DON’T DECLAW! In the accompanying drawings, note the strong ligaments and tendons which give power to extend-and re-tract the claws. This is unique in your cat. Without, this your cat cannot grasp, hold, or establish footing for walking, running, springing, climbing or stretching.
When the end digit, including the claw, is removed the sensory and motor nerves are cut,like damaged and destroyed. They do not repair themselves or grow back for many months. There follows a wooden lack of feeling, then a tingling sensation during the long convalescence. The cat must walk on the stub end of the second digit. Since cats have keener senses than humans - they suffer even more than the humans. Many pain-killing drugs, do not agree with cats and can cause illness or death. Anyone who has undergone bone surgery will appreciate the problem that can be created by the inability to medicate for pain.
Especially well-designed is the cat's whole body. The skeleton is more elastic and better jointed than that of the dog. In the shoulder there is so much play that the shoulder blade may touch the jaw or slide back as far as the eighth or tenth rib. All muscles governing this lithe, little body are highly developed. This naturally gives the cat great climbing power (if he is not deliberately handicapped by a human.)
The sharp claws that can be whipped out for business or tucked neatly away are fanciest of all. The elastic tendon holds the claw in its own sheath. The claw is flat on each side so it will better slide in. When the cat pulls his claw down with the use of the big tendon that lies along the under part of the toe, the ligament stretches like a fresh rubber band. It is hooked at the end for hanging on. Cats like to keep their claws sharp and clean by work on the scratching posts you should provide.
There are numerous ways to deal with the nuisance of your cats sharp claws and better ways to protect your furniture. A newer product called “Soft Paws” is available. Soft Paws are soft plastic sheaths which are glued over the nail with surgical glue. They come in a variety of colors and sizes, and can be a great, painless alternative to the declaw procedure. If declawing is absolutely necessary, and all other options have been exhausted, we recommend at least finding a facility that possesses a surgical laser instead of a scalpel. This is a better way of doing the procedure that causes less trauma and reduces post-operative recovery time.