Declawing cats has been a contentious practice in the veterinary arena for many years. Although some argue that it is important to maintain the integrity of a home, others argue that it is an unnecessary and inhumane procedure for cats to do so. Regardless of the viewpoint, it is important to remember that declawing cats is not just about pulling their claws off the ground. It is a procedure that requires the amputation of the last bone in the cat’s toes, which can result in long-term pain, discomfort, and disability.
There are, however, alternatives to declawing cats that will help ensure the safety of both cats and their owners. The following list outlines a few of the most popular declawing options that can help owners keep their cats healthy and happy.
Nail Trimming: Nail trimming is a relatively inexpensive procedure that can help keep cats’ nails clean and manageable. Regularly trimming your cat’s nails can help minimize the chance of accidental scratching and the need for declawing. It is important to use cat-specific nail scissors and be gentle when trimming your cat’s nails.
Soft Paws: Soft Paws are plastic nail caps that are glued to the cat’s nails and can help protect against accidental scratches. They are available in a wide variety of colors and can be used for up to a few months before being replaced.
Scratching Posts: Cats can be provided with the ability to scratch on appropriate surfaces by placing scratching posts throughout the house. It is important that you choose a scratching post that is strong and tall enough for your cat to use comfortably.
Bitter Apple Spray: To discourage cats from scratching on surfaces such as chairs and door frames, Bitter apple spray is a powder that can be applied to them. This product has a bitter taste that cats hate, preventing them from scratching certain surfaces.
Behavioral Training: Behavioral training can help cats to recognize boundaries and not scratch on certain surfaces. With this exercise, positive reinforcement is crucial, as cats are more likely to respond to rewards than to punishment.
These are just a few of the alternatives to declawing cats that may help keep cats happy and healthy. Before making any decisions, it is essential to thoroughly investigate each option and consult your veterinarian before making any decisions. Declawing cats should only be considered as a last resort, and these alternatives can help owners keep their cats healthy and safe.