Whether you’re adding a new cat to your family or your current cat has a habit of scratching, you may be thinking about having them declawed. Once a common remedy used by cat owners to keep their cats from scratching, declawing is actually known to do more harm than good for your cat. Take a look at some of the dangers of having your cat declawed and some helpful tips for calming their scratching habits.
What’s Wrong with Declawing?
Contrary to what many believe, declawing a cat isn’t simply shortening their nails – it actually involves a surgical procedure that removes the bones at the tips of their toes. Without these bones, cats have to walk on the cartilage that used to be a part of their joints. Walking on this soft and sensitive part of their feet can not only be uncomfortable for your cat, but it can also cause them to chew on their paws and experience chronic pain.
If you care about felines enough to have one as a pet, you surely don’t want to do anything that will harm them. A cat in frequent discomfort or pain is more likely to develop additional behavioral issues like urinating outside of the litter box, increased anxiety, flinching, and excessive chewing. Instead of putting your furry friend at risk of these painful symptoms, consider safe and humane alternatives to declawing.
What to Do About Your Cat’s Scratching Habit
Before resorting to declawing your cat, use these tips for calming their habit instead:
1. Trim your cat’s claws regularly. If you’ve tried to do it yourself and found your cat too uncooperative, your vet should be happy to cut them for you.
2. Get scratching posts for your cat and place them in the spots they frequent in your home.
3. Verbally or physically reward your cat when they use their scratching post by giving them affection or a treat.
4. Discourage inappropriate scratching by covering or removing the items they scratch for a temporary period of time, until their habit lessens.
5. Use a firm “no” or a startling clap when you notice your cat scratching where they aren’t supposed to. Using a squirt bottle can also be a harmless way to keep them from continuing certain behaviors.
Your Best Resource for Cat Health & Wellness
If your cat has an excessive scratching habit, having them declawed isn’t on the list of healthy and safe options. Having your cat seen by a veterinarian can be the key to determining the reason for scratching and finding the best solution for you and your cat. At Catonsville Cat Clinic, our veterinary specialists have many years of professional experience in caring for cats both young and old, and can help you find the right way to lessen your cat’s bad habits while keeping them happy and healthy.
Contact us today to learn more or schedule a visit.