If you’re looking to declaw your cat, we highly recommend you don’t. If you are having issues with your cat and scratching your furniture up, please look into alternative methods before declawing your cat. Declawing your cat is like taking off the tips of all of your fingers to the knuckle closest to your finger tip. Not only does this change their posture and stance, it also removes their own defense.
We’ve put together a list of 10 reasons why you shouldn’t declaw your cat. Please take them into consideration.
1) Creates long-term pain
Even if you remove your cats nails, it doesn’t mean they were fully removed. Cats nails can still continue to grow but inside their paw. This is very difficult to see and is extremely painful. They can also experience pain long after the surgery has been performed. It’s like performing 10 amputations and removing something vital to the cats way of life. Cat’s like to be higher up in their environment so that they can see things better. By removing their claws it becomes painful for the cat to even jump up onto things. Everything the cat does will now cause it pain.
2) Remove a cat’s natural defense
A cat’s first line of defense are it’s claws. This is quickly followed by their teeth. However, if the cat can’t grab onto something and only has it’s teeth to defend itself, it’s going to be messed up badly. It would be like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Cat’s use their front claws to firmly grasp their target and use their hind legs as a way to deal more damage. Could you imagine a stray cat getting a hold of your cat and your cat can’t fight back with their nails?
3) Will go to the bathroom outside the litter box
Without their claws, cats have to re-position their body when standing on litter. This puts different pressure on their paws and can cause pain. The litter from the dust can also get caught in between their paws and cause excruciating pain. Rather than wanting to deal with this pain, your cat may start to go potty outside the litter box. There are different types of litter that you can use in these situations but overall, you’ll be dealing with messes outside the box until you can find the right litter.
4) Affects how they stretch and exercise their muscles
Cat’s claws are attached with tendons which allow them to retract and fire their claws. These tendons and muscles need to be stretched and worked out every day. Without claws, they can no longer work out these muscles and properly stretch their bodies. It would be similar to a body builder losing the muscles that help them lift weights. You just wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. Also, with this lack of stretching and exercises, your cat becomes weaker and not as agile.
5) Social part of their lives
Cats scratch for many reasons ranging from marking their territory, stretching, during play time, sharpening their nails, or to keep their nails healthy and clean. They are a very important biological feature and if the cat isn’t able to perform any of these actions, you are making your cat less of a cat.
6) Form of amputation
As we said earlier, declawing a cat is similar to removing your finger tips to the first knuckle… 10 times. Lets take a step back and think about our balance for a moment. If you removed your big toe and tried to stand on your foot, you would have a very hard time keeping your balance. This is because your big toe allows you to distribute your center of gravity and give yourself a sense of balance. Now think of a cats claws like your big toe. Remove all 10 of them and it makes it more difficult to find their balance.
7) Can lead to behavioral problems
If your cat was friendly before, they may now be extremely mean. This is because they are constantly in pain. It can also be the adverse. They can become really sweet and purr all the time because they are hurting and this is what makes them feel good. Your cat may also begin to bite more because they can’t tell you with their paws that they don’t like something. They can also become more skiddish and hide from you because they don’t fully understand whats going on.
8) Alters the way your cat walks
Since your cat has had it’s balance removed, it now has to try and compensate and relearn how to stand, sit, jump, and move about. This also means it puts strain and pressure on the cats body. This change in posture can lead to other injuries over time such as joint pain, arthritis, hip problems, and more. This is especially problematic when the cat becomes old and has to still try and compensate for this loss of balance.
9) May bite more
A declawed cat may bite more often now. They can’t use their paws to try and get your attention or even play with you. Cats usually bite to display affection but if they aren’t feeling good or are in constant pain, it could be a bite to make you leave them alone. Also, if they are in your lap and you’re petting them, they won’t have a way to interact with you other than using their teeth.
10) Nothing beneficial comes from declawing
You’re putting an end to the way a cat lives their life. All declawing your cat does is introduce nothing but pain. Your cat will experience this for the rest of their life. In every action they do they will feel pain. It’s like they have permanent slivers in their paws that can never be removed or relieved. There are better alternatives for your cat out there than simply declawing them.
If you are on the fence still, please read our article on how to stop your cat from scratching your furniture. If this still doesn’t sway you, consult with your local veterinarian before making any decisions.
We hope you found this article helpful. If there is anything you’d like to add or thought we missed, please leave a comment down below!