Why You Need to Consider Alternatives to Declawing
A Tale of Toes and Woes
Because kittens and cats have such soft, furry toes that love to pat one for attention, or knead in dreamy contentment on one’s lap, one often forgets that each toe is armed with a razor-sharp scimitar that can rip open a mouse, sofa, or the arm of a chair in a New York minute! These tiny nails can even help them climb the curtains in the living room, or rake along on their backs like little upside-down harrows underneath chairs, beds, and sofas. (They can also do this to your skin, which is why the wise cat owner sticks with the 10-pound domestic cat rather than the 300-pound leopard!)
Kitty Scenario: Granny’s antique chair is being shredded—What to do?!
Solution #1: Dump the cat at shelter for “bad habits”.
Solution #2: Declaw the cat.
Solution #3: Research other options.
If you picked either Solution #1 or #2, you should not get a cat or any other pet! The cat is following its normal instinct to keep those claws sharp; they are its best defense and are absolutely necessary for hunting (Besides, there’s no telling when you might stop putting Kitty’s dinner in those dishes)!
It’s a Painful Death Sentence
Anything is better than declawing, which basically cuts off the end of each toe. Even indoor-only cats will escape at least once, and if they have no front claws, they cannot even climb to avoid a threatening dog, another cat, or a racoon, and they certainly can’t swat the dog on the nose to provide enough time for an escape.
Much Better Options!
What you need to do is find a better way for Kitty to do this vital piece of personal grooming: a good, textured scratching post or two (possibly made more tempting with a little catnip if your cat likes catnip—some cats don’t), placed in a good location, and a spray bottle of water handy so clawing other places becomes unpleasant for Kitty.
And there is another wonderful solution: something called “soft paws”! They are little caps for cat claws which just push on over the claw and stop the scratching. They even come in decorative colors, and they don’t seem to bother the cat.