Declawing was banned by the Animal Welfare Act 2006, throughout Europe and the UK, although in some states of America it is still a common practice. Most people think that declawing just means a nail trim or a really good manicure or removal of the nail, so let me explain Declawing:
Declawing is not removing the nail, it involves removal of everything down to the first knuckle of each of the cat’s toes. This in itself causes paw pain for the cat, nerve damage and in some cases lameness and severe back pain. Your cat may find it painful to use the litter box. Cats like to dig and cover their waste. This would be too painful with the wounds to their feet. It can also change your cat’s temperament, he may start to bite and become withdrawn. At around 8 weeks old cats begin to scratch, this is the time to provide scratching posts and trim your cat’s nails. Scratching is normal behaviour, they use this for stretching their muscles and removing dead husks from their claws.
Tips to avoid unwanted scratching
1. Keep claws trimmed, easily done if you start from an early age.
2. Provide your cat with scratch posts, horizontally and vertically using different materials, sisal, cardboard, carpet.
3. Attach special tape, ” sticky paws ” to deter your cat from scratching your furniture.
Declawing is not only happening to our domestic cats, it is happening to our Lions, tigers, cougars and jaguars all who have been held in captivity. Please have a look at THE PAW PROJECT where Dr Jennifer Conrad who has founded this project and has been an advocate for alternatives to declawing. You can help by joining their mailing list or by making a donation: www.pawproject.org.
Save a paw. Don’t declaw.