Considering Declawing a Cat? Five Questions Answered!
February 27th, 2017 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic
Our Castle Rock vets have answered five questions we’re commonly asked about declawing cats. We want to help you make a good decision for your cat and family.
#1: Should I declaw my cat?
If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, our veterinarians don’t recommend declawing your cat. Your cat’s claws offer protection outside.
If you have an indoor cat, you can train your cat to scratch on a training post. Training saves you the cost of declawing a cat. Plus, it helps your cat avoid potential pain and trauma.
The best time to train is when your cat is a kitten. As soon as you get a new kitten, talk to our veterinarians about ways to avoid declawing. We’re happy to discuss ways to redirect your cat’s energy.
We understand there are times when your family may need to declaw your cat.
We have families come to us because they:
- Have not been able to train their cat to scratch on a post.
- Have a family member who has a compromised immune system. This could be due to Chemotherapy, a disease, medications to suppress the immune system or the person was just born that way. The family member can’t afford to get scratched.
#2: What age should I declaw my cat?
Between three and six months of age is ideal.
Typically, our veterinarians suggest you declaw your cat at spay or neuter time. For many cats, that’s around five or six months of age. If your kitten is already spayed or neutered, we may perform the declaw surgery earlier.
The recovery time is much quicker when cats are young. There also are fewer potential complications.
We do not recommend declawing older cats.
If you want to discuss cat declawing and you live around Castle Rock or Denver, call our cat vets at 303-688-3757 or:
#3: I’m looking for vets that declaw cats. What questions should I be asking?
Be sure to ask what’s included in the procedure. Always confirm that:
- Nerve block will be used in each of your cat’s paws that will be declawed.
- Pain medication will be prescribed (and used) for seven days after the declaw surgery.
These are “must haves” regardless of where you go for the procedure.
If you come to Cherished Companions, we’ll make your cat as comfortable as possible.
#4: What’s the recovery from a cat declaw surgery?
Typically, we’ll keep your cat for two days. We want to make sure the bandages stay on, and your cat has a confined and quiet space to begin healing.
When your cat comes home, give your kitty time to rest and heal.
We suggest you use paper litter for a least one week. Regular kitty litter can get into the area that’s healing and cause infections.
Cats are very good at hiding discomfort. Be sure to give your cat the pain medication, even if he or she is acting normal.
#5: Are there side effects from declawing cats?
Sometimes. Be sure to discuss all the potential side effects with a veterinarian upfront!
Some cats that are big clawers can turn into biters.
There’s a risk of neuropathy — numbness in your cat’s paws. You may notice your cat limping.
And in older cats — which we don’t recommend declawing — there is greater chance of infection and the need for ongoing pain medications.
If you live in or around Castle Rock, Colorado, we welcome your call. Please call us at 303-688-3757 or:
Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.
This article is intended to provide general guidance about declawing a cat. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)
© 2017, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic