4 Things to Think About Before Declawing your Cat

4 Things to Think About Before Declawing your Cat
Under anesthesia, declawing is a big surgery called onychectomy that takes off the tips of each toe of a cat's forepaws, starting from the first knuckle and going outward. There is a small chance that the treatment could kill the cat, and afterward, the cat may be more likely to get an illness and have pain in its paws for the rest of its life. That being said, this treatment is not suggested for an adult animal, and in some places it is illegal to do so (see below).

Cats usually don't have claws because people don't want them to hunt or damage furniture. Cats that are mean are rarely declawed. In the US, some owners make their renters get their cats' claws cut off.

However, most veterinarians don't like the process, and some won't do it because cats don't have claws.

  1. Takes away its main defense mechanisms, like climbing trees to get away from predators;
  2. Makes it harder for it to stretch and exercise, which causes muscles to atrophy;
  3. Makes it harder for it to balance on thin surfaces like fence tops and railings, which can lead to injuries from falls;
  4.  Can make it feel unsafe, which can make it more likely to bite.

This is not often done outside of North America. Declawing is against the law in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland because it hurts animals. [17] That's against the law in many other European countries because of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. Only "such non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of the animal" are allowed. [18] In Britain, it's hard for animal shelters to find homes for foreign cats that have had their claws cut off, so most of them are put to sleep.

Instead of declawing, cats can get flat plastic nail caps that are stuck on their claws with safe glue. These caps need to be replaced every four to six weeks, when the cat sheds its claw sheaths. The cat will still have problems, though, because the capped nails aren't as strong as claws.