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Cat Declawing Alternatives

Published by in Client Education ·
Tags: AlternativestoCatDeclawing
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Alternatives\nto Declawing Your Cat
Declawing Cat
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One of the most controversial\npet surgeries is cat declawing.  It used\nto be commonplace, but now there are veterinarians who no longer offer the\nsurgery.  What is declawing?  Declawing is the surgical removal of the toenail,\nincluding attached bone.  It is\nessentially a minor amputation, requiring full anesthesia.  Most veterinary associations recommend that\ndeclawing only be done as a last resort, or when there is a risk of infectious\ndiseases being transmitted from cat to human through scratching.
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Why Cats Scratch
\nCats scratch to mark their territory, keep their claws in top condition, and\ndefend themselves.  Cats, especially\nkittens, tend to play rough.  Owners and\nother pets can be scratched during play. \nUnfortunately, not all cats confine their scratching to appropriate\nareas.  Cats are capable of ruining\nfurniture, flooring, curtains, clothing, and can even damage walls and doors.  It’s understandable that cat owners would\nrather not have their cats destroy their home. \nThere are alternatives to declawing, which may be worth trying before\ntaking the final, permanent step of declawing.
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Scratching Posts
\nMake sure you have acceptable things for your cat to scratch.  You can buy ready-made scratching posts in\nall sorts of styles, or you can make something at home.  Good scratching surfaces include cardboard,\nwood, and carpet.  Make sure that any\ncarpet is short and not made of looped fibres that your cat can get their claws\ncaught in.  You can also use the carpet\nbacking. Some commercial scratching\nposts also use natural fibre rope wound tightly around a post.  You should offer both horizontal and vertical\nscratching surfaces, and it doesn’t hurt to throw in an angled surface to give\nyour cat as many options as possible.  Scratching\nposts should be securely anchored, and should be taller than the cat can reach\nwhen stretched right out.  Positive\nreinforcement training can be used to encourage cats to use their scratching\nposts instead of furniture.
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Grooming
\nFrequent nail trimming can reduce your cat’s ability to scratch and cause\ndamage.  Your cat’s claws may need to be\ntrimmed as often as every 1-2 weeks.  You\ncan also try filing your cat’s nails frequently to keep them blunt.
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Nail Caps
\nYou can buy temporary synthetic nail caps from a number of sources.  They come in a variety of colours, and use a\nnon-toxic glue to attach them to the claw. \nYour cat will still be able to use their claws for scratching, but they\nwon’t do any damage.  Nail caps will need\nto be replaced approximately every 4-6 weeks as the nail grows out.  You can have them applied by a groomer, or\nyou can do it at home.
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If you are concerned about your\ncat’s scratching habits, consult a veterinarian.  If you are looking for a vet in Newmarket,\nyou can call us at 905-898-1010.

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Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital - 107-525 Brooker Ridge, Newmarket, ON - T: 905-898-1010
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