Hi, I saw your post about declawing cats, and I absolutely understand that declawing just for furniture is awful, but my parents declawed the front paws of our cat not the back. Not for furniture, but because my mom had psoriasis and cuts from cats can sometimes make her grow new psoriasis spots since her skin is so sensitive. I just want to know what you have to say about that.
While I understand the motive to declaw the cat, it still doesn’t really make it okay. Declawing a cat isn’t just removing their claws—it’s amputating the last bone of each toe. “On a human, that’d be like snipping off your fingers at the first knuckle.” You can imagine how painful that sounds!
There are some “good” seeming motives to declawing cats, yours stated…but the teeth of cats, their litter/feces and fleas are far worse for the owner’s health than their claws. Instead of declawing your cat, you could have trimmed its nails, or taught it where to scratch, like on a scratching post.
(I understand that the cat might accidentally scratch somebody due to it being frightened or antsy, but trimming the claws every four to six weeks would make the scratches much less deep and painful.)
After a cat is declawed, not only do they lose their main source of protection if they happen to get loose, but it also causes permanent damage to their bodies. They are at risk for long-term effects of lameness, behavioral problems, pain in their paws whenever they walk, infection, tissue death, and back pain. Cats need their claws because they walk on their toes, not on their heels like humans do. Declawing forever changes the way their foot meets the ground.
Another side effect is that the claws can even grow back inside the paws, and in some cases, the feline will become more aggressive, and will even use the bathroom outside of the litter box because of the discomfort it causes.
Cat’s scratch because they need to, not because they want to destroy stuff. They scratch to shed the dead husks on their claws, to mark their territory with the scent glands in their paws, and to stretch when they get the urge. Removing a cat’s claws in no way benefits the animal. It’s a painful procedure that can lead to side effects that can last the rest of the cat’s life.
And yes, there are alternatives like nail caps, but those aren’t really the best option, either. If left on for too long without allowing the cat to scratch, the husks on the claws could grow to an uncomfortable thickness, and the inability to scratch will stress the poor kitty out!
To make things short, declawing is a painful, unnecessary process. If scratching concerns you, trim your cat’s nails, or put nail caps on when you want to cuddle the cat to avoid skin being scratched. Just be sure to take them off so kitty can scratch its scratching post. Cats need to use their claws whether we like it or not, and the pain that a cat goes through during and after declawing isn’t worth the process!
Thank you for the concerned message, though! I hope this helped a bit!