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Declawing Your Cat ------ The Devastating Effects

Updated on February 18, 2012

So you're not happy with the fact that your dear little kitty cat shreds your couch, climbs your curtains, and unpredictably decides to attack your bare feet with its piercing sharp claws. Perhaps you are familiar with the term "declawing," and perhaps you are a 'claw' away from making the decision to have this procedure done on your beloved feline. The idea of enjoying all the benefits of your cat without the downside of its sharp, destructive claws sounds great. Unfortunately, you couldn't be farther from the truth.

Don't be deceived into thinking it's a simple and healthy procedure for your cat. In order to remove the cat's claws, the cat's leg bone has to be amputated in three parts, and the claw is actually firmly connected to the last joint in your cat's foot. There are veterinarians who will lie and say that declawing your cat does not harm your cat in any way, but the truth is, cats do need their claws for stretching their back and shoulders, for balance when they leap onto things, and for security and protection when they feel threatened in any situation.

Despite what your veterinarian might tell you in order to ease your skepticism and pull out your wallet, your cat does not benefit from the surgery in ANY way; it is entirely for human convenience. Removing a cat's claws impairs the alignment in the cat's back and shoulders, making it difficult for the cat to balance properly when they leap onto objects, keeping the cat from...well, being a cat. Painful infections may also develop in their paws. Realizing that they no longer possess their prime source of defense against other animals or any other potential threat, the cat becomes insecure and withdrawn, often hiding away in a place where they feel is safe for them. Your cat will no longer be interested in cuddling next to you in bed, purring and 'making muffins;' they are too busy doing whatever they can possibly do to protect their newfound vulnerability. The cat you've grown to love and know is gone; all that's left of them is the permanent terror and trauma that you've caused them.

You Don't Have to Declaw --- There Are Alternatives

Your cat doesn't have to give up its precious claws; there are ways that you can keep your cat and your furniture in good standing! There are scratching posts available and even claw caps to put over your cat's claws to do damage control.

With a little extra effort, love, and patience, you can discourage your cat from attacking your couch with the following materials: a scratching post (or more, if you desire) and a clean squirt bottle filled with water.

  • When you spot your sweet feline clawing 'forbidden' territory, spritz their back with the spray bottle. Do not spray them in the face! Do this consistently whenever they claw your furniture, and eventually, they will get the message. The idea is to encourage the cat to solely depend on their scratching posts for scratching instead of your furniture.
  • Your cat will soon realize that the unpleasant water spritz is associated with scratching your furniture, and they will eventually stop and resort instead to the scratching posts, where they can freely sharpen their claws without the aftershock of being attacked with water.

Remember that your goal is to make a diversion from damaging your furniture, not to harm your kitty. This is one humane and reasonable solution that is good for both you and kitty.



Claw Caps

Claw caps are another positive alternative for claw control. Enamel caps are simply glued over each claw, which eliminates the sharpness of their natural claws. Claw caps protect you, your furniture, and your cat's security at the same time. It's a win-win!

The claw caps are notorious for their fun colors, as well. Why not give your cat a mani/pedi with some cute hot pink claws?

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    • profile image

      Polly 2 years ago

      Ah yes, nicely put, evoereny.

    • profile image

      Danilo 2 years ago

      Sorry for being absent, I've been deliang with some gross bronchial thing and am just starting to get back to normal (I hope!). I like to think of Miss. P's green nails as fake nails that ladies sport. They last 4-6 weeks and then we'll need to get another set applied (we've got hot pink ones lined up next). The beauty of these is that she doesn't even notice she's got them on (other than when the vet tech applies them, then she's very angry), she scratches like she normal would, grips the carpet like she did before except now it doesn't ruin anything. Great alternative to declawing. The hope is that in the future, she'd be used to the application process that I can start applying them myself.

    • nataliejs profile image
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      Natalie Schaeffer 5 years ago from Farmersville, CA

      @cattales101, Bless your heart for rescuing that poor cat! She's terrified and insecure because she knows she can't defend herself with her claws if she's attacked! :( Poor kitty. People just don't realize how much they are taking away from a cat when they declaw them. I will never understand why someone would mutilate a living creature before they would ever mutilate a piece of furniture! Unbelievable! And you're right; if someone cares more about a sofa than a living thing who needs a good loving home, then their heart is obviously not in the right place, and they shouldn't own a pet. Are you still taking care of the cat?

    • profile image

      cattales101 5 years ago

      I rescued a declawed cat living under an RV trailer for 4-5 yrs. approx. and she is the most loving cat you could care for, she now resides in my bedroom only! She is scared to come out every noise she hears scares her but she's safe now. Declawing an animal is torture ! This cat is very aware that she does not have claws she cannot climb or get up on anything because she has no claws. I think her little feet hurt sometimes when it's cold because she tries to bury them in my neck and sometimes she pulls her little feet back from touching a pillow I really believe that her paws hurt and she is now 12 yrs.old. This is a very cruel and selfish thing to do to any animal if you don't like the scratching and cannot find a post or nail covers my suggestion is, DON'T GET A CAT AND DON'T MUTILATE IT!

    • nataliejs profile image
      Author

      Natalie Schaeffer 5 years ago from Farmersville, CA

      @cloverleaffarm This video might be helpful =) http://youtu.be/zjVjsmTOOUo

    • nataliejs profile image
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      Natalie Schaeffer 5 years ago from Farmersville, CA

      I'm glad you found a better way to discourage your cat from clawing your furniture. I'm sure there are many creative alternatives out there. Declawing should never be an option. Cats are so instinctive and entertaining. They are real characters, and I can't imagine how anyone would want to shred their character by taking their claws. My sister declawed her cat, and the cat was never the same again; it always seemed terrified and withdrawn. It was really sad. My sister wasn't aware of how much a cat truly depends on their claws for more than just scratching. They depend on their claws for stretching their muscles. That's why I wrote this hub, so people can think twice about doing this to their beloved pet :(

    • nataliejs profile image
      Author

      Natalie Schaeffer 5 years ago from Farmersville, CA

      I agree with you, as well. Declawing your cat is taking away a vital part of what makes them a cat! I bet if more people realized how important a cat's claws are, they wouldn't go through with it. That's why I smile as I read these comments, because I know that my efforts of steering people away from this awful surgery are paying off :)

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      I agree with Annacia...it's inhumane.

      Cats are suppose to have claws,for defense. It's taking away a vital part of the cat's basic needs.

      Loved the hub. voted up....oh, and I thought the claw caps were cool. Never heard of those. I can't see any of my cats letting me put them on though..lol.

    • TENKAY profile image

      TENKAY 5 years ago from Philippines

      Declawing cats is not advisable, even before I read this informative hub, it never entered into my plans to declaw cats. What I did was buy only furniture made of hard wood, or any material that would survive the cat's scratches. I love cats play, their spurts of movements, pretend games of stalking a prey (I am the prey sometimes), hide and seek games. They are not cats anymore if they will not do this and also if they have no claws.

    • AnnaCia profile image

      AnnaCia 5 years ago

      Oh no, I do not agree with declawing cats paws. That is inhumane. My cat, although does not damage the furniture, for sure has a corner of the kitchen's rug in its last stages. I use the spray technique. Thanks for the hub