Reasons Not To Declaw Your Cat
Declawing Cats Is Not A Humane Solution
No matter what the circumstance, alternatives to declawing cats should always be used. In many countries outside of the US, removing a cat's claws is seen as inhumane mutilation and is illegal. The process is actually surgery - there is no other way to remove the claws completely. Since the claw is in fact the last joint of the toe, declawing is more like an amputation than a nail-trimming. You can imagine that it causes extreme pain to the cat, and the recovery period is long and painful as well.
While a cat is getting over the surgery, he or she still has to walk, run, jump, and use the litter box, all of which will hurt for quite a while after the procedure. Claw removal also affects a cat's balance and gait, because the sensitive claws are used by the body to provide stability. Then there is the lack of means of defense after declawing - a cat cannot defend itself without its claws. Finally, all cat lovers know that each feline is different and has its own personality. Many owners who have gotten their pets declawed report a change in these personalities, and not for the better. Sluggishness and lethargy seem to take over in what was once a lively, alert animal.
Declawing Alternatives, Such As Nail Caps For Cats, Offer Solutions
Soft Claws, Feliway, Scratching Posts And Citrus Sprays Can Help
The best alternative to declawing is to teach your cat to use a scratching post, thus allowing this natural behavior to continue, but in a non-destructive manner. It is also possible to trim the front nails of your cat, but you might want the veterinarian to do this as it can be tricky, and most cats won't sit still for it. No one wants cat attitude, so have it done by a vet who knows what he or she is doing!
Other pet owners are discovering nail covers for cats are good alternatives to having a cat declawed. Cats also have a natural aversion to odors from citrus fruits, so you might find success using these citrus spray products, that can be used to keep your cat away from potential scratching sites. Another alternative is a pheromone product called Feliway, which has been found to keep cats away from good scratching places as well. Finally, cat experts are in universal agreement that punishment does not work with the critters - so don't even try a rolled up newspaper or you'll be on the feline blacklist, and the scratching will continue.
No matter which method you try, it will take time to find an alternative to declawing that works for you and your finicky feline. Be patient and try new things, never expecting a miracle to happen overnight. Your cat's physical and mental health and happiness is much more important than a sofa or love seat - at least it should be! So, in the meantime, be sure to put loose throws over favorite scratching places or put barriers up to keep your kitty out of places you don't want him or her to go. Your cats will love you more for choosing their natural instinct over household furnishings...and you will find a compromise so that both can be in one home, in harmony.