What if someone told you that you needed to cut off your fingers? Now, you like your fingers. You need them to do the things you love. You use them to text, play video games and flip pages in a book. Of course, you also need them to pick things up. Someone you live with says, "Hey, you should probably go get a check up at the doctor's office soon." So, they drive you to the doctor. The doctor says, "Everything looks good here. Hey, you know what? I could get rid of your fingers if you'd like. It'll only be an extra $450 dollars." You obviously don't want this, but your friend thinks it would be a good idea...and it will stop you from ruining his expensive furniture.
Sounds ridiculous, right? I imagine this is what cats go through when their owners take them to the vet to be declawed. Most pet owners would probably think that declawing a cat is a normal procedure that isn't harmful to their feline friends, and is an easy fix to destructive behavior (i.e. damaging furniture, scratching, etc.) However, if they knew the truth about the surgery, they would never choose to put their cat through it. The surgery can be extremely detrimental to cats, and there are better, safer ways to control your cats claws. Here are some reasons why you should never declaw your cat.
1. The surgery is painful.
The Paw Project describes the declawing surgery on their website. They say that it is not just simply removing the claws; it's an amputation of the last knuckles of a cat's paw. This procedure cuts through nerves and tendons, potentially harming the animal. It's equivalent to a person getting their fingers cut off at the top knuckle. If you wouldn't do that to a person, why would you subject your cat to that?
2. Your cat "kneads" their claws.
See what I did there? Some may think it's annoying, especially if your cat decides that your leg is the perfect scratching post, but kneading is important to cats. It helps them express that they're content and comfortable. Not only that, but cats knead so that they can stretch their claws. Kneading can also mark a cat's territory. A cat's claws are so unique and special, and they should not be taken away from them.
3. A cat's claw are their main defense.
Unfortunately, cats don't wield lightsabers. So, they use their claws for protection against Sith lords and bigger, meaner cats. This is especially important if the cat is primarily an indoor cat. If an indoor were to accidentally run outside, without their claws they will not be able to defend themselves.
4. It's expensive and unnecessary.
While the expense is certainly not more important than the pain it can cause your pet, it's still a reason you shouldn't go through with it. Vets can charge up to $450 (sometimes more) for a declawing surgery. Some vets will ask pet owners if they would like to declaw their cat when they bring their cat in for something else. Sadly and too often, vets will not inform pet owners of the possible consequences of the surgery. If a pet owner is not told that there are alternatives and that it's just simply unnecessary, they may end up agreeing to the procedure, spending too much money and hurting their pet.
5. The aftermath is not worth it.
The consequences of the surgery are simply just not worth it. According to The Paw Project, declawing can cause permanent damage such as arthritis and lameness. Is it really worth putting your cat through unnecessary pain just so you can protect your furniture?
A pet is your best friend. They're the best listener, they're always free to cuddle and they love you just as much as you love them. So please don't allow your cat to endure the pain that the declawing surgery can cause. If you're really concerned about your cat's scratching, there are several alternatives to declawing, such as nail caps, scratching posts, etc. The Paw Project's website is a great place to learn more about the risks of declawing and claw repair surgery. The first step to ending the cruelty that is declawing is being informed of the risks. Now, go hug your cat and promise them you'll never take away their claws.