Cat declawing is the process of removing the claws from the last joint of the bone. It is primarily done in the United States and is currently illegal in Europe. The decision to have your cat declawed is truly your own, but you should read through the following information before you make your decision.
What Is Cat Declawing?
Because the debate is still open as to whether or not cat declawing is a humane process, you should have a little bit of background information on the process so that you can draw your own conclusion. Many people think of cat declawing as similar to removing toe nails, or they consider the claws as toe nails. However, the surgery required to declaw your cat is a little bit more complex.
Your cat’s claws actually grow from the bone in their foot. When declawing is requested, the last bone of the foot must actually be removed in its entirety to remove the claw. The claw will still remain attached to the bone after it's been removed. You should also keep in mind that because this is a major surgery, the after effects on your cat are quite painful.
What Are the Arguments for Cat Declawing?
The main reason that cat owners want to have their cat declawed is because they are afraid of the destruction those claws can have on their household. It is an understandable concern because cats will scratch on tables and furniture. It is certainly something that needs to be considered before declawing your cat.
Another reason that some cat owners feel their cat should be declawed is that, because they no longer have the intention of living outside, they no longer need their claws. If a cat is living indoors, it has no need for its claws for defense or in order to hunt for food.
What Are the Arguments against Cat Declawing?
The main reason that cat owners reject the idea of cat declawing is that they feel the surgical procedure is inhumane. Because of the fact that a cat must actually loose a portion of the bone in its foot, it is not a viable option for many cat owners.
Another reason that cat owners argue against declawing is because they feel that the claws are an important part of the natural grace of cats. Cats are designed to have agility and great jumping and hunting abilities. Many cat owners fear that some of the natural design of their cat will be lost if they undergo declawing surgery.
When Should My Cat Be Declawed?
If you end up deciding to have your cat declawed, the time frame is truly your own to choose from. However, you must keep in mind that a kitten under the age of eight weeks old should never be allowed to undergo general anesthesia. Any time after eight weeks of age is acceptable.
It might also be worthwhile to consider having your cat declawed earlier in life, before he has the chance to gain any significant amount of weight. Adding extra body weight to carry around will only make the recovery process that much more difficult on your cat.
Keep in mind that your cat will be in a significant amount of pain after declawing. It is best to schedule the surgery for a time when you can be home with your cat to help ease things along. Your cat will still have to walk to the food and water bowl and scratch around in the litter box, so he may require a little extra attention during this time.