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Declawing - What You Should Know About This Common Cat Health Problem

Paul Kramer

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Once a kitten or cat learns to use furniture and draperies to sharpen his claws, it will be hard to convince him to stop. Start him out right by training him on a scratching post. Show him what to do by holding him near the post and scratching his claws on the surface.

If you are consistent with training methods, and offer your cat a choice of objects on which to scratch, there is a good chance that you may prevent him from clawing your furniture and doing damage.

Another solution to the scratching problem is to have your cat's claws removed. Although declawing is not performed in some countries of the world, it is widely accepted in the U. S. Whether this is because more people in the U. S. live in cities and keep their cats strictly indoors has not been established.

Before you have your cat declawed, ask yourself these questions. Am I planning to keep my cat forever? Do I fully understand that he will be too vulnerable to be allowed outdoors again, unless he can be closely supervised?

A declawed cat may have a hard time climbing a tree to escape a dog and cannot defend himself properly if cornered. If you do make the decision to have your cat declawed, you should be aware that this is an orthopedic surgical procedure that calls for the removal of the claw and the first bone of each toe.

Except in special cases, only the front feet should be declawed. Although your cat will be anesthetized during the surgery, it is likely that he will suffer some temporary discomfort afterward and may be reluctant to stand, walk or jump until the toes have fully healed.

After applying ointment or liquid to your cat's eyes, hold him loosely for a few moments to let the liquid do its job, otherwise, he will immediately rub it out. If your cat suffer from ear mites, put the drops into his ear as instructed by your veterinarian, then gently massage his ear for a few seconds.

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