To Declaw or Not to Declaw, That is the Question

My husband and I have been spoiled. Mr. Meow, who we found at our apartment complex after he’d been abandoned almost eight years ago, came to us declawed. (His front claws at least. He still has his back ones.)

Now we’ve got Tabby. Not only did she come to us pregnant, she came intact with all her claws, front and back. It’s been somewhat of an adjustment. When Mr. Meow “makes biscuits” (kneads) our bellies, it’s a pleasant feeling. When Tabby does it…ouch!

When she got spayed, they trimmed her nails. That was nice! But that was over a month ago and now they’ve grown out again. I tried to trim her claws once, but I was so afraid of nipping the quick I got nervous. I think she sensed it. She jumped down and, not wanting to traumatize either of us and have it associated with stress, I haven’t tried again since.

Wayne keeps talking about taking her in to get declawed. I’m against it. It sounds barbaric and cruel. (It’s the removal of the nail bed, or the last joint, which I didn’t fully understand until I started doing more research on it.)

Back when I first took Tabby in for a pregnancy check, I asked Dr. Singleton about declawing. She explained the pros and cons.

One pro was Tabby’s age. Because she’s still young, recovery will go more smoothly for her. She also said that their office doesn’t offer it, but there is a new declawing procedure done with a laser. It’s supposed to be a little more humane than the “old-fashioned” way.

A con was that she’ll forevermore be an inside cat. (Which was fine. That’s what I was planning to keep her as anyway.) However, there could be other cons too: it could alter her personality, there could be complications, etc.

Well, after the complications we had when she was spayed, the last thing I want to do is chance more. And again, I just can’t see putting her through that pain. Plus, she hasn’t destroyed any furniture (yet). She does have a penchant for scratching our dining room table chairs, and when Wayne catches her doing it, the “We have to get her declawed!” issue resurfaces. (We just bought that set a year ago. It’s our first real one in our 12 years of marriage, so it is kind of meaningful.)

But it’s not meaningful enough in my mind to mutilate Tabby’s feet over. So I’m going to have to “cowboy up” and either learn to trim her nails myself, or I’ll have to check into Soft Claws.

One thing’s for certain: since I’m responsible for ferrying our pets to and from the vet, I have the power to prevent any declawing. Which I fully intend to keep doing.

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Declawing Your Cat: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

How to Stop a Cat from Scratching Furniture

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