Declawing …the Hot Debate

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cat clawCall me a naturalist or an old-fashioned guy but I don’t like to tamper with Mother Nature just because it’s more convenient for me.

I guess that sums up my feelings about declawing.

A supreme being much more knowledgeable than I decided Kitty should be born with nails. So until that being tells me to do something about removing those nails, I’ll stand hard and fast in my position about declawing.

As far as I am concerned no cat should be declawed. In particular, cats allowed outdoors should never, ever be declawed, no matter what the owner’s rationalization might be. Outdoor cats need to protect themselves, and nature provided nails as a big part of their defense mechanism.

Most owners have cats declawed because they scratch and claw up their possessions. As you know by now, I’d much rather educate the clawing kitty as to what she may or may not scratch.

It’s really not as hard as you think. Remember: You can’t teach a cat not to scratch but you can teach a cat what not to scratch.

Fighting between cats in the same household is the second biggest incentive for owners to want to declaw their cats. But here’s the rub! Although declawing will certainly eliminate the damage cats can do by scratching at each other, it does nothing about the much more serious damage that can be caused when one nasty cat bites another. These wounds often abcess badly.

Cat owners shouldn’t be lulled into the false sense of security that comes from removing the claws. If your cats are suffering due to a fighting household, it’s best to get to the root of the problem and resolve it.

Opinions differ on whether declawing is physically harmful to cats. Some say it’s simply minor surgery. Others say X rays of the bone structure of Kitty’s legs before and after declawing show a marked difference that’s caused by his having to balance himself unnaturally. Without the nails, physical stress is placed on the legs, where it isn’t intended to be.

My favorite argument is when I’m told declawing doesn’t hurt the cat. There’s only one thing wrong with this statement – I’ve never heard a cat say it.

If you’ve already declawed your cat, don’t feel guilty about it. It’s over and done with and you thought you were doing the right thing. But for all the future kitties in your life, think twice about it. In nature’s grand plan, it’s probably best if the human race keeps its hands off of God’s creatures, particularly when there’s no medical or humane benefit.

Declawing is a quick fix to the destruction problem, but a better fix is to educate the cat – you will find help with this in my book How To Get Your Cat To Do What You Want.

Besides, way too many indoor cats escape to the great outdoors at least once or twice in their lifetimes. Leaving them defenseless, without their nails, is simply out of the question.