The newest addition to my family was my kitten named Parker. Like every other kitten, he is playful, loving, and a little bit feisty. There are plenty of scratches on my hand and our furniture to prove that Parker is putting his claws to use. He's reached an age now where he is able to get declawed. When I first got him, declawing just seemed like part of the process of owning a new cat. As time brought us closer to this possibility, I began to question whether or not this was the right decision. I hardly even knew what it really meant to declaw a cat. I decided to research it before making a final decision, and this is what I found.
Some of the reasons against declawing are because it's believed cats will will develop behavioral problems. One of the problems noted is they no longer use a litter box. The reason behind this is that it becomes too painful for a cat to dig in their litter, so they find a bathroom elsewhere in the house. Another behavioral problem is increased aggression. The cat's aggression is caused by a two things: continued pain and lose of defense. Pain for a cat continues even after they recover from their surgery. The nail of a cat can grow back inside of their paw, causing them to be in extreme pain. They also lose their natural defense mechanism, making them more likely to bite and lash out.
Declawing does not just effect your cat's claws. It also effects the way they walk. Cats have to relearn how to walk without their claws. This can cause them to put extra pressure on their heels to stay off of the tender part of their paws. Doing this can lead to the cat developing arthritis in the back, wrist, and leg joints.
During my research, many of the articles mentioned that declawing was mostly an American tradition. In a documentary called The Paw Project, interviewers asked people from many different countries their opinions on declawing cats. Most said that it was inhumane and even illegal in their country. The countries that ban cat declawing include Australia, Greece, France, Britain, India, Israel, and many others. In total, 30 countries across the globe made declawing cats illegal.
After all of my research, I have decided to not declaw my kitten or any other cats that I may own in the future. Some alternatives to declawing are scratching posts. My family put one in place of a piece of furniture that my cat was destroying, and now we have no problems with his claws at all. Most animal rights organizations say that declawing is inhumane and cruel. The organizations that don't think that are only looking out for the financial benefit of the vet, not your kitten. Before you decide to declaw your cat, make sure that you do your research.
The Paw Project. Dir. Jennifer Conrad. 2013. Film.