Declawing Cats

Hello, again friends! Mason here. I have finally found time in between naps and cleaning up all the stray food to give you the gift of another “mewsing” by yours truly. I have also finished reading all of the thousands of pieces of fan mail sent to me, many of which include questions that you, my admirers, would like to have addressed. Let me start by answering the most popular question; yes, I totally work out and these “guns” are definitely real. I also very much enjoy long walks in the treatment room and basking in the dim evening ceiling light in reception when my staff has gone home.

OK, back to business I have received many questions about the controversial procedure of declawing. It is a rather sensitive subject for me, being a cat and all, but I will put that aside and try to give you the best information I can. I want owners out there who may be considering this to be prepared and ask the right questions, as it is not a procedure that should be taken lightly.

As you know, scratching is something that is instinctive and completely normal feline behavior. Some kitties, however, are worse than others. Many cat owners have adapted to this and have either discovered safe alternatives to help prevent damage to furniture, etc. or come to accept the fact that as long as they have cats, they will save a lot of money not buying expensive furniture. Just as all cats are different, people are too and some prefer to have the best of both worlds. Prior to doing the actual procedure, one of our veterinarians will want to speak with you; they will go over possible alternatives, discuss your cat’s current health condition and whether or not it would be considered too risky and, should you decide to go through with it, what to expect before, during, and after surgery. One of our fabulous assistants can provide you with a detailed estimate.

So now that I have gone over that part of it with you, I will briefly go over what the actual declawing surgery entails. After the cat has been fully anesthetized, the doctor will need to amputate the last digit on each of the front toes (which on humans would be similar to amputating each fingertip at the first joint). Afterward, the skin is either glued or sutured over the exposed joints and pressure bandaged. (This is a typical procedure for us here at Great Falls, though declawing methods can vary depending on clinic and doctor.) As far as preparation and recovery go, we will need to see the patient on the day prior to surgery so that a pain patch can be applied. The patch then takes approximately 12-24 hours to take effect, which is why we do it the day before. You should expect at least two nights of hospitalization and will need to purchase special litter for home use. We will go over all of this with you in detail in addition to sending home post-surgical instructions to ensure the best possible recovery for your cat.

Well, I have now worked up quite the appetite, divulging all of that top-secret information and all. Looks like I will need to go collect my edible payment from my staff! Until next time my two-legged friends…