Thirty years ago it was common practice to have your indoor cat declawed at the time of spay/neutering. The average pet owner was, no doubt, unaware that this procedure entailed amputating the last knuckle of each toe. Although Canada has yet to join most countries in making this cruel procedure illegal, hundreds of veterinarians (including ours) are refusing to perform the surgery.
Some of the complications associated with this procedure include lameness, infection, bleeding, tissue death, back pain, nerve damage and bone spurs. If that isn't enough to deter you, having your cat declawed may make it less likely to use the litterbox (due to painful paws), and more likely to bite as a way of defending itself.
Two recent studies published in peer-reviewed veterinary journals (Vet Surg 1994 Jul-Aug;23(4):274-80) concluded "Fifty percent of the cats had one or more complications immediately after surgery.... 19.8% developed complications after release.." Another study (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998 Aug 1;213(3):370-3) comparing the complications of declawing with Tenectomy concluded "Owners should be aware of the high complication rate for both procedures." Many cats also suffer a loss of balance because they can no longer achieve a secure foothold on their amputated stumps. (The Truth About Declawing - Christianne Schelling DVM)
So what can you do, instead, to keep your kitty from destroying your furniture?
These ones are BoroBengal kitten tested and approved:
This scratching post offers both carpeting and sisal.
This cat toy is a favourite. The centre is made of corrugated cardboard (perfect for scratching) and replacement cardboard inserts can be purchased separately when this one wears out.
The palm tree offers a real tree trunk as well as carpeted "fronds".
So I was organizing all of my kitten pictures last night, and zoomed in on this one ... Is it just me? Or does this marking on one of Taz's kittens look like a flower?