Is Declawing Cats Bad? Pure Facts

Cats are cute pets, but their claws aren’t, especially when they start digging into your skin and household items.

Therefore, many cat owners consider declawing their pet to prevent it from harming them or damaging furniture. While declawing is an easy way for a pet owner to avoid scratches, it is a harmful procedure for your pet.

Should I declaw my cat?

Declawing cats is bad! But maybe you think declawing is a harmless procedure that merely removes your pet’s nails. It’s more than that.

Declawing is a traumatic process for cats, and it’s generally discouraged. This article explains in detail why declawing cats is bad and provides alternatives to declawing.

4 Reasons Declawing Cats Is Bad

Perhaps, you thought the process of declawing is the same thing as a nail trim. Wrong!

Declawing involves the permanent removal of the last bone in each of a cat’s toes. Declawing cats is bad because apart from the fact that it mutilates your pet, it also has long-term side effects for them.

These side effects below are a few reasons why declawing cats is bad:

1. Pain

A significant issue with declawing cats is the pain that is attached to them. The process involves laceration, and your feline can lose a lot of blood in the process. Besides, this process can affect your pet’s grip and flexibility.

As a result, a cat who has gone through this process might have difficulty stretching as much as before. So, apart from the pain from the lacerated area, there might be general body pain, especially in the back and muscles.

2. Improper Elimination

Removing your pet’s claws has more long-term problems than you might think. One of these problems is that it may affect your pet’s ability to use the litter box.

Consequently, this might cause improper elimination of excrement in inappropriate places.

3. Behavioral Problems And Vulnerability.

After the surgery, your pet can go through a personality change. Having no claws can cause behavioral problems like fear or aggression in cats. Biologically, cats are predators and carnivores. They are fierce animals that can defend themselves.

However, declawed cats may never be able to defend themselves because they no longer have their claws. They might be unable to escape dangerous situations, for example, when another predator attacks them.

4. Complications From The Surgery

There is a possibility that the declawed area will get infected after the surgery. Other medical complications that may arise from the procedure are tissue necrosis and limb weakness, etc.

All these side effects make declawing cats a harmful process for these pets.

Cat Declawing Procedure

The procedures involved in declawing cats are not only inhumane but also cause long-term damage.

This is because the permanent removal of the claws usually involves surgical processes. Traditionally, amputation was the primary way people declawed their cats. Amputation is a painful and traumatizing procedure that has zero medical benefits for felines.

Here are the primary declawing procedures for cats:

1. Amputation

Declawing is not simply removing the claws; it is an amputation process. Part of the toes gets removed during this procedure, so the nails never grow back. Most people declaw their pets using tools like a guillotine clipper or scalpel. It’s much easier to use a guillotine clipper.

While this process may look like a simple nail clipping, it is much more different than merely clipping the nails. After removing the claws are removed, the lacerated part of the paw is stitched and bandaged.

2. Laser Surgery

Instead of amputating the claws, some pet owners rather remove the claws through laser surgery. So, lasers are used in this procedure to cut the toe bone instead of amputating it with a sharp tool.

This method is similar to the amputation method, except a laser is used to remove the bones here.

3. Tendonectomy

Unlike laser surgery and amputation, which involve the removal of bones, tendonectomy involves the removal of tendons. Therefore, the cats keep their toe bones here.

However, the tendons necessary to control them are removed instead. In other words, cats cannot voluntarily scratch once the tendons are removed.

Although this procedure helps prevent indiscriminate scratching, it also has its negative effect. As a result of losing control, their claws may often get caught in fabric and furniture. In the end, if your feline goes through a tendonectomy, it may end up scratching people unintentionally.

Therefore, none of these procedures are beneficial. The bottom line: Declawing cats is bad, and pet owners should instead go for alternatives to preventing indiscriminate scratching.

Is It Necessary To Declaw Your Cat?

No, it isn’t. In many countries, declawing is illegal. Scratching is a normal procedure for felines. Cats need their claws to protect themselves, especially when attacked by another predator.

Is Declawing Cats Bad?

Also, they need them for climbing, particularly to maintain a firm grip on the surfaces. So, in dangerous situations, declawed cats might be unable to evade through climbing.

Moreover, anatomically, cats need their toes to walk. They belong to the group of mammals like dogs and rodents that need their toes to walk. The claws are part of the toes, and removing them might affect your pet’s ability to walk properly. So, you will be doing your feline a lot of harm if you remove their claws.

Many cat owners declaw their cats for so many reasons. Some do so because they can’t find another way to stop their pets from using the claws to destroy household items. Besides, some cats hurt other pets and people with their claws.

While declawing cats might be the easiest or fastest way to correct your pet’s behavioral problem, it is cruel and medically harmful. Declawing cats is bad.

So instead of subjugating your pet to such an inhumane procedure, you should train your cats instead. Training can stop them from using their claws to destroy and harm instead.

However, immunocompromised individuals and those with certain chronic diseases might need to declaw their cats to prevent the risk of getting an infection.

Alternatives To Declawing

Now that you know that declawing is bad for cats, you should consider other alternatives that effectively prevent indiscriminate scratching for cats. One of these is through training.

While training might take a while to get results, it produces effective results. Besides, training makes cats more intelligent.

Additionally, you can use positive reinforcement to encourage your cats to stop scratching. How does this work? Positive reinforcement involves a reward system where you give your cat treats, toys, or a sign of approval whenever they exhibit good behavior.

So, your pet will learn to stop scratching even without giving her any form of reward in the long term. Nevertheless, if you cannot prevent the bad habit on your own, you should seek professional help from a cat behaviorist.

See also: Best 6 Anti Cat Scratch Sprays That Actually Work

Is Declawing Your Cat Bad? – Conclusion

Most cat owners who declaw their cats do so because they don’t understand what it involves. While it may seem like a permanent nail trim, it isn’t.

It requires cutting the last bone of a cat’s toe. For humans, that will be removing the knuckles on each finger.

Declawing cats is bad and dehumanizing. The process may also have long-term effects, which include after-surgery complications like infection.

Besides, while it may seem all felines do with their claws is scratch and destroy, they need them. Therefore, it would be best not to put your pet through this painful process.