cat declawing, declawing cats

Recent Poll Divided On Declawing Cats

Most people with indoor cats want them to live inside because it is safer for the cat. Indoor cat’s average lifespan is around 15 years, while the outdoor cat usually lives half that time. So it is a major benefit to keeping your cat indoors. At the same time, people want to protect their furniture and carpet from the damage an indoor cat with claws can do. They can shred your carpet, your furniture, and your drapery. A recent poll showed that 55% of Americans approved of declawing cats. ( )

However, just because a majority approve of something doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do. You have to weigh the cost to the cat against the possible damage to your home, as well as any alternatives to declawing.

What Is Declawing?

First, let’s look at what declawing actually is and the cost to your cat. So what happens when a cat is declawed? The veterinarian clips off the each paw at the first joint, cutting off the last part of the bone in each paw. You are actually cutting off the last third of the bone in that finger of the paw. What you are actually doing is amputating all ten fingers on your cat’s front paws.

This procedure is painful, can be deforming and can lead to behavioral problems for the cat later on. Your cat comes home with his or her paws bandaged up with a risk of excessive bleeding. There is a danger to your cat in having him or her declawed.

If you do decide to declaw – never, never, never declaw a cat’s back paws. These claws are vital to a cat’s grooming process and her ability to climb or defend herself if it ever became necessary to do so.

Declawing Alternatives

There are alternatives available to declawing your cat. Sprays are available that you can use to keep your cats off the furniture, and a product called “safe claws” that you can put over their claws. At a minimum, consider and exhaust all alternatives before approaching your vet about a declaw procedure.