Are you one of the millions of people that go to the nail salon for a mani/pedi every other week. It sure can be a relaxing break from the day in additional to keeping our nails and hands looking their best. A vet trip to get declawed is certainly nothing like that for our cats.
Declawing sounds pretty simple. The cats goes to sleep, the nail is removed, the cat wakes up and back to life it goes.
Before you make the decision to declaw your cat, there are some important facts you should know. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your cat's toe has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's "toes". Imagine if you had to go into surgery to remove the last digit of all of your fingers and toes. How would you cope with work, driving, writing?
The process of declawing is very painful and the recovery time is excruciating as well. Your cat still needs to walk, run, go to the litterbox as always. He has no choice but to use his feet throughout the entire healing process. He doing does not get a bedpan or on going pain relief.
Research by vets have discounted the following but if you check with folks in the animals welfare industry they will tell you the reality. Cats are turned in every day because their behavior changed after they were declawed. 1. Cats tend to urinate and defecate inappropriately 2. Cats start to bite
There are good reason for these behaviors to occur. 1. The cat still needs to use it's pained feet to walk, jump and scrape the litterbox. No wonder he will associate the pain with his litter box and decide to eliminate somewhere else! 2. The cat still wants to play and many times he uses his claws to say STOP, enough, I am done. Without claws he resorts to his other feature that can make an impression, his mouth.
Really, the choices an owner has to help their cat use appropriate scratching materials is vast. There are cat condos and cat trees with a variety of sisal, natural wood and cardboard scratchers. Using Rescue Remedy or Feliway can help lower the stress levels.
America is one of the only countries that still allow declawing. Europe has declared it illegal. Hopefully, one of these days we will come to our senses.