We all want the best for our cats. However, a lot of us also want the best for our furniture. While declawing your cat may seem like the perfect solution to have the best of both worlds, the procedure and recovery for your cat can be traumatic and painful. The good news is there are safe, non-surgical options for protecting yourself and your furniture from your cat’s claws! Read more to learn more about declawing cats and why it may not be an option in the near future.
Earlier this year, New York passed a law banning the practice of surgically declawing cats. While they are only the first state to ban declawing procedures, we anticipate many states following suit. In the coming years, we anticipate that declawing cats will be a retired (and illegal) practice.
Declawing is often not medically necessary, and is painful. Most people hear the term “declaw” and assume that the procedure involves removing the nail; however, surgical declaws actually involve the amputation of the distal bones from the cat’s paws. The human equivalent of declawing a cat would be the surgical removal of the bones at the end of our toes or fingers. The recovery process is difficult and even harder on older or heavier cats.
Another important thing to consider is your cat’s safety. Declawed cats should ALWAYS be indoor-only cats. Because they no longer have claws to protect themselves, declawed cats are at a higher risk for injury or death if they encounter predators outside. Not having claws also makes it harder for cats to climb, which could be the difference between life and death if your cat needed to escape a predator.
While many claim that declaw procedures save the lives of other cats who would otherwise be surrendered to a shelter or humanely euthanized, there are many alternatives for owners to try before considering this procedure. Here are some things to try if your cat is using their claws to be destructive at home:
Buy or make your cat a scratching post. If your cat seems to really enjoy scratching on a certain piece of furniture, cover the scratching post in a similar fabric or material, as some cats don’t care for the carpeted scratching posts. Some cats prefer vertical or horizontal scratching posts. Try a variety of different types to find what your cat likes best.
Make your cat’s scratching post enticing by using treats and catnip.
For wood furniture, applying double stick tape to the areas your cat tends to scratch can deter them.
Keep your cats nails trimmed short. Longer nails become sharp and pointy, so trim them regularly to maintain blunt nails.
Apply Soft Paws to your cat’s nails! Soft Paws are rubber tips that cover your cat’s natural nails. Soft Paws are applied with an adhesive and can last up to several weeks. If you are having trouble applying the Soft Paws at home, bring your cat in and one of our technicians (aka cat manicurists) can apply the Soft Paws for you. While we don’t supply Soft Paws at our clinic, they can be purchased at most pet stores and online stores.