Although declawing cats is not as popular as it once was, it is still a prevalent practice across Canada and the United States. However BC just recently became one of the first provinces in Canada to outlaw the practice– hopefully, the rest will soon follow our lead. Nova Scotia is the only other Canadian province to ban declawing, but it is also banned in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and parts of Europe.

Recently, more than 2,700 people signed an online petition which prompted the College of Veterinarians of B.C. to do extensive research before coming to this landmark decision. They came to the conclusion declawing wasn’t an appropriate way of dealing with behavioral issues. The College has the power to investigate and impose disciplinary action on veterinarians who ignore the standard.

Some Negative Effects Of Declawing

The declawing surgery removes the claw at the level of the first join and takes 7 to 10 days to heal. Drawbacks to declawing include pain and infection. Removing claws also changes the way a cat’s foot meets the ground and can cause pain similar to wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes.

Your cat is designed for grace and agility when they climb and jump. It is this grace that makes cats uniquely beautiful and their claws are an important part of this design. Declawing drastically alters the confirmation of their feet and the way they maneuver. The cat is also deprived of its primary means of defense, leaving it prey to predators if it ever escapes to the outdoors.

The Truth About Cats And Scratching

Cats are usually about 8 weeks old when they begin scratching. This is the best time to train kittens to use a scratching post and allow nail trims. Scratching is a normal behavior for a cat and should be expected. It isn’t done to destroy an extensive piece of furniture or to attack you in your sleep.

Pet owners should not consider declawing as a way to prevent unwanted scratching which can actually lead to an entirely different set of behavior problems that may be worse. Contrary to some beliefs, cats can be taught where to scratch.

How Is A Cat Declawed?

The standard method of declawing is with a scalpel or guillotine clipper. The wounds are then sealed with stitches or surgical glue, and the feet are bandaged to prevent the wounds from opening.

For several days after surgery, shredded newspaper is typically used in the litter box to prevent litter from irritating declawed feet. This unfamiliar litter substitute, accompanied by pain when scratching in the box, may lead cats to stop using the litter box. Some cats may also become biters because they no longer have their claws for defense.

If you’d like more information about the new declawing regulations please contact us or if you’d like to make an appointment give us a call.