People have many misconceptions regarding declawing. Some of the most common questions that veterinarians face involve the harm of declawing. To most pet owners, this procedure is unfair and hurtful to the cat, and to some extent, they are right. Most experts also agree that a declaw surgery does more harm than good to your beloved feline.
Why do Cats Need to get Declawed?
It is hard to argue with the fact that a cat’s claws are dangerous. A domesticated cat that lives alongside fellow cat lovers may not need them. However, cats still grow a set of claws for survival. Once, they used it for hunting preys or fighting off predators, now they use their claws for destroying your furniture. Even when people provide their cats with scratching ,they may still choose to pierce their claws into the furniture. For all of these reasons, some cat owners choose to declaw their cats so that they do not have to face this problem again. Most cat owners who opt for this procedure are ones that run out of options in finding solutions for their cats to stop scratching.
Declawing – The Procedure and Controversy
The procedure involves surgically removing last bone in the cat’s paws, that constitute to the claws. In general, declawing includes the vet to remove the front bones of the cat. Before decide to declaw your cat, make sure that you have a conversation with your pet about the procedure. It is not just the removal of the nail, but the amputation of the bone from which the nail grows. Thus it makes impossible for your cat to ever grow a nail from the inside of its paw. To put it into perspective, a declaw is similar to human amputation. It is also important to take notice of the rules and regulations of where you live, and whether that location allows such surgery. The main reason why this procedure is controversial is because this surgery may be brutal and even inhumane–others may even call it as animal abuse. They also do not like the fact that the surgery is responsible for pain in cats. On the flip side, if it did not exist, many cats would be homeless or still in the shelter because there is big demand of declawed cats.
Will Declawing Stop a Cat from Climbing?
Even though cats may still have the ability to climb, it will certainly make them less of a climber as they were before the declawing. This is because claws are what makes cats anchor on to what ever they are climbing.
Can Declawed Cats Still Scratch?
If you ask this question from a vet, they will tell you about the cat’s inherent scratching habit. This means that the cats do not give up scratching even after the surgery. This is also a reason why you should not let declawed cats outdoors since they cannot defend themselves.
Due the controversies that surround the declawing procedure, many veterinarians do not perform the procedure. However, in some states, declawing is possible because of better procedures. The advancements in alternative pain medication and pain solutions also make it possible for people to opt for onychectomy. Better procedures for declawing involves better pain management in cats. This way, the pain will lessen. A veterinarian blocks the local nerves in the toes, eliminating any pain problems. The pre and post operative pain control and pain management allows to remove the brutal aspect from the surgery. The pain medication for the cat can help alleviate the post-surgical discomfort that they will experience. Furthermore numbing down the nerve cells in the toes also help them deal with nerve pain. At the same time, other pain management solutions help tackle chronic pain that the cat may experience in its paws.
What to Expect after Declawing Your Cat
After your cat goes through the declawing procedure, you must provide the best care because the cat will most likely be in pain. Caring for a declawed cat requires looking for signs of any health problems and considering all the health precautions so that they can return to their normal activity. Declawing or onychectomy does not exactly change your cats behavior, however, it is important to look out for some post-surgical signs that may be concerning. These signs include:
- Reluctance to put pressure on their paws. (this could stem from excessive pain sensation in the its toes).
- Painful swelling. Redness and swelling in the paw, followed by pain.
- Lethargy. Lethargy or lameness that is noticeable in the cats posture that is also an sign of pain.
- Excessive licking and chewing of the paw.
- Irritability. Changes in behavior, or displaying aggression. Moreover, displaying litter box avoidance is also a sign.
- Bleeding. Bleeding from paws and toes.
If you notice that your cat exhibits any of the behaviors stated above, then your cat needs immediate veterinarian attention. Post-operative dysfunctionalities such as lameness is an indication that your cat needs veterinary medicine. More than anything else, understand that your cat is feeling pain, and utmost care and understanding is needed from you as their parent.
How to Care for Declawed Cats?
Now that your cat is declawed and ready to come home, you must take extra care of the cat to ensure a speedy recovery. A declaw causes extreme pain to your pets, which is why you have to make sure that you are giving it pain medication.
Give Pain Medication
To ease your cat’s pain after the surgery, the veterinarian is likely to give your cat pain medication that you will have to give for several days until your cat gets healthy. The medications can either be in an oral form or skin patches. Moreover, identifying whether your cat is in pain is difficult. Unlike other pets, such as a dog, cats are less expressive and will not give clear indications that they air in pain. Giving your cat an oral pill can be extremely challenging. Cats do not like it when you try to force a pill down their throat, and they will show repulsion by doing everything to avoid it. However, you can try other techniques that can allow you to give them the pain med. These include pill pockets and liquid medication. Nevertheless, if you are unable to do so, you can always seek the help of a veterinarian.
