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Declawing cats is not a simple procedure like clipping nails or removing a portion of a cat’s claw. Declawing is a major surgery involving surgical amputation of the first joint of a cat’s toe & should not be taken lightly.
Declawing is a painful surgery as delawing the front feet alone involves as many as ten amputations. Even though pain-killing medicines may help initially, the pain lasts for weeks or even months till the tips of the nerves are healed. This makes the declawed cats highly irritable and aggressive.
The cat too does not benefit from declawing. It loses its chief weapon of defense. The owners can, of course, argue that since the declawed cat stays indoors it does not need claws to fight. But this is a flawed argument.
There will consistantly be occasions when a cat may be confronted by other cats or dogs. Then, it will find it impossible to strike back, because it has no claws. To use its teeth, it needs to get close to its attacker, which may not happen. A declawed cat therefore become a helpless victim in front any aggressor.
Declawing may also lead to what is called ‘litter box’ problem. The declawed cats invariably avoid the litter box and choose the softer carpet instead since they experience the pain while digging in to litter.
Sometimes declawing may lead to biting problems. As a second line of defense, the cats resort to deep bites when they lose their ability to scratch their opponents with claws as a warning. Sometimes the cat owners themselves become victims of such bites while playing with their cats.
Claws and toes provide much needed exercise to the cat. When a cat stretches horizontally on a carpet or vertically with a tail scratching post, it pulls and stretches its muscles by grabbing the carpet or post with its claws. As a matter of fact, the cat’s claws play a large and positive role in its remarkable muscle tone and agility.
As the domestic cats walk on their toes, absence of claws can affect all the joints of the leg resulting in arthritis of hip and other joints later. The owners should therefore think several times before declawing their cats. One argument that they should firmly reject is that declawing cats is better than putting them to sleep. Declawing is painful, and a great injustice to your cat.