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Declawing Frequently Asked Questions.
1. DO DECLAWED CATS SUFFER AN INCREASE IN BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS?
No. No scientific study has documented post-declaw behavior changes such as fear, aggression, or increased biting.
2. DOES DECLAWING MAKE A CAT STOP USING THE LITTER BOX?
No. This instinct is unaffected by surgery.
3. IS DECLAWING MORE PAINFUL THAN OTHER SURGERY?
No. Declawing is not more painful than spaying or neutering. Of course, any surgery involves pain. That is why we always provide pain relief for our patients.
4. WHAT IS THE BEST AGE TO DECLAW A CAT?
This is a tough problem. In our experience, kittens that are 12 weeks old do very well after surgery. They are back to playing and pouncing on things within hours of surgery. Young adult cats show more signs of pain after surgery (limping and holding paws up) that resolve typically in 1 week or less. The problem with determining whether to declaw a kitten is that it hasn't had the opportunity to prove whether or not it will be destructive. In a perfect world we could predict which 12 week old kittens would become destructive and untrainable and declaw only those. Unfortunately we cannot.
5. ARE THERE NON-SURGICAL ALTERNATIVES TO DECLAWING?
Yes. Soft Paws is a trademarked brand of acrylic nail caps that are glued to the nails. These are available in the pet stores and online. They work great in many cats to blunt the nails and prevent damage. They are definitely worth a try.