Adoption & Rescue INC.
The Truth About Declawing
Imagine cutting your fingers off at your second knuckle. That's what declawing is to cats. Not only are you removing the only mechanism your pet has to defend themselves if they ever accidentally get outdoors, but you're causing them serious, permanent bodily harm, as well as possible temperament issues. Many cats refuse to use litter boxes after being declawed because the litter hurts their feet. They often become aggressive because their paws are in constant pain, and sometimes the surgery isn't a clean cut, so they are in even more pain due to the deformity in their feet. And all of this happens to them for what reason? Because you don't want them to scratch your couch? Or, because you're worried they will scratch your child? Those aren't good enough reasons to cut anyone's fingers off, so don't do that to your cat. There are plenty of other alternatives to declawing, and with the right time and dedication to helping your pet adapt to the alternatives, they will work--we promise!
Scratching Posts: If you're worried about your pet scratching your furniture or carpeting then scratching posts are the perfect solution for you! You will want to get both a vertical and horizontal scratching post and place them exactly where your pet usually goes to sharpen their claws (Click on the links to find recommended posts!). By placing these where your pet usually scratches, they should begin to use them on their own, but if they don't you will need to redirect them. If you see them put their paws up on the chair, tell them "no," and put them in front of the scratching post. Praise using the scratching posts with pet treats and play time, and continue telling your pet "no" and redirecting them to the scratching post when they scratch on anything else. We have found that with repetition, any cat, young or old, can learn to use a scratching post (they prefer them anyway!) TIP: Most cats love the cardboard one we linked above!
Soft Paws: If you're worried about your pet scratching you, your child, your other pets, grandma, or anything else--Soft Paws are your answer! These are little nail caps, that come in an array of different colors, slip over your cat's claws and stay in place with adhesive (kind of like fake nails for humans!). If for some reason your pet does chew on them, they are non-toxic! Once they fall off, they will be vacuumed up (motivation to vacuum your house more, you're welcome!) and you can easily reapply a replacement! To apply, you dab some glue in a cover, softly push on your cat's paw so the nail is exposed, slip over the nail--and that's it! You can buy the name brand of Soft Paws off their website, or even at PetSmart in the cat section! Or, you can buy a cheaper version here on AmazonSmile!
Declawing isn't worth it, for you or your pet. These alternatives are easier than they seem, and if you really try, your pet will adapt (plus, you'll both be happier this way!)