Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Knowledge Is Pawer

Posted by terrepruitt on June 20, 2015

You may have read my blog post about us not having cable.  Well, we have never subscribed to a cable package that contains Animal Planet, so when I get the chance to watch it I am thrilled. Today I was watching a show, My Cat From Hell, where the owners can no longer tolerate their pet’s behavior.  It usually ends up where the people need the training.  The people are the ones that need the education.  The people are the ones that need to learn how to live with the cat.  One thing that came up that is important for people to know – important in my opinion – is that when a cat is declawed a portion of the toe is amputated.  The claw is not removed as if a person loses a fingernail.  If a person loses a nail that is all that happens, the nail can just fall off.  With a cat, their nails, the claws, are much more integrated into the toes, so claw removal is much more involved.  A portion of the cat’s toe is removed when the claw is removed.

The woman in the show was horrified to hear what declawing was. She didn’t know. I remember I was horrified when I heard it. I have never been a believer in this type of operation. When I learned what it actually involved, I really didn’t like it.

It is good to be educated and know what the details are before you have a procedure done to your pet.  There are two methods, one where they cut off the claw and the bone it grows from.  The blade they use slices between the joints, guillotine-style, cutting through the pad of the foot.  In the more difficult, less common procedure, there is a special blade used that carves out the claw and a portion of the bone, leaving the pad of the cat’s foot intact.  The first one is easier to perform, but harder on the cat, the second one is more difficult to perform, but less difficult on the cat.

You probably want to know which method will be used on your pet before you decide to have it done.  Since the first method leaves the animal’s foot damaged, they have pain when they walk so extra time is needed for convalescence.  Might take some extra planning on your part.  With the lesser used method, the cat heals faster because a portion of the foot, the pad, is not cut off.

There are other things to do to keep your furniture and yourself safe from cat scratches before you resort to having surgery performed on your pet.

There are those claw caps.  Have you ever seen them?  They are these little plastics sheaths that go over the cat’s claws.  There is cutting the claws.  There is also training.  But all of these things take time and commitment.  And cats are not always cooperative.  So you really have to do what is best for you, your family, and your cat.  Just know what is involved in whatever decision you make.  As a loving cat parent you’ll make the best decision.

What do you think about declawing?  Did you know the method used? Do you have a helpful method for keeping your cat from scratching up furniture?

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