Declaw surgery, despite its name, is not simply the removal of the cat's claws. It is the removal of the last bone in each toe of the foot. This is generally done just on the front feet. The removal of this joint is necessary to remove the entire claw and prevent any regrowth.
Why Declaw Your Cat?
- Medically, it can be necessary to remove a claw if the claw is damaged beyond repair, causing great discomfort to the cat.
- If a cat's nails cause trauma to the owner. There are people whose immune systems are suppressed or people on blood thinners who can't be exposed to the bacteria on a cat's claws.
- The majority of declawings are due to social issues and when all behavior modification tools have been exhausted — where cats are being destructive, tearing up furniture, causing injury to owners and family members.
Complications associated with declawing a cat include:
- Pain or discomfort
- Anesthetic risk
Post-op care often includes:
- Elizabethan collar to prevent the cat from licking
- Special litter or shredded paper to help prevent infection
- Daily medication for pain management
- Restriction of activity