Humane Alternatives to Declawing a Cat
In the past, getting a cat declawed was a fairly common practice. However, it is widely known now that this is a major procedure and it can result in serious complications for the cat. It has even been banned in many places. Declawing a cat can potentially cause the inability to walk properly and could result in refusal to use the litter box. Cats may also become more aggressive if they feel threatened and cannot defend themselves as they normally would. Many people think that declawing a cat means they’re just getting the claws removed which is not the case. The entire first joint ends up being removed when cats get declawed. This is why it’s suggested to try all alternatives to declawing a cat before considering declawing.
Even if your cats know better than to use their claws on their human friends, your furniture may not be so lucky. As such, many cat owners look for alternatives that allow cats to keep their claws but still prevent accidental cat scratch injuries or ripped furniture.
Four Alternatives to Declawing a Cat
- Invest in Scratching Posts
- Trim Your Cats Nails
- Get Nail Covers for Your Cat
- Adopt a Previously Declawed Cat
Cats love to scratch. It is simply part of their nature and they will continue to go through the motions even if they are declawed. To save your furniture, providing your cats with a scratching post can help. A good scratching post should be tall enough that your cat can fully stretch out on it. There are many different types of scratchers available so it’s important to find one that your cat likes.
The Refined Feline makes modern cat scratching posts that will blend in with your decor. The A-Frame Cat Bed features a large sisal scratching panel that can be replaced if it gets worn out. Plus, as the name suggests, it also doubles as a cat bed and an end table! Bothered by the average cat scratcher that will leave pieces all over your floor? Check out the Calypso Everlasting Cat Scratcher from The Refined Feline. This tall cat scratcher has a sturdy weighted base, and is made of a claw-proof faux rattan that will never leave fray! Some cat experts even recommend investing in more than one scratcher and placing them near whatever items the cats like to scratch.
Trim Your Cats Nails
One of the easiest ways to prevent damage without resorting to declawing is to trim their nails. This involves simply cutting down the very tip of the claw using either a special pair of clippers or electric devices. When done properly, this method is quick and causes the cat no pain. Of course, the hardest part is getting your cat to cooperate while you trim its nails. If your cats are not cooperative, a veterinarian or groomer can assist with trimming and show you how. Cats’ claws generally need to be trimmed once a week. It’s best to get your cat used to this at a young age or to start by doing a nail at a time whenever your cat will let you. Then, give your cat a treat to positively reinforce this behavior.
Get Nail Covers for Your Cat
If your cats continue to play too rough or you have a little human in the home who might get scratched, soft nail covers may be the answer. These soft caps are glued directly to the cats’ claws. They prevent the sharp tip of the claw from scratching. When the claw is shed, the nail cover goes with it. All you need to do is apply a new nail cover.
It can be a bit intimidating to put the nail covers on the cats’ claws for the first time. A veterinarian or groomer may be able to do it for you if your cats have ticklish toes. Further, the cats’ claws will need to be trimmed before the nail covers can be applied. The caps last approximately 30 days and they come in a variety of colors,. So, you can have fun with it if you choose to try this as one of the alternatives to declawing a cat.
Adopt a Previously Declawed Cat
With all of the available alternatives and the knowledge that we have nowadays, there is no reason to declaw a perfectly healthy cat. If nothing else, there are always cats in rescues though that have been declawed previously and need a home. Like we mentioned before, some cats who have been previously declawed have behavioral issues. Make sure to fully evaluate the cat fully before adopting it. Then, decide if you can provide the care that it needs to live a long happy life.
Alternatives to Declawing a Cat
Declawing a cat is banned in many areas and a lot of vets have also chosen to not perform this procedure. So, it is imperative to try as many alternatives to declawing a cat as you can before even considering amputating a cat’s joints.