For many new cat parents, the decision to declaw the cat is made before any attempts at training are done and before gaining a thorough understanding of what this permanent procedure actually involves. Too many people look at the cat’s claws as things that cause destruction and injury to family members, rather than understanding how important claws are to the cat both physically and emotionally. In too many cases, cat parents aren’t given all the accurate information about this surgery and they certainly aren’t given enough information about how to properly train their cats so declawing wouldn’t even be needed.
Any procedure that can never be reversed requires adequate understanding of what’s involved and whether proper training has been done before making that surgery appointment. We owe it to our cats to not make quick decisions about something that will affect their lives forever.
Kittens are Getting to Know Their New Equipment
With a new kitten, those sharp little claws always seem to be doing something unwanted but that’s actually normal because the youngster is just learning about her new skills and the role her claws play in helping her navigate around her environment. If you combine positive, proper training and purchase (or make) a scratching post that meets a cat’s needs, your cat will learn where it’s acceptable to scratch and where it isn’t. Additionally, as your kitten grows, she’ll learn to keep her claws sheathed. Without humane, proper training and the availability of an effective and conveniently located scratching surface, your cat will probably end up scratching furniture because the act of scratching is a normal and vital part of being a cat.
As with any aspect of having a kitten (or any young pet), you have to allow time for that animal to learn about her emerging skills and have adequate time to become trained. It’s also up to us to make sure we do the proper training.
Does Your Cat Feel Backed in a Corner?
If you’re considering declawing because your adult cat is displaying aggressive behavior with her claws, it may mean you’re not accurately reading her body language. She may feel as if she only has one option to say “no.” Cats prefer to not have physical confrontations. That’s why they do so much posturing. If your cat has resorted to using her claws to communicate to others to “back off” then declawing in that case will not change the behavior. She’ll still feel backed in a corner. Cats usually give multiple warning signs before feeling the need to scratch or bite.
What’s Involved in the Declaw Surgery?
It’s important to understand what declawing actually involves. It’s not just the removal of the cat’s claw – it’s the severing of the entire first joint. It’s basically an amputation, or rather, 10 amputations. After declaw surgery, the cat’s paws are tightly bandaged and she’s kept overnight at the veterinary clinic. In some cases, cats aren’t even given pain medication after this surgery. Pain medication costs extra and many veterinary hospitals require you to sign off on whether you will agree to pay for the medication or not. If you choose not to pay for pain medication then your cat will suffer.