The Benefits and Risks of Feline Declaw

Cat ownership can be extremely rewarding, with experts stating that a feline
friend can reduce your stress levels, prevent loneliness and depression and even
help you sleep better. However, there is one aspect of kittens and cats that can
be somewhat of a nuisance – their razor-sharp claws.

Declawing is a procedure that is commonly seen throughout the U.S. and gives
owners the opportunity to experience all of the benefits of their feline without
the disadvantages that come with their claws. However, declawing is a personal
choice and there are both benefits and risks associated with the practise.
Let’s find out more.

Benefits of declawing your cat

There are two main reasons why feline declaw may the best option for your
family.

Protecting your family

Cat claws are normally much sharper than their canine counterparts, and this is
because they form an integral part of their natural agility. It is their claws that
help them to climb, grip and balance on seemingly impossibly narrow objects.
However, this does mean that they can accidentally scratch their human family
when climbing onto your lap, or jumping down to see you.

Scratches may not be a big deal for the adults in your family, but it can be
frightening and painful for children. As such, many people choose to declaw
their cats to protect them and other family members from unintentional
scratches.

Protecting your home

Furnishing your home can be expensive, and so you will undoubtedly want to
preserve the interior of your property for as long as possible. Your feline may
accidentally, or even sometimes purposefully, cause damage to flooring, soft
furnishings and even larger household items with their extremely sharp claws.
Declawing your cat can reduce the risk of scratches to your furniture and help
keep your home and property looking beautiful.

Risks of declawing your cat

Declawing is not a common practise in many other parts of the world, largely
because of the risks and considerations associated with the procedure.​
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Highly-invasive procedure

Many people mistakenly believe declawing to be little more than a cat
manicure. In fact, declawing is a serious surgical procedure that involves
amputating the digit from which the claw stems from. The surgery isn’t
guaranteed to be permanent either as in some cases, the claws begin to regrow
inside the paw. This is almost impossible to spot and excruciatingly painful for
your pet.

Inhibiting nature

Mother nature intended cats to have claws. Removing them deprives cats of
some of their natural ability, and some can find themselves in dangerous
situations while they adjust to finding new ways to walk, climb and balance.
Declawing also inhibits your cat’s ability to defend herself when she is out and
about. With her natural defence gone, she may even start to exhibit aggressive
behaviors due to feeling unprotected and vulnerable.

Risk of arthritis

Declawing can also cause some cats to develop arthritis in the joints of their feet
and hands. This is because the attachments of the tendon have already been cut
and must be realigned.
Arthritis can be extremely painful and debilitating for your cat, and treatment
can be prolonged and expensive.

If you are interested in finding out more about feline declaw, Geneva Veterinary Clinic will be happy to assist you. Make an appointment or pop into our veterinary office to seek further advice.