To Declaw or Not To Declaw

Declawing has become an emotionally debated topic. Many people are vehemently opposed, and feel it’s inhumane. There are positives and negatives to declawing your cat.

On the down side,  there is some level of pain & discomfort. That goes along with any surgery, so managing pain is a necessity! Recovery time can take two to three weeks depending on the technique.

There can be complications. This is not a “sterile” procedure because these areas can’t be sterilized. Though your veterinarian will clean the paws, and keep the area as clean as possible, there is still a risk of infection.

After surgery, your cat will not be allowed to use regular litter for about two weeks. this is because your vet doesn’t want sand or clay getting into the paws. You’ll have to use newspaper, or newspaper pellets. The down side to this is that cats don’t often like change!

Sometimes there are good reasons to declaw your cat. If a claw is too damaged to repair, or if there is a tumor your veterinarian might recommend removing it.

If a person has a suppressed immune system, or bleeding disorder a scratch can be life threatening. In this case, declawing might be the answer.

The majority of declawing is because cats can be destructive with their claws.

The American Veterinary Medical Association says that while most declaws are not considered medically necessary, it can be considered appropriate for cats that would otherwise be given up, made to live outside, or euthanized.

If you do decide to have your cat declawed, consider only having the front feet done as those are the ones that they do damage with. Have the surgery done while the cat is young as they are more likely to recover quickly. If your cat is obese forget about it! The poor cat will have a much harder time recovering because of all of that extra pressure on their feet. Likewise, an elderly cat will have a longer recovery. Lastly, DO NOT under any circumstances let your declawed cat outside! They will have a much more difficult time defending themselves should the need arise.

Talk to your veterinarian before you make this important decision.