Increasingly, bills aimed at banning declaw surgeries in cats are being introduced at city and state levels. The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals oppose declawing and support making such bills into laws.
What is declawing?
Too often, people think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat's nailsthe equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed. Sadly, this is far from the truth. Declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. If performed on a human being, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.
Some negative effects of declawing
Medical drawbacks to declawing include pain in the paw, infection and tissue necrosis. Unfortunately, once a cat recovers from their declaw surgery, the way their foot meets the ground actually changes. This could lead to lameness or back pain in the long term. Declawed cats have lost a crucial part of their defense system and keeping them indoors is the best way to protect them.
Try our tips for stopping unwanted scratching
If you are worried about your cat damaging your home, or want to avoid unwanted scratching, start with these tips:
- Provide stable scratching boards around your home. Offer different materials like carpet, sisal, wood, and cardboard, as well as different styles (vertical and horizontal).
Don't subject your cat to unnecessary procedures
Most experts agree that there should always be provisions in any declaw banning legislation for medically-necessary declaw procedures. These situations might include the need to remove a deformed claw.
There are eight cities in California where cat declawing is currently banned. Declaw surgeries are also illegal in England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Spain, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.
But More important - Pet parents should be aware of the full implications of a cat declaw, as well as the long term effects.