Cats are fluffy balls of cuteness. Cat owners usually observe how much personality their pets have, they can act like aristocrats gracefully grooming themselves all day long or they can behave like the natural born hunters that they are and play with all kinds of moving things. This last one can get out of hand, though, and it’s not uncommon for kitty owners to feel exasperated when they see a shoe or the sofa in tatters all because their pet cat went full metal scratcher.
Why Does Your Cat Scratch?
Scratching is a natural behaviour of cats. They scratch when they are feeling playful. They scratch when they are stretching out. They scratch when they feel threatened. They scratch in order to mark their territory. Simply put, cats love to scratch. Unfortunately, we don’t love what this scratching does to us and our homes.
Scratching can ruin furniture and clothes. A scratchy kitty could traumatise other household pets and even children. Scratching can leave unsightly marks on our skin and, worst case scenario, the wound could get infected.
But don’t panic! There is a way to properly deal with this common kitty habit. But declawing your pet is not one of the options.
Why You Should Not Declaw Your Cat
Declawing is a permanent surgical procedure that involves amputating the toes of a cat up to the first joint. This method is a harsh and unacceptable way of treating or scratcher. These are the sad things that happen when you declaw your pet cat:
Declawing is irreversible and painful. It is not as simple as trimming a fingernail, it permanently changes the anatomy of your cat. Aside from the physical complications that might result from this procedure, declawing could cause behavioural and emotional problems in your pet. Imagine yourself being permanently injured and unable to function the way you used to. This is how distressing and traumatising this surgical procedure can be to your pet cat.
Balancing and Waking Becomes Difficult
Your cat’s claws are an important part of her anatomy. It helps with balance, movement and her day to day survival. Declawing your cat could lead to secondary contracture of the tendons. In simple terms, being declawed could interfere with her ability to walk and balance herself. Because the last joint of her paws has been removed, your cat might transfer more of her weight on her hindquarters causing her to be out of balance.
Cats rely on her claws to protect herself from threats like bigger animals and declawing leaves her defenceless to these dangers in the environment. Without her claws, your pet will feel insecure and distressed and these emotional disturbances could result in stressful behaviours like peeing in different places around the house and even hostility towards humans.
What You Can Do Instead
There are more effective ways to deal with your cat’s scratchy habits without resorting to declawing. Here are some of them:
- Put up a variety of scratching posts around the house
- Regularly trim your cat’s nails
- Discourage scratching by clapping your hands or squirting your cat with water when he attempts to scratch
- Protect objects and furniture with runners and other covers to discourage scratching