Stop (Sphynx) Cats Declawing Surgery
Go Sphynx Cattery is against (Sphynx) cats declawing.
We do not allow declawing our kittens for any reason!!!
Why do people declaw their (Sphynx) cats?
Anyone who has ever had a cat knows that they like to scratch things. All cats have an instinct to scratch surfaces as this allows them to remove dead cells from their nails and to hook onto surfaces in order to stretch and tone their muscles. Furniture, rugs, and curtains can look very inviting to a cat looking to exercise this natural instinct. When cats who have not been trained or provided with alternatives start going after their owner's furniture, some owners will decide to declaw their cat.
Another reason given for declawing cats is avoiding injury and disease from cat scratches. While it is true that diseases like Toxoplasmosis (also called "Cat Scratch Fever") and Bartonellosis can be transmitted to humans from cats, these diseases are much more likely to be transmitted via bites or even from cleaning the cat's litter box. It is very unlikely that people fall ill from a cat scratch. Of course, cats do use their claws as one of their main defense mechanisms when they feel threatened. They also fight using their claws. A more aggressive or nervous cat, or even a cat who is very into a game with their owner, might accidentally injure their owners.
While on the surface the solution to these problems might seem to be declawing, declawing is actually a drastic and extremely selfish answer to a problem that has many simpler, healthier, and safer alternatives. An owner who decides to declaw their cat is acting solely in their own interest and ignoring the potentially serious problems and consequences their decision might have for their pet.
How are (Sphynx) cats declawed?
"Declawing" a cat actually means amputating each of it's toes at the first joint. Declawing (the medical term is "onychectomy") is not a simple removal of a cat's claws and nails. Rather, it is an extremely painful operation which requires cutting through the nerves and muscles of both of your cat's front paws and then removing parts of the bones of their feet.
The extreme physical pain suffered by a cat undergoing a declawing operation is much greater than that involved in sterilizing them. Many pet owners do not understand the physical pain they are subjecting their pet to in order to protect their furniture and curtains. The procedure for declawing cats is recognized in the scientific community as being so painful that often new painkillers are tested on cats during the operation. In addition, any surgery that involves putting an animal under anesthesia has the potential for major complications, including death. Furthermore, many vets use only minimal anesthesia during the operation itself and prescribe no pain killers for after the pet returns home. The wounds from the surgery take many weeks to heal, while the pain can continue for months. Even after your cat has recovered, they face a long list of possible side effects and consequences from being declawed.
What are the disadvantages to declawing (Sphynx) cats?
There are many disadvantages and potential problems associated with declawing, for both the pet and the owner. In the first place, as with any surgery, complications in recovery are quite common. The wounds may become infected. Sometimes the amputated toes will begin to grow back.
Sometimes a declawing procedure will result in lameness, which in certain cases can be crippling. The tendons that were attached to the amputated bones will often retract, leaving your cat with a constant feeling of stiffness in their feet and cause them to try and "scratch" at surfaces in order to relieve the discomfort. Cats who have been declawed (and remember, this means they are missing the joints in their front feet) will need to re-learn how to walk and will have to rest their entire body weight on their back feet, which can result in arthritis.
In addition to physical problems, it is extremely common for declawed cats to develop behavioral problems as well. Since scratching on injured paws can be extremely painful, many cats will develop a phobia of their litter boxes and refuse to use them any longer. Owners who pursued having their cats declawed in order to protect their household furnishes will now wind up with a cat who no longer wants to (and perhaps no longer can, without serious pain) use the litter box.
A cat uses it's claws as a primary means of self defense. Cats who have been declawed lose this valuable advantage. A cat who once scratched when they felt fearful or threatened may be forced to fall back on the only means of defense it has left and begin biting people instead. A cat who has been declawed can no longer defend itself in a fight against other cats and cannot effectively protect itself from attacks by dogs.
As a result, declawed cats who get in fights with other animals can be seriously injured or even killed. Many cat owners who took the decision to declaw their cats, upon seeing the behavioral complications caused will decide to get rid of their pet rather than deal with the consequences of their own selfish decision. In light of the serious problems caused by declawing, it is seen as animal abuse through mutilation by many people and is actually illegal in many countries as a result.
Special thanks go to the VET tech that took these pictures and allowed their use on declawing information websites.
What are the alternatives to declawing (Sphynx) cats?
There are many effective alternatives to the drastic and abusive "solution" of declawing your cat. In fact, these alternatives are often more effective than declawing and present none of the serious potential consequences and problems presented by that decision.
Despite their reputation for independence, cats are actually very trainable - especially when an owner's attempt to train them presents them with a viable alternative for exercising their natural instincts. A huge variety of scratching posts (both vertical and horizontal, depending on your cat's preference), can furniture, and even cat "trees" (many of which come with dangling toys designed to catch your cat's attention) provide an alternative from your furniture for your cat to scratch on. In fact, cats will often learn to prefer their scratching post or tree to your couch (just make sure that the scratching post or cat furniture is stable and will not fall on your cat).
Training a cat to use a scratching post involves simply providing them with an alternative option and discouraging them when they try to scratch your furniture. Foil, netting, or other covers can be applied to your furniture (on a temporary basis) to discourage the cat from scratching there. If you see the cat trying to scratch the furniture, simply pick it up and place it on or in front of the scratching post.
Nail caps (applied by your vet, and presenting none of the potential pain and consequences of declawing) can also be applied to your cat's claws and will protect you and your furniture from their nails, though these need to be re-applied every three to six months. Finally, simply keeping your cat's nails trimmed to keep them blunt is another solution.