Fluffy Has Razor Blades!


Should I De-Claw Fluffy?

Cats are cute and cuddly little balls of fur... with razor blades attached to their paws!! So what is an owner to do? You love your kitty but you also love your skin, and your couch, and your leather recliner. First, let's talk about declawing. It seems like this would be the easy answer for an indoor kitty (which ALL kitties should be - check out my post on that coming soon). No razor blades, no problem, right? But do you really know what a "declaw" involves? This procedure, truly named an onychectomy, is actually ten amputations (front feet) because the entire digit is removed. This is analogous to removing the end of each of your fingers and thumbs, completely, at the first knuckle. This is clearly an extremely painful and body altering procedure. Even with appropriate pain medication at the time of surgery, studies have shown that declawed cats have many on-going, lifelong problems including phantom pains, arthritis (both in their paws and lower backs), and behavioral issues such as aggression, inappropriate elimination, and anxiety. Cats are born scratchers - it is a normal part of cat behavior. So, now that we know declawing isn't the answer, what can we do?

First, destructive scratching behavior is most easily addressed at an early age. If you're adopting an adult cat, be sure to address the behaviors immediately upon bringing the cat into your household. Once a cat decides where or what to scratch on in your house, the habit will be much harder to break. There are many ways to address scratching in your cat and you may need to try various methods. Some methods to use are:

Deterrents: foil, double sided tape, bubble wrap

Protectants: nail caps/covers, furniture covers, frequent nail trims

Approved Surfaces: scratching posts, scratching boxes, cat trees

Behavior Modifiers: phermone sprays/diffusers (Feli-Way), medications

If you are feeling unsure or just have questions, find a feline friendly vet and ask! Cats are amazing creatures and can bring so much joy to your home. I always say, "Cats are like potato chips, you can't have just one!" 😊

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