5 Humane Alternatives to Declawing – There are numerous safe and painless alternatives to declawing, including these ideas from the pet behavior experts at Ceva Animal Health:
5 Humane Alternatives to Declawing
1. Routinely trim nails
Regular nail care is an important part of general care and hygiene for your cat, but it can also help prevent scratching damage by eliminating the sharp, destructive claw tips. Properly trimmed nails are less likely to snag or split, and cats with well-trimmed nails are less likely to resort to scratching as part of their own self-grooming rituals.
2. Create scratch-friendly zones
Keeping cats from scratching areas you don’t want them to bother is far more likely if you provide areas where they can scratch at will, such as scratching pads and posts. Pair these scratching areas with a product such as Feliscratch by Feliway, which is clinically proven to prevent destructive scratching by redirecting cats to scratch in the right place. Cats are attracted to the drug-free, naturally derived product and will feel compelled to scratch where it’s applied, leaving that chair or couch alone.
“Cat owners can now have damage-free home decor without putting their cats through the stress and potential physical harm of the painful declawing procedure,” Tynes said.
The Humane Society of the United States opposes declawing cats except in rare cases when it is necessary for medical purposes, such as the removal of cancerous tumors from cats’ nail beds. The HSUS advises that it’s perfectly natural for cats to scratch, which they typically begin doing as eight-week-old kittens, and that declawing may contribute to problems that are more serious than shredded furniture.
To DeClaw or Not To DeClaw
Rather than planning to declaw their cats, pet parents can begin training kittens to use scratching posts and trim their nails when cats begin scratching. The HSUS notes that declawing can produce some very negative side effects for cats, including pain in the paw, infection, lameness, and back pain.
When cats’ claws are removed, this can change the way their feet meet the ground, resulting in the same painful feelings that human beings may feel when wearing uncomfortable footwear. In addition, improperly removed claws may begin to grow back.
Declawing also may contribute to nerve damage and result in the formation of potentially painful bone spurs. The HSUS also notes that some newly declawed cats begin to bite as a defense mechanism, putting themselves and anyone they encounter in danger.
The Humane Society of the United States opposes declawing cats except in rare cases when it is necessary for medical purposes, such as the removal of cancerous tumors from cats’ nail beds.