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Declawing Cats: Positives, Negatives, and Alternatives

A closer look at the controversial procedure.
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There are also those vinyl nail caps for cats (aka soft claws). They can be used successfully. The caps are put on with surgical adhesive and the cats usually get used to them within a day or two. But the glue has to be applied properly. I’ve had people glue a few toes together. And the hardest part is that you have to trim your cat’s claws before you put them on, and most people can’t trim their cat’s claws. They last about a month. They’re especially good for cats that need to be kept indoors for a short period of time. But it can be done long-term if done properly.

Trimming nails, if you do it weekly, can help if the problem is scratching people, but it won’t stop a cat from damaging furniture. Think about the reasons cats scratch: to stretch and to sharpen their claws. So if you cut their claws, they just want to sharpen them more.

 

Q: Isn’t declawing cats illegal in some other countries?

A: Yes. Some countries have banned declawing due to ethical concerns. I know the United Kingdom has, and so have Australia and New Zealand. And there are others. Some of these countries ban it outright. More often, though, the policy says it should not be done, but if a vet determines it’s medically necessary, it’s OK to do it.

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Reviewed on April 29, 2012
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