Anyone who has a cat knows that scratching is an everyday occurrence. This is because scratching is a normal behavior for cats, as it serves an essential function. The reason why cats scratch is so that they can maintain the necessary claw motion needed to successfully climb and hunt, as well as stretch their bodies. And since a cat’s claw grows in layers, the act of scratching removes the outer layer as it wears out to allow for the new growth.
What does it mean to declaw a cat?
Feline declawing is a touchy topic for most veterinarians and cat owners. In most cases, declawing is not medically necessary, but instead desired by the cat’s owner in an attempt to stop them from scratching up and destroying furniture, carpets and clothing or harming people or other animals. However, the only time declawing may be the best option is if a veterinarian deems the cats paws or claws are seriously injured.
Declawing is an elective and ethically controversial procedure in which a cat’s claws are removed permanently. Declawing is the amputation of a cat’s third phalanx, also known as the third toe bone. Why does the bone have to be removed? Cat claws are not like human nails—cat claws are attached to the last bone in each of their toes. When a cat is declawed—get ready to squirm—it’s comparable to cutting off each of a person’s fingers at the last joint.
Is your cat scratching up everything in sight? Does the thought of surgically removing his or her claws make you cringe? If so, now is the time to talk to your local cat clinic in Alexandria County, VA about the alternatives to declawing:
- Provide appropriate environmental enrichment: Create an environment for your cat that gives them something to do and teaches them to scratch only on appropriate objects. This also provides them with the proper resources to be themselves and to engage in their natural behaviors.
- Scratching posts: Scratching posts and pads are not just for fun, but let cats deploy their natural scratching behavior on something other than your furniture. Scratchers are available in a variety of styles and textures—like ropes and towers or rough fabric—to suit your home and your cat’s preferences.
- Regular nail trimming: Although cats scratch a lot, you still need to trim their claws on a regular basis. Trimming can prevent damage to the things in your home and injury to cats and people alike. Use proper feline nail trimmers to avoid splintering the claws.
- Use synthetic nail caps: Some cats do well with these types of caps. Glue the caps over your cat’s nails to help prevent painful scratches to people and irreversible damage to household items.
- Use synthetic facial pheromone sprays: Cats that scratch a lot could be experiencing anxiety, stress or boredom. Consider trying a synthetic facial pheromone spray or diffuser to help alleviate stress and anxiety.
If you have questions about these fantastic alternatives to declawing, don’t hesitate to contact your trusted cat clinic in Alexandria County, VA. Call the compassionate team at Kingstowne Cat Clinic today!
Categorised in: Cat Clinic
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