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October 22, 2019
The Process of Declawing Your Cat, Pros and Cons
The Process of Declawing Your Cat, Pros and Cons

Your housecat may be a much smaller and potentially lazier version of the lions that roam the Savanna, but they still have an obvious feature in common: razor-sharp claws. Not only do these retractable body parts naturally grow to piercing tips, your cat likely shreds and scratches to remove dull cuticle layers to make them even sharper. While this is a perfectly natural behavior to their feline brain, it’s the source of a great deal of human exasperation as couches, rugs, walls, and doorframes become shredded over time. Even with appropriate scratching posts and climbing trees at their disposal, some cats will continue to habitually scratch their environment. This is typically when the question of “should we declaw our cat?” arises. 

No Claws, No Scratching

The declawing procedure can be performed at a vet’s office or through a trusted pet grooming provider like Wags and Whiskers. The process involves using anesthesia on the cat and performing a surgical procedure that removes the entire claw and joint: in other words, if they try to engage their retractable claws, nothing will emerge. This is not a choice that should be made lightly, and it’s generally considered a more extreme solution to uncontrolled scratching. Before opting for this method, cat parents should attempt alternate methods like behavioral training, adding more stimulating enrichment to the cat’s environment, and scent-based soothing tactics, such as synthetic feline hormone diffusers. If these tried-and-true methods fail to curb a cat’s frequent scratching and clawing, it may be time to discuss a declaw procedure.

Potential Declawing Complications

When performing the procedure, a licensed pet salon like Wags and Whiskers generally only removes the front paw claws. Back paws are usually left intact for grip, defense, and overall pet health. While declawing will eliminate the need to trim or file a cat’s front-paw claws, they’ll still need the same care on their back paws throughout their life. Just like occasional brushing, nail trimming – whether it’s front, back, or both – is an important part of pet maintenance for feline happiness.

After declawing has been performed, a cat will likely experience pain and tenderness while walking on their paws, even through the assistance of pain medication. While this pain will eventually fade, it still has a tendency to make a cat more litter-averse: with tender feet, they won’t exactly be eager to walk on a series of small pebbles to eliminate! Litter use can cause another issue, as well: potential infection. If your cat has any open wounds or “pockets” in their claw sockets, you’ll need to monitor them closely as they heal to make sure no dirty litter infects them.

If you’ve been considering having your cat declawed by experts in or near your Arizona home, it’s time to take action. Trust a local business that’s ready to provide you with the very best care and concern for your beloved pet: Wags and Whiskers is ready to answer your questions and guide you through the process. Remember: you have nothing to lose but the back, sides, and arms of that nice new sofa!