Declawing a cat involves general anesthesia and amputation of the last joint of each toe, including the bones, not just the nail. Possible complications of surgery include permanent nerve damage, persistent pain, and bone chips (requiring additional surgery). Declawing also results in a gradual weakening of the leg, shoulder and back muscles, and impairs balance.
Cats claw to stretch, maintain the condition of their nails, and to mark territory - visually and with scent. Cats' natural instinct to scratch serves both their physical and psychological needs. Domesticated cats can be guided to satisfy their desire to claw without damaging valuable property.
Without claws, even housetrained cats may urinate and defecate outside the litter box in an attempt to mark their territory. Many people think that declawed cats are safer around children, but in fact the lack of a cat's first line of defense makes many cats feel so insecure that they tend to bite more often. Declawed cats are also more likely to be surrendered to shelters.
Nearly two dozen countries, including England, Australia and Japan, ban declawing surgeries. With a little effort and patience, you can protect your furnishings and preserve your cat's claws at the same time. Ask us how.