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Pattaya Daily News

13 May 2010 :: 17:05:52 pm 20339

The Painful Declawing of Cats

Anyone thinking of declawing a cat needs to sit back and have a good long think about it. To declaw a cat is to maim it for life.
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Declawing is not just taking away the nails, it is actually amputation of the first digit of all the toes on its’ front paws. It is irreversible surgery and comparable to the removal of human fingertips from the first knuckle and recovery is long slow and painful.  Anyone who does not want their home damaged, but wants a pet should stay clear of our feline friends.

If you are determined to have a cat declawed, Veterinarians suggest declawing at the same time as neutering, but before you give the go ahead please take time to think of the consequences. Your cat will have to live the rest of his or her life with the results of YOUR decision.

Declawing is done with a scalpel, a guillotine type of cutter or by laser. It is major surgery. Many Veterinarians will refuse to do the surgery whilst other will counsel you before hand in order to change your mind.  Many people find this surgery inhumane.

The grace, agility and balance will be greatly altered once your cat has been declawed and it will find climbing running and springing virtually an impossible task. Domestic cats are digitigrades, meaning they walk on their toes.  The cats’ claws are its best defense when outside.

Declawing does not benefit your cat in any way what so ever and it is not better than having him or her put to sleep. As it is your decision to put your cat to sleep should he fall sick, so it is your decision to let him keep his toes.

The procedure of declawing is not without its risks. A tourniquet is used during the surgical procedure to reduce blood loss which can seriously damage the nerve resulting in paralysis of the leg.  This is usually temporary, but can be permanent and if the incision opens it will expose the bones of the digits it can become infected taking far longer to heal and your cat wondering what he has done for you to punish him in this way.

Cats have an instinctive need to mark its’ territory and when scratching, it deposits a secretion from glands in their feet that can be smelled by other cats. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats.

If your cat insists on scratching, then introduce a scratching post. If not available for purchase, then make one. It should be tall enough for the cat to stretch out completely while scratching and stable enough so not to topple over.  Cover it with a bit of old carpeting. Make the post a fun place for your cat, adding toys on or around it.

A little squirt from a small water pistol will remind your cat when he scratches the furniture instead of the scratching post.

Keeping your cats nails trimmed every week will help with less damage, but unless you start trimming the nails when the cat is young so he gets used to it, you may have a scrap on your hands.

Declawing a cat takes away his independence and robs him of his defense. Cats have been known to literally bounce of the walls due to the excruciating pain from having his ten fingers amputated. The pain may last for months while nerve endings heal.

Cats that have been declawed may start using a corner to do its toileting business as trying to do its duty in a litter tray can be painful when trying to stand in it.

When all is said and done the end decision is yours, but take time to think of your cats needs before contemplating this drastic and irriversable deed.

It’s your decision, but please take your cat’s needs into serious consideration before making such a drastic and permanent choice

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Lifestyle

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