I'm writing this blog because I had a friend recently tell me that he had just gotten his kitten declawed. As he told me his story, if was everything I could do to not yell at him, "How can you do that to such an innocent little creature?!?" When it dawned on me, most people think that because the vet can declaw your pet, that it's not that bad to have it done. So it's too late for his little kitten, but the more we can educate people the less common we can make declawing.
First off, why does your cat scratch?
Your cat's scratching is a natural way to groom their nails, mark territory, and stretch their muscles.
This is a problem when it's your furniture that the cat is tearing up. Usually you can redirect this behavior when a kitten is young, and the adult cat will have no issues.
When your cat is tearing up your furniture and a simple fix like declawing seems like an option, maybe you don't really know what declawing is...so I'll tell you.
Declawing is a surgical operation in which the last toe bones are removed; the human equivalent would be cutting off the tips of your fingers and toes at the top knuckle.
There is the option where some vets don't remove the toe bone and instead clip the tendons so that the cat no longer has function of retracting and extending the nails. A tendonectomy can cause the cat's nails to grow uncontrollably and require frequent managing so they're not getting snagged.
There are many ways to tame a cat from scratching, but if you can't seem to manage your cat's scratching there are non surgical options.
Soft Paws, which is gluing soft cats over the tips of your cats nails and need to be replaced about every 6 weeks. Plus, they look super cute.
Sticky Paws, a special transparent tape to deter unwanted scratching on furniture and does no damage to the furniture.
Keep their nails trimmed and use toys and scratching posts.
Declawing is a terrible procedure and should be reserved for very rare cases, and ones that usually are due to illness. Read an article here from the Human Society talking about declawing.
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