Many people are under the impression that declawing your cat is an option to keep them from scratching the furniture, other people or what have you. The fact of the matter is that is an humane and unnecessary mutilation of your pet. It compares to humans having their toes amputated as they also lose their bone attatched to the claw because the claw and the bone are so strongly adhered together. Claws are also a cats only way to defend themselves if they get outside and are confronted by another animal or human. Without them, they have no chance.
The risk of complications with declawing are huge:
- Excruciating pain
- Damage to radial nerve
- Bone chips that prevent healing
- Painful regrowth of deformed claw
- Chronic back and joint pain
And that's not even the whole list of complications. Then there is the issue of recovery. Cats still have to walk on their declawed paws, use the litterbox, jump, etc. while in a great deal of pain. Declawing is illegal in many European countries and with good reason. Many veteranarians in the United States refuse to do this surgery as well.
Scratching is a normal behavior in cats, and while you cannot stop it you can deter them from scratching things that are unacceptable. Never, ever punish or hit a cat for scratching.They will not know why they are being punished for what is instinctive to them, may come to fear you and they do hold grudges for a long time. What you can do is provide cat trees and posts for them to scratch on and rub lemon and orange peels where your cat has been scratching on furniture to deter them. Learn how to correctly trim your cats claws. If you have never done this before, ask your veteranarian to show you how. There is also a great no product called Soft Paws on the market that is humane and very effective. Soft Paws are lightweight, vinyl sheaths that go over the cats claws. If your cat goes outside this is not a good option, but if they don't it's great.
In conclusion, I hope I have helped raise awareness to the cruelty of declawing and given viable, humane solutions for you and your kitty.