Aftercare for Declawing Cats

The process of declawing cats is quite traumatizing and can leave your cat very sore and tender. There are some things you can do to make your cat’s recovery process go as smoothly as possible.

Bringing Your Declawed Cat Home

The declawing process is comparable to having major surgery. The surgery involves cutting into bone and has been compared to amputation. Prepare your home so that your cat has the best and fastest recovery time possible. Plan to keep your cat indoors for the entire healing process. 

Change out any sand or clay litter. Instead use newspapers or strips of paper which will not get into the wound. Cats should not be allowed to jump for a few days.  You may want to consider confining your cat to a small space until it some healing takes place. Move food dishes and litter box close to the cat’s bed so the cat doesn’t have to move around too much.    

Caring for Your Declawed Cat

Your cat may be kept overnight for the declawing procedure. When you bring your cat home, it will be in quite a bit of pain for the first several days, and possibly even weeks. The vet will send home pain medication which should be given to the cat regularly so that pain is kept down and the cat is comfortable. You may not be able to tell when your cat is in pain, so keeping the cat medicated is important.

Keep claws clean and change bandages regularly. Infection is common after declawing because of foreign objects getting into the wound. Be careful not to step on your cat and keep it away from other animals in the household, especially other cats, who may try to lick and groom the cat’s wound.

Things to Watch For in Your Declawed Cat

Although a small amount of bleeding may occur, any excessive bleeding should be reported to the vet. Cats may scratch and break open a scab which could result in bleeding. If this happens, hold a paper towel to the wound to apply pressure. If bleeding doesn’t stop, call the vet. Your cat’s feet should not appear swollen or puffy. Make sure your pet attempts to walk. If your cat is not walking after a day or so, there may be a problem. If you notice any changes in appetite or behavior, this could indicate that your cat is not feeling well. Watch closely for signs of infection, and call your vet if you have any apprehensions. 

Watch for psychological problems after declawing. Clawing and scratching is a natural instinct for cats. Without claws, cats may react in other ways such as biting or defecating outside the litter box. This is a way for the cat to mark its territory and protect the environment around it. Although declawing may keep the cat from scratching, cats are natural hunters and protectors.