Cats are often the ideal pets. They’re easy, self-sufficient, fluffy and oftentimes loving—that is, until the claws come out. A cat’s natural instinct is to scratch on surfaces to remove excess claw material and to keep their nails clean and trim. Unfortunately, cats don’t realize just how destructive this behavior can be. That’s why many people consider declawing their cat. This has been a hotly debated topic in recent years, though. Some claim it’s unnatural, while others think it’s the best solution to an age-old problem.
A cat owner needs to understand both sides of the debate before making any decision. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of declawing your cat in Bolivar, MO.
What’s the procedure?
A veterinarian will perform the declawing procedure in the office. The process involves removing the claw and the small piece of bone it grows from. This keeps the claw from growing back. Usually, the cat is declawed using a sling blade that cuts a straight line through the joint between that small bone attached to the claws and the next piece of bone. The other option is cosmetic declawing, which uses a tiny curved blade to dissect each individual claw and bone piece. Many veterinarians favor the first procedure because it’s less time-consuming and intensive.
What are the benefits?
Generally, the cat’s claws are removed for social issues, like protecting the furniture from a cat’s destructive behavior. Homes with small children might opt to remove the claws to keep the kids from being hurt. People with suppressed immune systems or those on blood thinners might choose to declaw their cat out of concern for their own health.
Why are people against declawing?
The sling blade method of claw removal involves cutting part of the pad off. The cat usually can’t walk on the pads for weeks without feeling some pain or discomfort from the trauma to the soft tissue. Some feel removing a cat’s claws is an unnatural procedure done only for the benefit of the owner, instead of the cat. Removing the claws can leave a cat defenseless and vulnerable.
What are the alternatives?
The American Veterinary Medical Association says declawing isn’t medically necessary, but it can be appropriate for any cats who are danger of losing their home otherwise. Declawing should be performed when the cat is about three to six months old—ideally at the same time they’re spayed or neutered. Young cats have a faster recovery time and experience fewer complications. Avoid declawing older cats in Bolivar, MO.
Alternatively, owners can train their cats to scratch on a scratching post. This training will save the cost of the procedure and help you avoid putting the cat through any unnecessary trauma. Your vet can recommend a training plan to teach your kitten alternative behaviors to redirect energy and reduce inappropriate scratching.
Ultimately, the decision needs to be made between the pet owner and the veterinarian. It’s important to consider any health concerns, alternatives and overall pet safety in Bolivar, MO. Call the team at the Animal Care Clinic of Bolivar to learn more about whether declawing is the right decision for your cat.
This post was written by Writer