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Dr. Gabby
Dr. Gabby, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9139
Experience:  15 years in Companion Animal Practice and SPCA
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Is it better to not declaw a pet cat?

Resolved Question:

Is it better to not declaw a pet cat?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 10 months ago.

Hello and thank you for asking your question. My name isXXXXX will try to help.

It is better not to declaw a cat.

Because they walk on their toes, if you declaw them they end up walking on the second knuckle joint. The declaw involves cutting off the first knuckle. Over time, arthritis, or nerve inflammation, can develop. This can lead to limping and litter box aversion. Litter box aversion is a big pain, so if you can avoid a declaw, I would do so.

It is best to declaw a cat at an early age when they are very small. Once they have reached adult hood, the added weight seems to make the declaw more painful and the recovery is longer.

Declawed cats are more likely to bite as they feel defenseless without their claws.

They do make "soft paws," or "soft claws," which are rubber caps you can put on the nail tips. They sell them online and at larger pet stores. You have to re-apply them once a month.

Having lots of scratching posts, and cardboard scratching toys, can help save your furniture.

They also make things that make a noise, or spray air at the cat, if they cross a boundary. That can help keep the cat away from anything they like to scratch on that you do not want destroyed.

Double sided sticky tape, placed on the object you do not want them to scratch, works too.

I worked at the SPCA for three years. So, I would rather have you declaw your cat than get rid of it because it is destroying your couch. So, if it is necessary, for you to happily coexist, then it is alright.

But I would do it as a last resort and try the nail caps, and scratching posts, first.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Gabby, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9139
Experience: 15 years in Companion Animal Practice and SPCA
Dr. Gabby and 6 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Gabby replied 10 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Gabby
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

With my pet, good...she is due for an exam very soon. Different from someone else's or some others' cats, she uses a scratching post almost exclusively now for some reason after clawing on some pieces of furniture when she was younger. A good thing.Smile

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I, have replied below...or rather above this one.

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