Cats normally scratch their front claws in order to shed the old nail. Some owners choose to declaw their feline in order to prevent damage to furniture and to prevent scratching of the skin of their human companions. A declaw procedure is the amputation of the last joint of the cat’s paws. Younger cats and kittens tend to be more resilient to this procedure, however overnight hospitalization is required in order to monitor the surgery site. Most cats will be able to walk the next day, although may be tender-footed for up to a week.

At home care is needed for your pet to fully recover. Recommendations include:

  • Clay litter should be replaced with shredded paper or Yesterday’s News. The clay will bind to the wounds and can cause complications.
  • The feline should have limited activity: no running, jumping, or playing for at least a week.
  • Keeping your pet confined to a small room or crate will help with this. Monitor the paws to make sure there is no significant swelling.

Potential complications:

  • The scabs will often fall off and the cat will shake his/her paw about, causing a lot of blood splatter. First try to calm the cat by placing in a small dark room or carrier for about a half an hour. If the bleeding does not stop after 20-30 minutes, call your veterinarian.
  • If the cat is not eating or drinking or is acting lethargic, call your veterinarian.

Contact us if you are considering this procedure for your cat.