To declaw or not to declaw, that is the question. The answer? Well, it varies depending on who you ask. Some condemn the practice with all their strength, while others think it is important and not harmful at all. To be fair, let’s look at why you might want to declaw your cat and reasons why you shouldn’t.
The most common reason, really the only one, is that cat’s claws can be damn destructive and even harmful. Imagine your cat, your dear cat, daily damaging your dear leather chairs with its claws. Or imagine trying to have a close moment with your feline friend but it unwittingly keeps injuring your old fragile skin with its overly sharp claws. Would you rather the cat be confined to the basement and kept away from your lovely furniture or would it be better to just declaw it?
But while you might have reasons for your decision to declaw, consider why some people condemn the act.
Firstly, declawing is not like trimming your dog’s tail or its ears. It is a little more complicated than that. Cat’s claws are not designed like human nails. They are attached to the animal by bone, and the procedure involves getting rid of this little bone on each toe. This causes the cat severe distress and inhumane pain once it wakes up from surgery.
The cat won’t be able to walk normally for a while. In fact, its behaviour might change completely. It will need to relearn to walk and for that, it will need pain medication until the wounds heal. But that is not even the whole of the nightmare. Sometimes, the claws can grow back if the surgery was not well done, leading to pain under the cat’s paws that you won’t even be able to see.
There are times when an ethical vet might recommend declawing. But before you do it, is it really worth it?