Declawing your cat can result in serious long term problems
"Declawing" may sound like a relatively benign procedure, like getting your nails trimmed. But declawing a cat so she'll stop scratching the furniture involves removing the bones at the tip of her toes. Apparently, the process can result in long-term problems for your feline friend, based on a new study using 274 cats of various ages.
Declawing can lead to chronic pain, which may make your cat more aggressive
Cats who’ve been declawed are more likely to have a difficult time walking
Declawed cats were 7 times more likely to pee in inappropriate places
4 times more likely to bite people
And 3 times more likely to overgroom themselves
The declawed cats were three times more likely to be diagnosed with back pain (possibly because they had to modify their gait due to their missing toe bones)
Declawed cats may be more likely to urinate on soft surfaces like carpets or clothing because it's less painful than the gravel in the litterbox
So before you resort to declawing your cat, try training her first. Here are some tips:
1. Get at least one scratching post. If it's a vertical scratching post, make sure it's tall enough that your cat can stretch to use it. And make sure it's stable.
2. Position the post near your cat's favorite sleeping spot, and/or near the furniture she likes to scratch the most.
3. Cover the post in catnip or toys so that it's more attractive than the sofa.
4. Reward the cat with a cheek scritch or a treat every time she uses the post.
5. Don't hit her if she scratches the sofa. Just say 'no' firmly and relocate her to the appropriate scratching post, and reward her for using that instead.
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