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Thursday, 4 July 2019

Cat declawing - a step in the tight direction





Cruel as it might seem to many responsible cat lovers, a small minority of owners consider it acceptable to put their cat through an operation to remove their claws. The most frequent type of operation is called onychectomy and involves cutting the bones that the claws grow from to prevent claws growing.

(c) Getty images

Cat declawing is illegal in many countries in Europe including the UK, and in Brazil, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. However, in the US, perception has historically differed, with some studies suggesting that up to 55% of US cat owners saying it was acceptable. (Source: API survey 2011). There will be some cases when it is medically necessary, however it is sometimes done purely to stop the cat scratching furniture; so effectively a modification for human benefit. Many cats in the US are ‘house cats’ who live exclusively indoors, due in part to being kept by apartment-dwellers or because there are more outdoor predators such as coyotes, or the risk of traffic in cities. In comparison cats in Europe are more likely to be able to roam outdoors.





This may be about to change, as you may have seen in the news recently, New York lawmakers voted in June to make it illegal (except when medically necessary). This still needs to be reviewed and signed by the governor, Andrew Cuomo. Other US cities such as Los Angeles and Denver have already banned declawing. We hope that this trend continues.



Help your cat scratch to in the right places


(C) Pet Planet

Cats will find places to scratch and sharpen their claws; it’s a natural action for a cat, and, as well as scent marking their territory, it helps to shed the outer layers of their claws that continue to grow just like human’s nails. Providing a range of quality scratching posts, ideally as long as the cat’s length, placed around the house will help. Some cats like to scratch doormats too. There are products available from pet stores such as pheromone sprays that attract cats to the ‘right’ places for scratching.

Interested in learning more about cat behaviour? Take a look at Cat Speak by Brigitte Rauth-Widmann, and The One Minute Cat Manager by Kac Young.

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