Although declawing was once among the most popular strategies for keeping a cat in line, these days most working veterinarians will advise that you only consider declawing after scratching posts and other alternatives have failed. Consider these four alternatives before you decide to declaw your cat.
4 Alternatives To Cat Declawing
1. Scratching Posts
Cats need to scratch something. It’s how they build strength in their limbs and sharpen their claws, it’s instinct. A good scratching post means that your cat should be too pre-occupied with their toy to bother with the couch or the curtains.
Training a cat to stop scratching may be easier or more difficult depending on your feline’s disposition, but the actual process is quite simple. When you catch them scratching something that they shouldn’t be scratching, you want to break their focus by clapping your hands or spritzing them with a spray bottle. Scold them, remove them from the area, and take them to their scratching post. Most cats will get the hint sooner or later.
3. Nail Trimming
Some cat-lovers argue that cats need their claws. Dogs walking around on hardwood floors need their nails trimmed, but cats use their claws to get around, to eat, to hunt, and to defend themselves. But not all house cats live active outdoor lifestyles, so yours might not require their claws. The challenge with nail trimming is that cats really do not enjoy the process, and you have to do it again every single time their nails start getting a little long. Treats and praise can help, sedatives if you’re desperate, and the staff at SAVES Center in South Atlanta will gladly show you techniques that can help you get through the ordeal quickly and painlessly.
4. Behavioral Therapy
A cat that acts very aggressively may, ultimately, demand a declawing, but this should only be considered as a last resort. If you love your cat, a consultation with a behavioral therapist for animals may be worth considering before deciding on declawing.
Declawing, contrary to what some may believe, is not a simple procedure. It is a partial amputation, a surgery that requires general anesthesia and, in most cases, pain medication for weeks to follow. Training a cat not to claw the furniture is actually likely to take you a lot less time and effort than dealing with declawing post-care.
If your cat is not yet trained not to scratch at the furniture, it may be worth keeping their access to certain parts of the home limited, if possible. Or you can simply hide the good stuff for now. If you can store your nice sofa in the garage for the next couple weeks or swap your 300 thread count cotton sheets for something cheap for the time being, you’ll be able to train your cat at a comfortable pace and avoid the hassle of declawing.
There are extreme cases where declawing proves necessary, but they’re relatively few and far between.
To learn more information, don’t hesitate to contact SAVES Center!