My husband and I are cat lovers. Big time. We have five. I’ll pause for the collective gasp. Yes, it’s true we have five (pictures here) and none of them are declawed. It’s such a horrible awful procedure and I can’t imagine subjecting any cat to it. Why? Well, let me explain.
Imagine having each one of your fingers cut off at the first knuckle. They’re going to saw through your skin, nerves, tendons and bones to amputate your fingers. Now try functioning in your daily life without the use of the ends of your fingers. Not easy, right? That’s exactly what happens to cats. Have you heard of phantom limb pain? Where, even though the limb is gone, the nerve endings keep sending pain signals to the brain. Many cats are left with that and most develop lameness, arthritis or even degeneration in their bones from the procedure. Don’t put your cat through that pain!
To make matters worse, cats walk on their toes. Their tip-toers with a pad under their toe cushioning their steps. But if they’re declawed it’s like cutting off your foot and telling you to walk. It’s painful, uncomfortable and unnatural. Some cats will shift their weight back, so they are essentially walking on their “wrists”, which leads to so many more problems and may even cripple the poor cat. When I hear this it always makes me think of the hobbling scene in Stephen King’s movie Misery. Think of that before you decide to declaw your cat.
Oh and do you have a declawed cat that doesn’t use the litter box? Not having their nails is probably why. It’s painful for them to scratch in the litter, especially right after their surgery. It may take months or even years to gradually coax them back into using it again. I’ve seen this several times on Jackson Galaxy’s show My Cat From Hell. How horrible would it be if you couldn’t use your bathroom?
I know some of you are probably saying I hate when cats scratch. They ruin the furniture, the carpet, all my stuff. It’s awful. I hear you, but I can’t stress enough… it’s natural. Cats need to scratch. It’s how they exercise their muscles and keep in shape. But there are ways you can curb their inclination to use your stuff as their workout equipment. Buy various types of scratch posts, scratch boxes, scratch mat, and cat trees with scratch posts. Things with sisal rope work great! Cats love it! If you provide enough products meant for cats they should leave your stuff alone. Enticing them with a little catnip at first so they get used to it doesn’t hurt either.
So if you love your cat, please please don’t subject them to this torture. And, if you’re interested, there’s a great organization that I highly recommend you check out called the Paw Project. They’re trying to spread the word on the dangers of declawing. Remember save a paw, don’t declaw!