Clean your Cat’s Paws
Cleaning your cat’s paws after surgery is the best measure against infections. Infections can occur when the cat’s paws come in contact with any foreign object that is not clean. Since surgery involves the removal of the cat’s claws, it means that a part of your cat for now, is exposed to microbial infections. Some vets advice owners to initially keep the their cats paws covered until they get better. However, you should also ask your veterinarian for any medication that you can use to clean the wounds.
Keep Litter Box Close By
You do not know whether the stress and the trauma of the surgery is bringing about different chronic pain in your cat. This chronic pain can also make your cat unpredictable, therefore, you do not want it out of your sight. In this case, you will benefit from keeping your cat in a confined space with all the resources close by. Whether it is the cat’s litter box, food or water, make sure that your cat does not have to overwork her paws inside the house as well for at least a week. The paw needs to recover until it heals fully. Not resting her paws will result in soreness. A swollen paw is susceptible to infections and may worsen the injury. Therefore, keep your cat’s litter box close by, along with all the other essentials. This is especially important if you own a kitten, because a smaller paw is even more fragile and sensitive after surgery.
Why do Cats Limp After Getting Declawed?
The reason why a newly declawed cat would limp is because of the pain they experience in their toes. The pain sensations along with other behavioral changes cause difficulty for the cat to walk.
Other Reactions to Declawing
- Reduced activity. Meaning that the cat starts to become lazy and less playful and less active.
- Change in appetite. Postoperative reactions of a cat also includes lowering down of appetite, meaning that they refuse to eat food
- Litter box issues. Cats will also refuse to use the litter box in some instances.
How to Care for Your Newly Declawed Cat
The recovery period of your cat right after it undergoes surgery is the most sensitive time. Thus, you must prevent your cat from going outside of the house. Only allow the cat outside if you think it is safe, otherwise it is inadvisable, even by a vet. Cats that have a declaw surgery or onychectomy transition into indoor cats and do not fare well in outdoor locations. This is mostly because they do not have the claws to defend against any outside forces. However, their natural instinct to claw remains intact. Fleeing from danger by climbing will also be a problem for your cat because of the lack of claws, making them even more vulnerable to dangers. Hence, keep your cat in the cozy and safe environment of your living room after they arrive from the veterinarian office.
CBD for Cats
Should you be using CBD as a possible treatment for the cats suffering with post-operative pain? Well, according to anecdotal evidence, CBD’s non psychoactive and pain relieving tendencies make it desirable for cats and cat lovers around the globe. CBD has a number of different benefits and in some cases, proves to be pivotal for cats. The thing that makes CBD such an amazing product for cats is that you can find CBD products in countless varieties that serve specific purposes. Cats are repulsive of intaking conventional medicine, which is why CBD as a supplementary solution to their inflammation and pain proves incredibly well, since you can find it in the shape of treats, oils, and even meals. CBD treats specifically for cats rids you from the worries of forcing medicine down their throats. Instead, with CBD treats, the cat will voluntarily enjoy their supplementary holistic treatment. Moreover, it does not attribute to any serious or long term side effects because of its naturalistic properties. Not only is CBD instrumental for pain relief, but it can also be an incredible source for the behavior changes in the cats. Post-surgical times are tough for cats, and behavior changes due to anxiety and trauma are evident. In this circumstance, you also have the options for CBD products that promote calm behavior in pets. Apart from post-surgical pain and trauma, CBD products can also help with other diseases and conditions that a cat may be facing. Which is why you must consider CBD as an alternative if the medication of the veterinarian are giving you a hard time. Just make sure that you talk to this vet before you purchase any CBD product. Never sign up for any medication or treatment without your veterinarians approval.
Our Final Thoughts
A few tips before you take your cat for surgery – if your cat does not stop licking her wounds, you can always put a collar on her. Second, cats that are a year of age or younger are more tolerant to this surgery. A scratching post helps regardless of whether the cat has claws or not, a declawed cat will hold on to it and try to climb it, making it amazing for exercise. Of course, just make sure that your cat’s paws are fully healed to avoid any further injuries. Lastly, opting to remove your cat’s claws should be your last resort after trying every measure that exists.
Frequently Asked Question
Is my declawed cat in pain?
The simple answer is YES, your declawed cat will be in pain after the surgery and the vet will be prescribing medication to mediate the pain.
Is it OK for cat to lick paws after declaw?
NO. Make sure that your cat does not lick their paws after declawing as this may result to infection. Use an e-collar to prevent your cat from licking their paws.
Does declawing cause permanent pain?
It is possible as declawing can lead to chronic pain.
What should I do if my cat is limping?
Limping will improve after a couple of weeks post surgery but the best thing to do would be to contact your vet when limping arises.