Why You Should Never Declaw Your Cats

Why You Should Never Declaw Your Cats

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Imagine going on the operating table so you can have surgery to remove the upper portions of your fingers. If that were to happen to you, you wouldn’t be able to do a whole lot. There are reasons why you should never declaw your cats.

In fact, it might interfere with the quality of your life. Think about it. You wouldn’t be able to do basic things like grabbing things off the floor, open doors, defend yourself in an attack, or maybe even drive. 

This is what it’s like for a cat when you get it declawed. Doesn’t sound like a very humane thing to do, does it? Well, that’s because it’s not.

Declawing is actually one of the worst things you can do to your feline companion. There are many places in the world where declawing is actually illegal.

Cats use their claws for a variety of reasons, some of which help to keep our feline friends alive. There are no benefits to your cat when it comes to declawing.

Clawing is a natural cat behavior.  Many people think that their cats claw up their furniture just for the sake of being destructive, but this is simply not true. Cats need their claws for kneading, communication, and for defense purposes.

What Is Declawing?

Let’s first start with what declawing actually is. Declawing is a surgical procedure that amputates the last upper bone of each toe. So essentially, there are several mini amputations.

It is basically the same as removing the upper part of a human finger, just above the first knuckle. Imagine what that would be like if you had the procedure done on you.

Would having 10 of your fingers amputated be ideal? Probably not. It would be painful and heartbreaking.

Claws Help Your Feline Friend Defend Itself

Cats use their claws as a way to defend themselves. Imagine if your cat somehow escaped out of your home and had to spend the night outdoors. If confronted by a predatory animal such as a raccoon, fox, or a coyote, they would have no way to defend themselves against an attack if their claws were gone.

And if your cat is an outdoor cat, it is especially important to not declaw them. They will not survive if they get lost in the wild, even in a big city, such as Minneapolis.

My cat actually did escape near Minneapolis for an entire month, and if it weren’t for her claws, I seriously doubt that she would have survived that whole month.

Declawing Interferes With Your Cat’s Ability To Use the Litterbox

Declawing also interferes with litter box usage. After your cat has been declawed, using the litter box is extremely painful and uncomfortable. The small litter granules are sharp and can cause tremendous pain on your cat’s paws.

In most cases, your cat will even refuse to use the litter box, causing cat urine stains on the carpet and that ammonia-like cat pee smell that noone likes.

Declawing Your Cat Is Painful and Inhumane

why you should never declaw your cats

Declawing your cat is also a very painful procedure to go through, and the pain lasts well after surgery.

Imagine if you got the part of your fingers above your knuckle amputated. Even with pain medication, you would still be in tremendous pain.

In fact, our feline companions can sometimes suffer from phantom pain for several weeks after the surgery.

Declawing is Now Illegal in Some Parts of the World

Did you know that cat declawing is now illegal in many countries and some parts of the United States? Israel, Switzerland, England, Scotland, and Germany are just a few of the countries where declawing your cat is now illegal.

In other places that the practice is still legal in, many veterinarians are eliminating the procedure from their practices altogether.

There are also many states that are pushing for legislation to make declawing your feline companion illegal. I’ll make a bold prediction and say that within the next 10 years, most places in the United States will make declawing illegal.

Alternatives to Declawing Your Cat

Luckily they are a few great alternatives to declawing your four-legged friends. Simply just keeping up with trimming your cat’s claws helps tremendously.

Trimming claws is just like giving your cat a manicure. It may take a little while for your cat to get used to getting their claws trimmed, but with repetition and time, eventually, your cat will get used to the practice.

Another alternative is to provide your cat with a surface that they can scratch on such as a cat scratcher, old pieces of carpet, or even cardboard boxes.

My cats love to scratch away at almost every cardboard box I bring in my home. In fact, when I buy something new that was packaged in cardboard, I will save the box specifically for my feline furbabies.

Another alternative to declawing is to buy what are called claw caps or nail caps. If you’re considering claw caps, you may be surprised to learn that there are a wide variety of colors and types available. 

If you are looking for a good alternative to declawing, I would highly recommend that you check claw caps out. They may be just the solution you are looking for.

Final Thoughts

I’m begging every cat owner reading this: PLEASE DO NOT DECLAW YOUR CATS!! It’s extremely painful, and not to mention, completely inhumane.

Many veterinarians won’t even do the procedure anymore. That alone should tell you something. Also, the fact that many countries and places in the United States are making this horrible practice illegal, as it should be anyway.

Cats need their claws for many reasons. If you still are not convinced, you should consult your local veterinarian. I can almost guarantee you that they will advise you against declawing your beloved cat if they are a respectable practice.

Also, there really is no need to declaw your cats, because there are other alternatives that are much safer and humane like claw caps, trimming their claws, and buying cat scratchers or using cardboard boxes.

I urge you to put yourself in your cat’s shoes (paws) and imagine how it would feel for you to undergo the same procedure. Please, if you truly want the best for your cat, do not declaw them.