing. Sometimes cat have nail infections and declawing becomes something necessary to do when infections occur. Declawing can also be done to prevent cancerous growth occurring around the nails. If it is for the sake of the cats’ health, declawing is never a bad thing to do.

However, despite the reasons, declawing cats is still something many people think cruel and many activists become emotional when talking about this particular issue. Declawing cats is an issue that has triggered various questions starting from whether declawing cats is cruel to whether declawing cats is an inhumane act and more.

Whether declawing cats is a cruel or inhumane procedure or not, however, is actually something that depends on the reason why the procedure is done. It is all about the conditions under which the procedure is done. If it is for the purpose of keeping the cute animals healthy, it is undeniably something necessary to do.

Declawing cats is not a cruel act if it is done right but the act of declawing cats should only be done if there are good reasons to do it. Just like how we are born with nails, cats are creatures born with claws and they should keep them. It is only recommended to declaw them when their claws have unhealthy conditions such as when they have tumor or when they are damaged beyond repair.

Reasons for Why Declawing Cats is Not a Good Thing to Do

reasons for why declawing cats is not a good thing to do

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There are a number of reasons for why declawing cats is not a good thing to do when there are no compelling reasons to do it. First of all, after the declawing, cats are usually in pain which can actually continue up to two weeks. Declawing cats also makes the cats insecure, thus, making them bite more as a self-defense mechanism.

If the declawing is not done well, the nails can actually grow back and cause extreme pain, thus, leaving the cat in agony. Oftentimes, declawed cats do not use the litter box after being declawed because the first days after declawing normally come with pain. Thus, the cats associate the litter box with pain and do their best to avoid it.

After the declawing is done, the cats may suffer from impaired balance that requires them to learn to walk once more. Also, declawed cats must be kept indoors because letting them out will only make them quite vulnerable to predators because their claws, which are their number one line of defense, are not there anymore.

Alternatives to Declawing Older Cats

alternatives to declawing older cats

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Declawing cats is undeniably not a good thing to do when there are no good reasons to do it and there are some alternatives to declawing cats. One of those alternatives is doing regular nail trims. Make sure to trim your cats’ nails when they are calmed because the nail trimming can lead to bleeding if your cats are not calmed and they suddenly move when you trim their nails.

The next alternative is providing the cats with scratching posts. Make sure the scratching posts are both tall and sturdy because soft, fluffy posts will not their needs. Sisal fiber posts are among the best scratching posts you can get for your cats today.

Training your cats on where to scratch is also another alternative. Encourage your cats to scratch on certain spots. Use some firm reprimands if you see your cats scratching on inappropriate areas. However, remember not to use physical force when you train your cats. Also, train your cats from when they are very small so that they habitually scratch only on the right spots.

Another alternative to try is using vinyl nail caps. You can get some cute nail caps made from vinyl to use to cover your cats’ nails today. Your cats’ nails will never damage your furniture of other items in your home if they are covered in vinyl caps. There are various vinyl nail caps for cats available today and they come in various cute colors.

The various cute colors vinyl nail caps for cats available today come in include purple, pink, green, red, and more. Get some for your cats if you don’t want them to scratch various parts of your house and damage them. It is better to give your cats these cute things than declawing them, thus, giving them pain they might not deserve to feel.

Important Things to Note before Deciding to Declaw Cats

important things to note before deciding to declaw cats

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Declawing cats should be an act that is only done when it is for a lifesaving purpose. One should not decide on declawing their cats when it is only for unnecessary mutilation. Many people might have debated about this problem but there was never an easy answer. However, it is clear that a declawing procedure should never be done if there is no compelling reason behind it.

Declawing cats can actually lead to medical problems that can give disadvantages to both the cats and their owners. For example, declawing cats can cause them to bite more since their claws are not there anymore. Not having claws to use causes them to bite more since their teeth are among the only things they have left to defend themselves.

The act of declawing cats can also cause the declawed cats to avoid their litter box because they associate the box with pain they feel during the first days after they are declawed. Cats avoiding their litter box is undeniably a problem because the box is what make sure that cats properly do their business when they need to do something they usually do in their precious little box.

Feline experts will definitely agree that declawing is not the best solution to problems which are related to cats’ claws. There are still other effective solutions cat owners can resort to when facing troubles that have something to do with their cats’ claws. One of those effective solutions is behavior modification.

Altering your cats’ behavior is actually a trick you can try if you do not want your cats to damage things with their claws. You can do this by, for example, creating scratching posts where your cat can use their claws to their hearts’ content. Make sure you never use physical force when trying to get your cats to scratch on the designated spots.

The act of declawing cats itself is something considered illegal in the UK. The procedure is considered illegal in the country and the Animal Welfare Act 2006 has outlawed it. Many considered the procedure inhumane since a long time ago. However, professional conduct still allows the act of declawing if the purpose is to treat an injury or prevent damages to the cats.

United Kingdom is not the only part of the world where declawing cats is only an act done in extreme circumstances. Italy, Austria, Norway, and Switzerland are also among the countries in Europe where the procedure is performed only in extreme circumstances. The other Europe countries include Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, and Slovenia.

Outside Europe, the countries where the act of declawing cats is done only in extreme circumstances include Australia, Brazil, and New Zealand. In the US, many states are adamant in banning the act. Many parts of the world are against the act of declawing cats and some even consider the procedure inhumane.

West Hollywood, which is a part of California, was the first state that banned elective declawing. The state later forbade landlords to require pet owners to do cat declawing. NYC saw a law for the banning of declawing cats in 2015. Declawing cats should only be done when it is for the cats’ convenience and not for that of the owners.

In short, note the fact that it is not recommended to declaw cats because it leads to various bad things including imposing pain that makes your cats suffer. There are still alternatives pet owners can try when they face problems related to their cute pets’ claws. Declawing should not be the first option unless it is done to save cats’ lives.

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2 Responses to “Why It Is Not Recommended Declawing Older Cats”

  1. Robert Boyles says:

    I just want to simply say that this is one of the best articles on declawing/not declawing issue. As vice president of the Michigan Siamese Rescue we do not condone the declawing of case unless there is a medical issue to do so. Also as a volunteer photographer for the Michigan Humane Society I encourage people adopting kittens and cats many different ways to keep your new pet from ruining furniture and such. Of course the biggest item is the scratching posts. There should be more than one available in the house, especially if you have multiple cats in your household.
    Again, thank you for a wonderful article.



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