FunNature & AnimalWhy a cat should not have its nails trimmed

Why a cat should not have its nails trimmed

It may seem like an innocent idea, but amputating a cat’s nails has very negative consequences for the animal. The process, which is also called declawing, involves removing the bones from the tips of the cat’s toes, and this action has very negative effects. Fortunately, in Europe the European Convention on the protection of companion animals prohibits performing this type of surgery, but in other countries, such as in certain states of the USA, these practices are still allowed, despite being totally discouraged by veterinary associations .

As indicated by a study that was published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery in 2017, cats without nails are more likely to experience difficulties when walking since, when their fingertips are removed, they are forced to support the weight on the soft cartilage that used to be part of your joints. They are also known to bite on the stumps of their legs and can suffer from chronic pain. While many owners have their cats undergone nail removal to avoid painful scratches, cats have been observed to become much more aggressive after surgery.

To study the long-term consequences of nail removal, the researchers examined 274 cats of various ages, half of which had undergone this surgery. The scientists examined the animals for signs of pain (which, in cats, manifests as trouble going to the bathroom, shivering in response to touch, body tension, and excessive licking of the skin, among other things). They also analyzed the felines’ medical histories and behavioral reports from their veterinarians and owners.

More aggressive and in worse health

They found that clawed cats were seven times more likely to urinate in inappropriate places, four times more likely to bite people, three times more likely to be aggressive and three times more likely to groom themselves excessively. Additionally, clawed cats were three times more likely to be diagnosed with back pain and chronic leg pain.

Cats undergoing the procedure may also be more likely to urinate on soft surfaces such as carpets or clothing because it is less painful than the gravel in the litter box. Having no other way to defend themselves, they may resort to biting when in pain, and unfortunately for their owners, cat bite wounds can be more likely than scratches to cause infection and hospitalization.

Alternatives to nail removal

Before thinking about removing a cat’s nails, experts recommend a series of tricks to help us cope with them: use a scratching post, which is high enough for the cat to stretch, and place it near the furniture that our pet likes to scratch. You can also cover the scratcher with catnip or toys that make it more attractive to the kitten. It is convenient to educate the cat from a young age to cut the habits of scratching the furniture and reward it when it uses the scratching post.

And, in any case: cats have nails and scratch legs and furniture so if this is too annoying for someone, the best solution is the simplest: not having a cat!


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