What Are the Long-Term Complications of Having Your Cat Declawed?

August 10, 2018 9:49 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Cats love to scratch, as it helps them keep their claws manageable, mark their territory and get in a good stretch all at the same time. However, sometimes they might take their scratching activities to an undesirable furnishing or surface in your home, which sends you scrambling to figure out a solution to protect your furniture.

When considering ways to get their cat to stop tearing up the furniture, many people give consideration to declawing. However, many veterinarians in Bolivar, MO know that this procedure could actually be causing your cat a great deal of pain and trauma, in both the short and long terms. Your local animal clinic is here to present you with some important information that you should know before you put your cat through this invasive procedure.

Severe pain

When a cat is declawed, everything up to and including the last bone of each of their toes is amputated. This will understandably leave cats in a substantial amount of pain in the short term, but if the initial procedure was done incorrectly more long-term damage could set in as well. In some surgeries, the doctor doesn’t completely remove the first knuckle and all of its connecting tissue. The claw tissue that remains will sometimes attempt to grow a new claw underneath the skin, which could eventually turn into a painful abscess. Alternatively, if too much of the toe is taken off and the digital pad next to the claw is damaged, the cat will have to deal with a considerable amount of paw pain with every step they take.

Long-term back pain

In addition to causing problems within cats’ claws, the declawing procedure could also cause long-term anatomical damage. If a cat can’t bear their weight on their paws, as they have grown accustomed to, they will have to change their gait as a result. With this adjustment in posture, cats will have an added risk for developing back pain that could plague them for the rest of their lives.

Litter box problems

After a cat has been declawed, they may refuse to use the litter box. Not only are their feet wounded, but the litter can potentially get into their wounds and cause even more pain. In search of relief, some cats will turn to softer options such as carpeting, pillows or laundry, which in turn would be just as harmful for your home as scratching.

If you want to take care of your cat’s nails without having to declaw them, there are multiple alternatives that are available. To learn more about some of these options, contact our experienced veterinary team at Animal Care Clinic of Bolivar. Our animal clinic in Bolivar, MO can make sure that your cat’s claws are taken care of with a non-invasive trim, so that both your cat and the belongings in your home remain safe. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today—we look forward to working with you to do what’s best for you and your cat!

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