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Feline Declaw Surgery at Radford Animal Hospital

Declawing is often a solution for owners to protect furniture or other household items. Scratching is a natural behavior can be very destructive. Ultimately, the decision to consider declawing your cat depends on each individual situation and you want to understand the risks and timing before you go through with the procedure.

cat claws

Our Veterinarian Explains the Risks of Feline Declaw Surgery

Feline declaw surgery is a major procedure and it comes with specific risks related to surgery. The specific risks depend on the health of your pet and the reasons you want to complete the procedure; however, certain risks apply to most cats

The primary risks include:

  • Pain, which may last for several days
  • Excessive bleeding, particularly during the procedure
  • Infection
  • Behavioral changes

During the procedure, a veterinarian in our clinic uses anesthesia. We may recommend certain medications to reduce the risk of an infection or to address the pain. We also recommend pet owners limit a cat's physical activity while they recover from the procedure.

Advantages of the Procedure

The advantages of declaw surgery depends on your specific circumstances and situation. Generally, it prevents scratching behaviors, particularly when a cat persists in scratching people, other pets or furniture in your home. 

We may recommend the surgery for certain injuries to cat’s paws. When the procedure is medically necessary, it usually relates to an accident or injury. The procedure may help reduce certain health risks when related to physical injuries to cat’s paws.

When to Consider the Surgery

Feline declaw surgery is a serious procedure and should never be considered as the first solution to scratching behaviors. At our clinic, we recommend the procedure only when your cat persists in engaging in negative behaviors after trying alternative solutions, such as a scratching post. We may also suggest the procedure if your cat continually scratches other pets or individuals.

Our team may recommend the procedure for certain injuries to a pet, especially if we feel that the procedure reduces the risk of complications while a pet heals from an injury.

Declawing a cat means your pet will not have the ability to fight against other pets or defend against certain risks. A cat uses his or her claws to catch prey or to defend against a threat. If you decide to declaw a cat, then you must limit the risks to a pet's health by preventing your pet from getting out of the house and limiting exposure to other pets. Declawing your cat may not prevent aggressive behaviors and usually only helps with scratching.

Contact us to Learn More Today!

The decision to declaw your cat is a personal choice and you must evaluate the risks and benefits for your specific needs. As a general rule, you want to try alternative solutions for behavior due to the potential risks and complications that may occur during a major surgery. For more details about the procedure or to set up an appointment to discuss your options, contact us at (540) 639-3891today to learn more.