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To Declaw Or Not To Declaw Your Cat

Apr 8, 2008
There are two sides to the declawing issue. One is clearly against declawing a cat because the associate it with amputation and takes away a cats right to defend itself in any given situation.

The other side is for declawing their cats and kittens because they are strictly indoor pets and they want to protect their families from the scratches that cats and kittens inflict upon their human caregivers.

Whichever side you are on, Americans and Canadians are the only two countries that allow people to declaw their cats and kittens. Some countries in Europe have outlawed it calling it inhumane and will not allow it for any reason, not even the large cats or bears in the circus are declawed for safety reasons as they are here in the United States.

Not To Declaw:
Declawing a cat's claw is major surgery and they don't just 'trim' the nails. The veterinarian takes the entire first joint of the cat's claw off, either with a laser or a sharp object that resembles a small guillotine. This is surgery your cat will have to live with the rest of his or her life.

Veterinarians don't tell you but they are basically amputating part of the cat's claws when they perform the surgery. It's not just a minor thing as they would have you believe so you don't feel guilty. And today, many vets are turning to alternative methods for claw managements, such as covers for the nails.

A cat needs to exercise its claws and toes, the 'kneed' them on carpeting and other things such as a scratching post, it's a normal instinct and when you take away the claws, they will still do this. And when they realize they no longer have any claws to sharpen, they may resort to their second means of defense and that is biting. If a cat or kitten can't defend themselves with a quick swipe of the arm to let the person or predator, even if it's the family baby being curious, it will bite and that is worse than a scratch.

There is absolutely no benefit for the cat or kitten when it comes to declawing the animal. Even in-door cats can and will escape at some point in their lifetime and they will not stand a chance against an outdoor cat, a larger animal, such as a dog or anything they are afraid of and can't defend themselves against.

To Declaw:
People who want to declaw their new family pet want to do so to protect their families from an aggressive cat. Not that all cats or kittens are aggressive, however, there are times when a cat or kitten can get jumpy and start to scratch the people who love him or her the most. Scratches are painful, especially to children and older adults whose skin is thinner and are more likely to bleed quicker. Declawing will help prevent this from happening.

Protecting valuable furniture and draperies are other reasons people give for declawing their cats and kittens.
About the Author
Tristan Andrews is a freelance author who writes articles about Cats and Cat News.
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