If you own a cat, odds are at least one piece of your furniture has suffered the price of being used as a personal scratching post. Many people consider declawing their furry friend to protect their furniture, but in this article I am going to explain why that can negatively affect your cat, as well as list some alternatives to declawing.
First, let's talk about why cats scratch to begin with. Besides pure instinct, it has been proven that there are several different reasons as to why cats seem to have a need to scratch. The first reason being their claws. Animals are unable to trim their nails the same way we do, so instead, they file them down to keep them strong and prevent breaking (which can be extremely painful to cats as well as dogs because of the nerve in their nails).
Another reason that cats scratch is territory. Cats have scent glands in their paws, and so by scratching something (like your favorite armchair) they are creating visual and scent markers to show their territory. This helps a cat to find its way home if it becomes lost and also tells other animals "this is my space" which can prevent fighting.
Lastly, cats scratch things to release restless energy and to stretch their bodies as well as flex their paws. If a cat is bored or stressed, they might feel the need to scratch to calm themselves down. The exercise is also good for your cat's health.
By declawing a cat, you are doing exactly what it sounds like. Cat nails aren't like human ones, they are closely adhered to the bone. To remove them, the last bone in your cat's toe has to be removed with the nail. That would be equivalent to cutting off the tip of all of your fingers.
A Cat's Nail Before and After Declawing
After being declawed, the weight in a cats paw is displaced differently, which can cause the cat pain when walking. Cats can also become stressed because they no longer have a way to get rid of their restless energy. Some cats even start biting after being declawed because they feel that without their claws they are unable to protect themselves.
During the healing process, a cat may stop using its litter box since they use their paws to scratch into the litter, and this can irritate and cause pain. Using shredded newspaper as a litter substitute can help, but the unknown substance (to your cat, anyway) in the litter box may make them even less likely to use it.
All in all, declawing is an inhumane way to protect your furniture. It affects the well-being of your cat in more ways than one; it affects a cat emotionally as well as physically.
Some alternatives to declawing include, but are not limited to:
- Buying toys for your cat to eliminate some of that restless energy
- Getting a scratching post and training your cat to use it
- Vinyl caps can also be bought which are glued to the outside of your cat's nails (they fall off eventually and can be replaced if you desire).
- Trimming your cat's nails can prevent the desire to file them down
Cats are graceful animals who do not deserve such a painful and unnecessary surgery, and hopefully this article has helped shed some light on the subject.
There are no comments for this story
Be the first to respond and start the conversation.