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Alternatives to Cat Declawing

Deepa Kartha Jul 27, 2020
Do you believe that declawing your pets is an inhumane action, but still want to stop your cat from scratching the furniture? Then you ought to know about the alternatives to declawing. This story will give you some useful information on the same...
If you have a pet cat, you would surely know how annoying it is to see your pet destroying your expensive furniture by scratching it with its claws. One of the ways to stop this kind of behavior is declawing. However, most cat owners do not know exactly what declawing is.
Some believe that it is a painless process,
similar to cutting the nails or getting a manicure done. However, the procedure is not so simple. Rather, it is a surgery which is known as onychectomy where the claws, which are closely attached to the toes, are completely amputated. When this is done, it becomes impossible for the claws to regrow.
Though not many people know about it, the procedure to remove the claws is extremely painful. Hence, in many countries it is considered to be inhumane and is declared illegal. This procedure does not have any positive effects for the animal, and is done only for the convenience of the pet owners.
However, the problem of damaged furniture is still an issue, and there are ways of preventing it without declawing the cat. So, if you do not want to cause harm to your feline friend, it is important for you to look at some alternatives that are safer and less painful than surgery.

Alternatives to Declawing Surgery

The first thing that pet owners must realize is that scratching with the claws is a natural feline behavior, and an important part of a cat's grooming process. So, taking away its claws can be considered to be a cruel practice, and should be done only when the behavior is causing harm to the health of the cat itself.
The claws also help the cats defend themselves from other cats as well as humans. It has been observed that some cats that have been declawed are likely to resort to biting as a means of self-defense. There have also been cases where the pain that is caused after the surgery can change the cat's normal gait, consequently leading to arthritis or crippling.

Nail Trimming

One of the best and most commonly used alternatives is trimming the nails. This can be easily done at home with inexpensive clippers, which are available at all pet stores. The best time to trim the claws is when the cat is in a relaxed or sleepy mood. Gently take the cat's paw in your hands and very lightly squeeze its toe to raise the nail.
When you can see the nail tip clearly, snip the tip carefully. However, make sure you do not clip the dark part of the tip, as this can lead to bleeding. If you are not sure about how to trim your cat's claws, you can consult your vet, who can show you the correct way of doing it.

Scratching Posts

If you want to save your furniture from damage and your cat from mutilation, the best way would be to provide it with scratching posts at home. You can either buy sisal-covered posts of various shapes from pet stores or make them at home.
Do not just restrict the cat to one scratching post, but rather invest on posts of different shapes, elevations, and surfaces. If you are not very keen on spending too much money on these posts, the cheapest alternative would be to buy cardboard scratching posts.
These posts should be kept at several locations inside the house, and you have to train your cat to scratch on the post instead of the furniture.

Soft Claws or Vinyl Claws

Another alternative to the declawing procedure is making the use of soft claws or sift paws. These claws are vinyl nail caps which are attached to the cat's claws with the help of glue. Though this will not stop the cat from scratching, this behavior will not cause any damage because these nails are blunt.
These soft claws come in different colors, and will give your cat's claws a very fancy look. The only problem is that they come off when the claws grow, and hence, you will have to replace them from time to time.

Laser Cat Declawing Procedure - A Humane Alternative

Though the aforementioned methods are usually quite effective, there have been cases where the alternatives have not worked for some cats. If this has been the case with you, a humane alternative that has been found by veterinarians is laser surgery.
The benefits of getting your cat declawed by laser rather than the actual surgical process, is that the former is much less painful. However, like all other laser treatments, even this has certain risks.
If the veterinarian doing the laser surgery does not have adequate experience, the operation can go wrong and can cause problems like delayed healing, tissue burning, etc. Hence, it is extremely important to check out the vet before taking any decision.
Apart from that, the cost of laser surgery will be much higher than the conventional method, and can't be affordable to everyone.
As you now know about all the alternatives to declawing, I hope you will opt for one of these instead of the conventional procedure. Just remember that it can cause extreme pain, and may also change the behavior of the cat towards you. Hence, choose one of the alternative methods, and enjoy the company of your loving cat without causing it any agony.