Should you declaw your cats?

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 15, 2016

So you’ve finally caved from the constant begging of a significant other or children and brought home a small bundle of fur, the home’s first kitten.

Some of the first things your new pet will need include a litter box, food, water and some shots to prevent a number of illnesses.

Let’s hope you didn’t forget one important thing, an object for the new ball of energy to scratch on as a substitute for your expensive furniture if you intend to have an inside cat.

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If you forgot a scratching post or pad, your new kitten, as cute as it is, will become a nuisance.

Fail to purchase one now, and you will be chasing that kitten away from precious furniture, only to find that in your absence new claw marks formed.

Something permanent has to be done. The first thing that may come to mind is declawing your new pet.

While this method will certainly keep it from destroying the couches, declawing a cat can actually lead to serious harm.

Claws on a cat grow from the first bone on each digit, completely different to how fingernails grow on human hands.

In order to declaw a cat a veterinarian has to cut off the bone to the first knuckle on each of those digits of both front paws.

That’s the only way to stop claws from growing back.

It might save your furniture, but you’re also removing your pet’s first line of defense from rival cats or dogs, should your pet get outside unexpectedly.

Instead, begin training the kitten not to scratch on the furniture at a young age. They typically won’t begin scratching on objects until they are about 2-months-old.

If you provide a better alternative to scratch on at that age, such as a sturdy scratching post, or a cat tree, then the furniture won’t seem so inviting. Also, don’t forget to trim the cat’s claws regularly and make the intended targets more inviting with toys and possibly catnip.