When I first heard about declawing, I thought it was the greatest idea ever. I would never have to worry about my furniture being scratched, me being scratched or the cats getting their claws caught on things. It would be so convenient to never have to trim their claws again. Some of our cats tolerate having their nails trimmed better than others but the process itself is often very stressful on all parties involved.
As I read into the surgical procedure, I realised that declawing a cat involved not only getting their claws removed, it also includes the amputation of the last segment of bone on each of their toes. The human equivalent would be to have the tip of our fingers and toes cut off.
This shocked me, not only because it was a legal procedure in some parts of the world but also it had no benefit for the cat, just a quick fix for us. I’m glad that this practice is illegal in Australia and I hope in the near future, it will also be illegal in the USA as currently, over 22 million household cats are declawed!
Declawed cats can suffer from permanent lameness, behavioural changes and arthritis. Some avoid using the litter tray because it’s painful for them to dig in the litter.
To save your couch from being shredded to pieces, provide your cat with a scratching post near by. Play with them before meal times to drain their energy so they are less destructive. If they are not good with their nails trimmed, try clipping one claw or paw a day and always end with a positive experience such as a treat or toy.
An alternative to frequent claw clipping is a product called Soft Claws. They are vinyl nail caps that you stick on your cat’s claws. Because these caps have round tips, they prevent your furniture or you from damage.
I know there are millions of cat lovers and I hope that they realise like me, that declawing is inhumane. You are amputating bone, nerves, tendons and skin just for the sake of protecting your furniture. I can’t seem to justify it and I hope you agree with me.