All cat parents have been there. You are cleaning behind your couch, and you suddenly realize there are thousands of claw marks ripped into the sofa’s material. There could only be one culprit: your cat. At this point, you may not know what to do, but you know that the scratching needs to stop.
You have a couple of options here. You could buy your cat a scratching post and then teach them only to scratch there, which could take months. Or, you could declaw your cat.
While this might be more convenient for you, it’s not the best option for your kitty. Let’s take a look at why cats scratch in the first place.
Why Cats Scratch
Cats can scratch for a variety of reasons. Cats may need to scratch because it’s their version of trimming their nails. Scratching on a post or on a piece of furniture is like a human getting a manicure – it’s natural and healthy.
Outside and in the wild, cats will scratch to mark their territory or even use their scratches as visual markers, so they can return to their homes. In addition, cats may also scratch in order to stretch and flex their paws.
No matter the reason, you still want the behavior to stop.
What It Means to Declaw your Cat
The process of declawing your cat actually involves cutting off the very tips of your cat’s toes. Their toes are amputated, and then they are stitched up. This can be incredibly painful as cats will have to use their paws to get around until they are healed.
Removing your cat’s claws will change how their feet meet the ground, which could cause a lot of health issues. HappyFriendy.com tells us that these issues could include chronic back pain and lameness.
In addition to physical issues they may have, their quality of life may be lessened. Declawing a cat means the cat will no longer be able to climb trees or even defend themselves.
The process of training your cat to scratch on scratch post may be time consuming, but with a little bit of patience, it’s a better option for you and your cat. Additionally, your cat will be much happier and better off for it.