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Pros & Cons of Declawing Your Cat

Learn the pros and cons of declawing your cat from board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. E'Lise Christensen, DVM in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Have you ever thought about de-clawing your cat or wondered why people did it? Well, you probably know that it's a pretty controversial topic. In fact, in some countries de-clawing isn't even legal; however, in the United States you can still legally declaw your cat as long as it's done with a veterinary professional. You do have to keep in mind though that many veterinarians while they perform this behavior a long time for many years don't really do it anymore because of the controversy surrounding it.

Thankfully though, if you are thinking about getting your cat de-clawed, there are nice procedures as far as compared to before that help control for pain like, local nerve blocks and pre and post operative pain control or pain medication that they give before and after the surgery. The important thing to know about de-claw is that it does remove a portion of your cat's finger essentially. It removes the first digit section right here. This is one of the reasons that people are opposed to de-clawing because it's considered to be a mutilation of the cat's normal anatomy.

However, declawing can save a cat's life especially in the case of a cat that's very aggressive and uses its claws as part of its aggressive behavior. Cats can cause a significant amount of damage with their claws and if it's possible to save the cat's life by de-clawing, it might be worth having a serious conversation with your veterinarian about it. However, if your major concern is scratching, there are many other ways that you can help your cat scratch on appropriate items rather than ruining your home or touching your body and injuring you with those claws.

There are paw caps that can actually go right over the nail and make the claw really soft. There of course is the ability to nail trim at home which you can learn to do relatively easily and you can make sure that you teach your cat appropriate places to scratch. So, if your cat's not dangerous with his claws, you might consider leaving them in and letting him be a normal guy. However, if you are concerned about it be sure to talk with your veterinarian. So, that's a little bit about the controversy surrounding de-clawing cats.

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