Declawing Cats There are many different declawing methods of cats. Each method has pros and cons in order to make an informed decision information about each is needed so that a person can make informed decision about whether or not to declaw their cat. There are many people who claim that it is inhumane and harmful to declaw a cat. Arguments against declawing include: trigger behavioral problems in cats, it causes the cat major pain, and a declawed cat cannot defend themselves. These are just few of the conflicting viewpoints in declawing a cat. Cat’s claws are an integral body part.

They are like fingers and toes on humans. Claws are one of the basic implements for accomplishing the daily activities and also act as the first line of defense against enemies. (3) However cats can be destructive of furniture, wood work, carpeting, and could scratch children in a home. To understand why cats tend to claw things may help you understand them better. One reason is to sharpen their claws and the other is called kneading. By kneading the cat is taken back to the good old days when they would knead at momma’s breast to make her milk come down. 3) It is believed they only do this to people they really love. It is perfectly natural for a cat to claw and knead. There are several options veterinarians have to remove the claws. The Clipper Method is the most common method. (1) The third digit of the toe is cut through by using a sterile nail trimmer. This is the part of the bone from which the claw growth is removed. The veterinarian either sews the incision with suture material or closes it with surgical glue. The most common problem with this method is in some cases not enough of the third bone is removed and the claw grows back.

This will lead to infection and the removal of the bone has to be removed again. The Disarticulation Method is a little more difficult to master and rarer that the Clipper method as it involves the delicate disconnection of all the tiny ligaments holding the third bone in place. (1) The entire third bone is removed. This procedure will cause a subtle drop in the way the foot is held. The benefit of this method is that the cat recovers faster because the pad of the foot is not cut. The Laser Declaw, in this surgery, a laser is used instead of a scalpel lade. This method holds many advantages. (1) Because the veterinarian is using a laser, there is virtually no bleeding, less post-operative pain, and in many cases, no bandages. A cat that has been declawed is conscious that their claws have been removed. Since their first defense weapon is no longer there, they have to resort to biting and using their teeth to defend themselves, this is what may cause behavioral problems in some cats. (3) Also, in order to remove the claw they have to cut off the toe up to the first knuckle.

Cat’s feet are very small to begin with; this doesn’t leave much of the foot left to balance with. This can lead to balance problems and walking difficulties. On the other hand, some cats do just fine and show very little, if any, effects from the procedure once their feet have healed. Kittens adjust more easily than adult cats do and the younger the cat is the better it will do with the adjustment. Most veterinarians will not declaw an older cat for this reason. Along with other pros are, furniture and wood work will no longer be destroyed, the cat is unable to scratch people. 1) Cat scratches may cause “Cat Scratch Fever” this usually happens in children or immune-compromised adults, 1-2 weeks following a cat scratch or bite. Cat scratch disease is a benign infectious disease caused by the intracellular bacterium, Bartonella-henselae. (2) Kittens are more likely than adults to carry this bacterium in their blood. Some of the symptoms of Cat Scratch Fever maybe tender and swollen regional lymph nodes, fever, chills, backache, abdominal pain, fatigue and headaches, so the tests and diagnoses are easily and commonly overlooked. 2) If the decision is made to declaw your cat it’s best to have the procedure done when the animal is between three and five months old. Works Cited (1)Eckstein, Sandy. “Declawing Cats Q&A: Positives, Negatives, and Alternatives. ” WebMD. WebMD, LLC, Aug. 2009. Web. 15 Oct. 2011. (2)Jerris RC, Regnery RL (1996). “Will the real agent of cat scratch disease please stand up? ”. Annu. Rev. Michrobiol. 50: 707-725. (3)Heil, Emily. “Should You Declaw? ” Washington Post 16 Jan. 2005, Pet Set sec. :