If you have a cat and are considering getting them declawed, here are three things that you need to realize and know before you go through with the procedure.
#1 Cats Nails Are Unique
The first thing that you need to realize is that a cat's fingernails are unique in comparison to human fingernails. The nails that a person sees on fingers and toes are actually made out of old nail cells that have become flat and hard due to a protein called keratin.
On the other hand, cats' nails are very different. They are actually a part of your cat's foot bones. Their claws are actually the visible end of their distal phalanx, which extends into their paw and is connected to their ligaments.
When your cat is declawed, their fingernails are not just clipped, their entire distal phalanx is removed from their paw.
#2 Multiple Methods Can Be Used For Removing Your Cat's Claws
There are multiple different methods for removing a cat's claws, so if you want to get your cat's claws removed, be sure to talk with a vet, like Animal House Veterinary Hospital, to see which method they will be using.
Scalpel Or Clipper
Your vet can use either clippers or a scalpel for the declawing process. When these tools are used, they are used to manually remove a portion of distal phalanx where the claw portion of the bone is located.
Another method your vet can use is laser declawing, where they use a laser to effectively remove the entire distal phalanx from the socket. This method generally does not produce much blood and is supposed to be less painful than the traditional method.
Finally, there is a tendonectomy, which is a surgical procedure where the tendons that are attached to your cat's distal phalanx bone are cut, resulting in the bone being permanently retracted. However, this surgical process will still require you to trim your cat's nails on a regular basis.
#3 Aftercare Is Required
Finally, it is important to realize that aftercare is required following a procedure to declaw your cat. Your cat is going to need to wear bandages on their paws while they heal, and you are going to need to make sure that they stay on. You'll also need to change the bandages as well.
You will also need to provide your cat with shredded newspaper for their litter box instead of their traditional litter. Regular littler granules can hurt your cat's paw if they get into the bandages and embedded in your cat's healing skin. Your cat may also be less active and alert than usual as they heal.