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Should I Have My Cat Declawed? Benefits and Drawbacks

I am a high school teacher and cat lover. I live alone with my 2 cats, now that my 2 legged children have grown up and moved out.

Ziva went through surgery perfectly. Her bandages were only on for about 2 days.  When they were removed, her feet were slightly sensitive. She was able to walk on them.

Ziva went through surgery perfectly. Her bandages were only on for about 2 days. When they were removed, her feet were slightly sensitive. She was able to walk on them.

What Should I Consider When Deciding Whether to Declaw My Cat?

The debate about to declaw your cat is a very valid one. There are definite pros and cons to each argument. There are both great benefits and drawbacks to having a cat declawed. It's a huge, lifelong (the cat's life) decision that is not to be made lightly. If you choose to alter your cat, you are choosing a path that makes you responsible for that being for its life (which ranges from 12 to 18 years on average).

There are many arguments against altering a cat by declawing it. I am not actively advocating for either option. I have had house cats both declawed and unaltered in my home.

I do, however, feel that one needs to contemplate what they are committing to before they decide to have their new family member declawed.

Questions to Ask Before Declawing Your Cat

  • How long will this cat be in my home safe from predators?
  • What happens if I can no longer keep this cat in my home?
  • Will I ever wish that my cat could go outside?

Since removing the claws of a cat leaves them vulnerable to predators, it is imperative that they remain solely an indoor house cat. They need to be completely sheltered from any predator or tormentor. I only have the 2 cats right now. One I have had for over a decade. She does great but absolutely never goes outside. The other is only 2 years, but has adapted extremely well as well.

How to Prepare for Your Cat's Recovery Post-Surgery

Deciding to go ahead and declaw your cat is only the first step.

Next, you will need to be prepared for the recovery time. The litter box will need to only have special newspaper style litter in it at first. Online you can search Newspaper Kitty Litter to find the kind you will need for the first 2 weeks after your baby has their surgery. You can NOT use the clumping litter during the first 2 weeks post-surgery. The clumping kind can get into the paws and cause an infection. Even if you have more than one cat and only one is having the surgery, you will still need to replace the clumping litter with the recycled paper kind. This will ensure that no small grains of litter get into the places where the claws have been removed.

The Bandages

Your cat will come home with bandages up to nearly their torso. They are wrapped with the stretchy gauze that sticks to itself. It is then taped at the top of their foot. Underneath the veterinarian will have shaved your cats legs and feet. These usually stay on day or two after coming home. You can take them back to the vet to have them removed. Though this might not be necessary. Your cat may pick at them and get them off themselves.

Your feline's paws will be sensitive. At first they will probably shake them hard when they try to put weight on them. This is their way of dealing with the surprising pain. After a few days that sensitivity will leave.

Bella, the calico, is 11 years old.  Ziva, the tortie, is 2 years old.  Both are SOLELY indoor cats.  They are my babies, and both are four-claw declawed.

Bella, the calico, is 11 years old. Ziva, the tortie, is 2 years old. Both are SOLELY indoor cats. They are my babies, and both are four-claw declawed.

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How Will My Cat Adjust to Not Having Claws?

It will be a new concept to your newly declawed cat. As they begin to feel better they will try to sharpen their claws as normal. They continue to do this even for years to come. It is in their nature and they continue the process. I even keep a scratching cat tree out for mine. They love to "sharpen" their "claws". They enjoy it and it does not hurt anything, including your furniture or door frames.

Jumping and Not Being Able to Catch Themselves

The most heart wrenching thing that I noticed with my baby Ziva was when she would jump and plan to catch then climb to whatever she was aiming to land on. She would then just slide, not realizing yet that she could no longer catch herself with the claws that were no longer there.

After some weeks they learn and plan their jumps accordingly. It takes time for them to experience life without the claws they were relying on. As long as they are safely in your home away from any predator they will adjust and live a great, well-adjusted life without the claws.

Bella Enjoying My Couch

Bella Enjoying My Couch

Benefits of Having a Declawed Cat

I have found great benefit in having my lifelong fur baby declawed. Since they are inside forever, I find it good for the furniture and woodwork that they do not have their claws.

As far as the cat being affected, they adjust perfectly well. Given a few weeks post-surgery, they adapt and do extremely well. They are able to play, jump and play fight with their fellow housecats. Even when I have to give them flea treatments or medicine for miscellaneous ailments, they are very adept at wiggling away or biting if they feel desperate to get away.

Since both of my cats are four-claw declawed they both rough house, play, zoom and jump together they do so without limitations.

I do not have to worry about broken nails, filing them or clipping them.

The cats are happy and my house is safe from claws. My granddaughter is also safe from being clawed. The cats are still well able to get away from any attention that they are not pleased with.

To me this is a win-win situation.

The cost is worth the peace of mind. Since, my babies will be with me for the rest of their lives they are safe and protected.

Ziva and Bella Loving the View and Cat Tree

Ziva and Bella Loving the View and Cat Tree

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 April McMichael

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