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  dude, don't ever declaw

Thinking of declawing your cat?

If you've ever thought about declawing your pet please take a moment to learn why this irrevocable surgery is not just unnecessary, but extremely cruel and inhumane.
The procedure of declawing is amputating the last joint of the cat's toe! The human equivilant would be removing the tips of the fingers, not just trimming or removing of the nails. This is an outdated "solution" to the problem of cat scratching, and the complications far outweigh any benefits one might hope to gain.

Lack of solid facts is the main reason why pet owners decide to have their cats declawed. They don't stop to think of the real reason behind their cat's behavior, what risks are involved with declawing, and if there are better solutions.

1) Scratching is NATURAL and INSTINCTUAL for cats
2) You CAN NOT stop a cat from scratching

Well damn it, right? This instinctual habit of theirs feels like an unfunny joke to my personal belongings! Why must that be so?

Why do cats scratch?
1) Marking their territory
2) Exercise
3) Removing the dead outer shell of the nail
4) Pleasure!

Scratching is necessary for a cat to maintain physical and emotion health. Although it is an instinctual habit, scratching can be trained into acceptable behavior that will make both you and your pet happy.
See How to keep your cat happy and maintain your furniture and sanity for a great step-by-step guide.

What you can do to keep you and your cat happy:
1) Re-train their scratching habits into an acceptable behavior, and/or
2) Trim their nails, or get claw covers.
The quick, autonomous solution I endorse and would recommend to anyone is Soft Paws/Soft Claws. They're bits of latex that cover the claws and each set lasts about 4-6 weeks. For about $16 (including shipping) you can purchase a set of 40 covers that will last your cat about 4-6 months. They take just a moment to apply, and your cats rarely even notice they are on. They completely cover the claw so that your cat will still be able to make the physical motion of scratching, but your furniture will stay in perfect shape. My 3 indoor-only cats have been using them for years and none of us have any complaints. Right after application they usually want to groom their paws and may even do a little nibbling. To avoid this and to reinforce the idea that Soft Paws application time = a good time for your cats, lavish them with love afterwards. They get too distracted and forget about their paws! It's good to know that if they were to get outside for any extended period of time that the Soft Paws would fall off and they would have use of their natural defense methods. Not to mention my furniture is in tact, the cats looks adorable, and when they "make biscuits" on my lap I don't get scratched.

For tons more useful information please visit the Educate! Don't Amputate! home page. I've linked some of the articles above, but there is a lot more to see and read at that site. If you're still considering declawing PLEASE take some time to find more information. Nice furniture is nice, but you don't have a responsibility to a couch or a relationship with a recliner. Remember, the cats that you have taken into your home depend on you to make the right decisions for THEIR health and happiness. If you have any questions give me a holler or post on the EDA message board for a faster reply.

All text by LK, except where noted. Distribute freely, but please link back to Vegan Info.
Disclaimer: Research is good for you.
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