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How Declawing Affects Your Cat

When the urge to scratch strikes, your cat doesn't wait to find a surface you find acceptable. As far as your furry friend is concerned, couches, carpets, table legs, and your favorite draperies provide excellent scratching surfaces. If you're tired of replacing shredded furniture and expensive draperies, you may be considering declawing your cat. Although the surgery will end the habit, it's not the first choice recommended by veterinary experts.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

Scratching is a natural behavior that offers several benefits, including:

What Happens When a Cat is Declawed?

Declawing doesn't just remove your cat's nails but also eliminates the first joint in each bone. During surgery, the joints are amputated using a blade or laser. The American Veterinary Medical Association advises that declawing is major surgery and should only be performed after owners' have tried to stop the scratching or if the behavior presents a health risk for them.

Declawing permanently changes the anatomy of your pet's paws and cause several side effects and consequences, including:

How Can I Stop My Cat From Scratching?

It's impossible to stop scratching, but these tips may help safeguard your furnishings:

Are you having a hard time controlling your cat's scratching? We can help. Contact us for suggestions, or schedule an appointment to discuss scratching and other behavioral issues.

Sources:

AVMA: Declawing of Domestic Cats

https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Declawing-of-Domestic-Cats.aspx

Humane Society of the United States: Declawing Cats: Far Worse Than a Manicure

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/declawing-cats-far-worse-manicure

ASPCA: Destructive Scratching

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/destructive-scratching

PetMD: 7 Negative Side Effects of Declawing Your Cat

https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/7-negative-side-effects-declawing-your-cat

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery: Pain and Adverse Behavior in Declawed Cats, 5/23/17

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1098612X17705044

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