This may be one of the most controversial issues known to feline enthusiasts. Everyone’s view is different - some cringe at the thought of having their cats claws removed, still others think of it as a necessary procedure for a house pet.
First of all, cats scratch for a number of different reasons - none of which is to drive you crazy. The most obvious reason is to mark their territory.
If your furniture is being ruined or you are constantly being scratched, one solution may be to have their cats claws surgically removed. The procedure is done under a general anaesthetic usually at the time of spay or neuter. The front claws are then removed and in most cases bandages are applied. The back claws are not removed as these are not typically a problem and these then become the cats main defense. Declawed cats are still able to fight and climb trees. The pet will be hospitalized at the discretion of the attending veterinarian. Post surgical pain is assessed on an individual basis and pain killers administered when we feel an animal is in any discomfort.
If you begin teaching your cat when it is young enough not to scratch, you may be able to avoid declawing. Some researchers believe that taking away this method of marking ones territory leaves the cat no option but to mark the territory in another way - urinating or defecating.
Learn to keep your cats nails clipped short Have your veterinarian or technician show you how to perform this simple, painless procedure. Teach your cat that furniture is not their territory but that their scratching post is. Use positive reinforcement for good behaviour or the dreaded plant spray bottle full of cold water if you seem to be having trouble getting your point across.
Another solution is to use nail caps. These can be applied over each trimmed nail and held in place by special adhesive. These ensure that the cats claws are harmless and unable to hurt or cause damage. However, the down side is that they have to be replaced every four to six weeks as your cats nails grow.
Ultimately the decision is up to you. If you have any questions or concerns about the above procedures do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian.