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Cat Kitten Declaw by Dr. Ken Overmeyer
Hi, thanks in advance for watching our video. My name is Dr. Ken Overmeyer from Shorewood Animal Hospital in Shorewood, Illinois. Today I will be talking about feline declaw. (Often this procedure and spay-neuter are done at the same time). You can see my cat here still has all of her claws. Why are we are talking about declawing? Well, the reason is that my cat here is one of our barn cats. Of course, barn cats and outside cats really need their claws to defend themselves. Our kitty here is pretty big and I’m sure she knows how to hunt quite well. I am not saying that every feline needs to be declawed, I know there’s some controversy in that; but, I would like to explain which cats should be declawed, how we declaw them (there’s many different ways, different manners) and we’d like to give our thoughts here at Shorewood Animal Hospital.
Cat Kitten Declaw — The Younger, The Better.
Typically, when we declaw felines, we like to do it at a young age. The younger and smaller they are, the quicker they heal and less traumatic it is for them. I’d be lying if I said there is no discomfort. Anybody who says that there is no discomfort is not being truthful. There is some discomfort; but, we do everything we can to control that. First of all, again, we do it early. Typically, we declaw kittens anywhere from 3 to 4 months of age when they are smaller. They heal quicker and they tend not to have well- defined nerve tips to be too uncomfortable.
Cat Kitten Declaw — Two Methods.
The methods we use here at Shorewood Animal Hospital are two different ways depending on which veterinarian performs the procedure. I use the old-fashioned method called the guillotine technique using very sharp and very specialized for-declaw-only nail trimmers. My colleagues use a scalpel technique where they individually go around and trace the nail with the scalpel to remove it. I like my way. I think there is less blood. They like their way. They say it is less traumatic. Either way, we tend not to have a lot of problems if done earlier.
Cat Kitten Declaw — Or Get Rid Of The Cat?
We’ve had some clients come to us with 6-year old felines. Their pets are destroying their couch. They’d say “Doc, you either declaw or we get rid of it.” No one wants that. So, yes, those kitties do have a little bit harder and longer recovery; but, still they do fine. We give pain medicine. They get pain medicine a little bit longer than the traditional cat who had the declaw at 3 to 4 months of age. So now we go into “why do we declaw” question. There’s a big controversy about that. Why don’t we just get the nails trimmed, or get a scratching post. If you can do that, then that is great. We are all very busy and not everyone is able do that. Not every kitty will sit here and let you grab its feet and trim its nails without getting bit or scratched up, so it is just unfortunate that this is not possible for every kitty. A number of times, you have a cat sitting on your lap, the doorbell goes off, it jumps and your legs get all scratched up (even though they may not scratch up the furniture). They’re felines. They jump, they run and they hang on things so they can be destructive. I have done declawing on a lot of 3-to-4- month old kitties and later in the afternoon of the same day they would be batting at my hair (when I still had hair) or would be playing with toys and they do fine. Does that mean every kitten is the same? No, it does not. Some will be sore for days so that is why we certainly understand the controversy. Again, we’re just trying to give you an idea what we feel about declawing, why we think your indoor-only pet should be declawed. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Shorewood Animal Hospital or talk to your veterinarian so he or she can explain the procedure that they do. Thank you for watching our video. New clients can register online to save time by clicking here.
Cat Kitten Declaw Questions? Call 815-744-2082.
Post time: Sep-27-2017