Is it Good to Declaw Cats?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. March 20, 2017
Is it Good to Declaw Cats?

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The answer is no, it isn't. Amputating a cat's claws, that is, declawing it, is not at all beneficial for the animal. Retractable claws are part of a cat's nature, and it needs them to hunt, play, climb, walk, and lead a normal, full life.

Amputation or declawing makes the animal unable to perform its normal activities. If your cat causes problems at home because it scratches the furniture or the curtains, you can find other solutions to stop it while staying healthy and happy. Of course, you can trim your cat's claws so that they are not as sharp.

Is it good to declaw cats? Why shouldn't you do it? Stay with us at AnimalWised and find out.

You may also be interested in: Is it Normal for My Cat to Snore?

What is declawing?

Declawing or onychectomy is the surgical process by which the cat's first phalanx - the end bones or toes - are removed, that is, amputated. While this procedure is relatively common in the United States, it is banned in many countries. The Spanish Feline Medicine Study Group (GEMFE) indicates that it is a very painful procedure and that complications arise in half the cats that undergo it.

In addition to the intense pain that cats suffer when they are declawed - which may not pass and instead become chronic - they can have serious problems after the surgery such as bleeding, infections, cysts, fistulas and even lameness. Furthermore, there is a possibility that they will regrow.

Is it Good to Declaw Cats? - What is declawing?

Health consequences of declawing

Declawing poses no health benefit for the cat; on the contrary, all the consequences are negative. Some years ago it was common practice in many countries, but today there is more information and there are hardly any veterinary clinics that accept this practice. In some countries and states it is banned by law under measures against animal cruelty.

GEMFE gives some reasons why it is not good to declaw a cat, in addition to the health complications involved in the surgery.

  • Claws are a cat's weapon for protection. Without them, they feel insecure against possible predators.
  • Cats games include the use of claws: they play and climb with them, and being declawed can lead them to have difficulties communicating and to develop anxiety, stress and serious behavioral problems such as aggression.
  • Scratching is a way to relax.
  • Cats use their claws to scratch themselves, and without them they cannot relieve an itch.
Is it Good to Declaw Cats? - Health consequences of declawing

Stopping a cat from scratching without declawing

Cats like to scratch objects, which is the main reason why owners have them declawed. However, it is part of their nature: before adopting a cat, you must bear this in mind.

If you want to stop your cat from scratching around and wrecking your home, there are alternatives to declawing. Choose a cat scratching post where it can sharpen its claws and relieve stress without attacking the furniture. If you do not have time or do not know how to teach your cat to use its new scratching post, you can always ask for a professional's help.

So, is it good to declaw cats? Not at all: cats need their claws to live happily and stay healthy, calm and motivated. To learn more about cat behavior and needs, take a look at the following articles:

Is it Good to Declaw Cats? - Stopping a cat from scratching without declawing

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Is it Good to Declaw Cats?, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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