Is it really worth it? Is there no other way to preserve your furniture?

Is it really worth it? Is there no other way to preserve your furniture? Think about it.

Declawing may protect your furnishings, but does little to protect your cat. A cat’s natural instinct to scratch serves both physical and psychological needs.

It exercises foot muscles and helps remove the outer layer of nail that is periodically shed.

The rhythmic action also provides psychological comfort and the contraction of the nails reassures the animal of self-defense if needed.

The surgical removal of a cat’s claws inflicts great physical suffering on the animal.

Also the physical adjustment can be very difficult, and many de-clawed cats become biters.

The number of declawed cats turned into animal shelters (as unwanted pets or “strays”) attests to the fact that the pet owners have great difficulty rehabilitating the declawed cat.

There are many instances of the claws growing back, but not in the normal way.

Some veterinarians have stated that this does not happen when the surgery is done properly.

Besides the physical mutilation, consider what this operation may do to a cat’s emotions and the personality changes that may occur.

You are assuming a tremendous responsibility when you deprive a cat of their defenses.

From that moment on, you are solely responsible for defending and protecting this cat.

There are many alternatives to declawing. In fact, cats are very trainable animals.

A few tips on how to train your kitten/cat. When your kitten is old enough to start investigating its surroundings, a scratch post should be the first thing it encounters!

As the kitten makes an attempt to scratch furniture, gently pull it off and place its front paws on the scratch post. Be sure to place the post in an easily accessible spot so its use becomes habitual.

If you have an older cat, you can still introduce it to the scratching post.

Also, check with your vet to keep the claws trimmed. If these don’t work alone, you can use a water bottle (don’t add anything to the water! WATER ONLY) Each time the cat approaches the furniture to scratch – squirt a couple of short shots at the cat (avoid squirting the cat in the face) while saying “NO”.

You may also try using bath oil on a piece of cotton. Attach the cotton to the part of the furniture the cat scratches. This will repel the cat so long as the scent remains. (It only works with bath oil – also adding a pleasant aroma to the room.)

If you are looking for other methods, look online for cat training resources or call your local vet or animal shelter as they may have useful information.

Paws come with claws; we have to learn to train our cats in the proper ways we want them to behave in our homes.

With lots of love and tenderness, we can teach our cats to love their homes without being destructive; and we can enjoy the happy, healthy, “intact” cat - without a mutilating or destructive surgery.

Sincerely,

SEK Humane Society