We know that cats like to claw, but when their clawing starts to destroy our furniture, carpets, or skin, we start to look for ways to stop it. While some people will decide to have their cats declawed, this is an inhumane and painful option that should always be avoided… Discover the top reasons why you never want to declaw your cat.
Declawing Isn’t Like Trimming Nails
Some cat owners think it’s fine to declaw their felines because they believe it’s just like trimming nails or removing part of the claw. However, when a veterinarian declaws a cat, he or she amputates the first joint of the cat’s toes. On a human, this is like losing the finger at the first knuckle. Along with the pain of major surgery, declawed cats will have to learn how to walk again. If you have an older cat who’s having trouble maintaining his claws, you can trim them without him experiencing any pain.
Declawing Leaves Your Cat Defenseless
Your cat’s main forms of defense are their claws. If they spend any amount of time outside, you’re leaving them open to attacks from more aggressive animals. Even if your cats spend all of their time inside, they’ll often just show their claws to other pets to let them know they’re getting too rambunctious and they need to leave them alone. Plus, you never know when an indoor cat might accidentally slip outside… At that point, the only defense they have left are their teeth.
Declawed Cats Aren’t More Docile
One myth that gets spread around is that declawing your cat will make them more docile. Unfortunately, the exact opposite can happen. Declawed cats can actually become more aggressive since they don’t have this important natural defense anymore. They might also turn into biters because they no longer have their claws.
Domestic cats are digitigrade, meaning they walk on their toes. Walking with an altered gait because of the lack of the first digit of the toes can affect all the joints of the leg, resulting later in arthritis of the hip and other joints.
Declawing Isn’t More Hygienic
Another myth is that declawed cats are more hygienic. However, declawed cats might stop using their litter box because of the pain from scratching at gravel litter during recovery. Cats also use their claws when they groom themselves, so removing their claws means they’re not able to scratch itches or pick out mats or clumps in their fur.
It’s Illegal in Some Areas
If the pain a cat goes through when she’s declawed isn’t enough, consider that some cities and countries now make it illegal to declaw your cat. Currently, there are 21 countries that ban declawing. This includes England, Germany, France, Brazil, and Australia. In Israel, if you declaw a cat, you can spend up to a year in jail and be fined $20,000.
In the United States, several cities in California have banned declawing, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. Denver, Colorado, New Jersey recently banned declawing cats, and New York is considering laws that would make the practice illegal too.