Cats look innocent and cute but their claws are as sharp as a sword’s edge! They use their claws instinctively in defence and also use them for balance and walking around. Scratch marks are a way of marking their territory and cats claws also help them in stretching.
Scratching is a part of their behaviour and cats scratching furniture and rugs is a common sight in pet houses. This can leave many pet parents frustrated at the state of their belongings and many of them unfortunately take the drastic step of declawing their cat, which may seem like a simple procedure but it isn’t.
What is declawing?
Declawing may seem like it’s just clipping the nail, but in fact it involves the cutting of the bone at the tip of the cat’s toe. It’s a crippling and barbaric practice that changes the cat forever and can even lead to long term health problems.
Scratching is a healthy and necessary behaviour for cats and helps them relieve stress and feel comfortable in their surroundings. By declawing your cat, you will eventually create more problems than just damaged furniture!
Imagine if someone cut off the tip of your toes? Wouldn’t it be painful to walk? Declawing is a surgical amputation of 10 toes, and that’s only if you declaw the front paws. Imagine the pain. This intrusive surgery takes a long time to recover from and can also lead to many complications for the cat.
Limits mobility and exercise
After declawing, cats need to learn how to walk again because they are digitigrade, which means they essentially walk on their toes. Declawing will alter their walking, and in the long run cause health problems such as arthritis in the hips and leg joints. The ability to climb on trees or jump from high places will also be reduced.
Cats may start to exhibit new behavioural problems after declawing that may be worse than scratching furniture. Due to the removal of claws, they cannot bury their waste in the litter box as it will be painful and can burn. This leads them to relieve themselves in other places as they may start associating the pain with the litter box.
They may also get aggressive since their mode of defence is no more and that makes them insecure. Some cats may even resort to biting.
What can you do instead?
Declawing is inhuman and is even rightfully banned in some counties. There are other, easier options apart from declawing your cat for solving the scratching problem in your home.
Clip their nails – clipping your cat’s nails on a routine basis can help reduce the sharpness and keep them maintained.
Scratching post – buy them scratching appropriate accessories such as a scratching post so that they spare your rugs and furniture. Teach them to use the scratcher by sprinkling catnip or using your cat’s favourite treats to entice them!
Be stern – Train your cat to not jump on or scratch furniture by being disciplined from the beginning. It is important to train them to understand which is a scratch acceptable surface, and which isn’t.
Pets are as delicate as a baby and one must embrace the wildness in them. Rather than being frustrated with them, learn to understand them with patience – all they do is what is natural to them! They are harmless if you treat them right and make your house more habitable to them. Stop Declawing and spread the news to your friends and family. It is an act of violence.