Please please never ever declaw your cat.................... Please read whyDeclawing fits the dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint, and dismember all apply to this surgery. Partial digital amputation is so horrible that it has been employed in the human world for torture of prisoners of war. It is just the same for a cat - extreme torture.
Unlike routine recoveries, including recovery from neutering surgeries, which are fairly peaceful, declawing surgery results in cats bouncing off the walls of the recovery cage because of excruciating pain. Cats that are more stoic huddle in the corner of the recovery cage, immobilized in a state of helplessness by overwhelming pain.
Some cats are so shocked by declawing that their personalities change. Cats who were lively and friendly have become withdrawn and introverted after being declawed. Others, deprived of their primary means of defense, become nervous, fearful, and/or aggressive, often resorting to their only remaining means of defense, their teeth. In some cases, when declawed cats use the litterbox after surgery, their feet are so tender they associate their new pain with the box...permanently, resulting in a life-long adversion to using the litter box. Other declawed cats that can no longer mark with their claws, they mark with urine instead resulting in inappropriate elimination problems, which in many cases, results in relinquishment of the cats to shelters and ultimately euthanasia. Many of the cats surrendered to shelters are surrendered because of behavioral problems which developed after the cats were declawed.
Many declawed cats become so traumatized by this painful mutilation that they end up spending their maladjusted lives perched on top of doors and refrigerators, out of reach of real and imaginary predators against whom they no longer have any adequate defense.
A cat relies on its claws as its primary means of defense. Removing the claws makes a cat feel defenseless. The constant state of stress caused by a feeling of defenselessness may make some declawed cats more prone to disease. Stress leads to a myriad of physical and psychological disorders including supression of the immune system, cystitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)..
A declawed cat frequently resorts to biting when confronted with even minor threats. Biting becomes an overcompensation for the insecurity of having no claws. Bungled surgery can result in the regrowth of deformed claws or in an infection leading to gangrene. Balance is affected by the inability to grasp with their claws. Chronic physical ailments such as cystitis or skin disorders can be manifestations of a declawed cat's frustration and stress.Declawing cats is either illegal or considered extremely inhumane and only performed under extreme medical circumstances in many countries incl the UK. Why cats need thier claws.
Unlike most mammals who walk on the soles of the paws or feet, cats are digitigrade, which means they walk on their toes. Their back, shoulder, paw and leg joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves are naturally designed to support and distribute the cat's weight across its toes as it walks, runs and climbs. A cat's claws are used for balance, for exercising, and for stretching the muscles in their legs, back, shoulders, and paws. They stretch these muscles by digging their claws into a surface and pulling back against their own clawhold - similar to isometric exercising for humans. This is the only way a cat can exercise, stretch and tone the muscles of its back and shoulders. The toes help the foot meet the ground at a precise angle to keep the leg, shoulder and back muscles and joints in proper alignment. Removal of the last digits of the toes drastically alters the conformation of their feet and causes the feet to meet the ground at an unnatural angle that can cause extreme pain.What does it mean when a cat is declawed? How is it done?
Examine these drawings below. The cat's claw is not a toenail at the end of the toe as in other animals. It is movable digit attached to muscle as a finger might be. Note the strong ligaments and tendons which give power to extend and retract the claws. This is unique in cats. Without this your cat would not be able to properly grasp, hold or establish footing for proper walking, running, springing, climbing or stretching. Think of the cat as having 10 toes on each foot. Declawing is akin to cutting off half their toes. When the end digit, including the claw is removed, the sensory and motor nerves are cut, damaged and destroyed. They do not repair themselves or grow back for many months. Following the surgery there is a wooden lack of feeling, then a tingling sensation during the long convalescence while the cat must walk on the stub end of the second digit. Remember that during all this time the cat may not "rest" his feet as we would after a similar operation but must continue to scratch in his litter box, walk and attempt to jump as usual regardless of his extreme pain.Please understand what you are thinking of doing!! ................PLEASE PLEASE NEVER EVER DECLAW YOUR CAT.
More info and real horror stories in this website. http://declaw.lisaviolet.com/Alternate Solutions
Train your cat to use a scratching post and not your furniture.
- See here http://www.chaptanservices.com/purrs/index.php?topic=4826.0
Trimming your cat's nails.
Though you should never declaw, you may defray some of your cat's potential for destruction by carefully trimming the razor-sharp tips of her claws. You will find this endeavor more easily accomplished by two people, one to hold Kitty and one to trim her nails. Though she enjoys other forms of pampering, Kitty will not find a manicure soothing.
Gently hold Kitty's paw in one hand and with your thumb on top of the paw and forefinger on the pad gently squeeze your thumb and finger together. This will push the claw cear of the fur so it can easily be seen. You will notice that the inside of the claw is pink near its base. This is living tissue that you do not want to cut. Trim only the clear tip of the nail. Do not clip the area where pink tissue is visible nor the slightly opaque region that outlines the pink tissue. This will avoid cutting into areas that would be painful or bleed. The desired effect is simply to blunt the claw tip. Many different types of nail trimmers are available in pet stores.
If by now you're rolling on the floor laughing because you know your cat isn't about to let you trim her claws, here are a couple of guidelines that will help make this a possibility:
Patience and preparation.
Rushing into a full-scale claw trimming is a foolhardy move unless you're really into operatic drama and traumatic events. As you well know, cats hate to be restrained. And they don't like you fooling with their paws, which comes across as threatening. After all, their claws are a major tool for survival, and Kitty may consider your motives suspect.
This is where preparation comes to the rescue. For approximately a week before her manicure, begin making Kitty accustomed to having her paws handled. While petting and soothing her, start massaging her paws, especially on the under side. Gently press on the individual pads at the base of her claws. You may want to give her treats to reward her for not protesting. (Or as in the case of my own cat, to distract her from doing so.) The point, of course, is to make the process reassuring so that she will eventually feel comfortable enough to let you handle her paws without protest.
Next, be patient. Don't attempt to trim all her nails at once. Trim one or two at a time, reward her with affection or food, and then let her do as she wishes. Cats are not strong on patience or restraint. As the creature theoretically higher on to evolutionary scale, that's your department. Don't attempt to change your cat. Instead make it tolerable for her. Eventually trimming will become a completely non-traumatic experience. How Can Feliway Help?
Cats also scratch to mark their territory. There are scent glands in the paw pads. Thats why even declawed cats continue to scratch. A product called Feliway mimics this scent and reassures the cat that it's already marked the area as his. It "tricks" the cat into thinking it has already marked the area - so there's no need to do it again!
Here is a link that will explain this further: - http://www.feliway.com/gb
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