DECLAWING IN CATS
How is the declaw surgery performed?
Declawing (onychectomy) consists of surgical removal of the entire nail and nail bed of the front claws under general anesthesia. The surgeon may use a surgical instrument such as a scalpel or a CO2 laser to perform the procedure. The incision sites are closed using surgical skin adhesive or absorbable sutures. The patient may be hospitalized for one night. Oral antibiotics and/or pain medication may be prescribed for five to seven days after surgery. Most cats are “back to normal” within seven to fourteen days.
How should I take care of my cat after the surgery?
To ensure a safe and speedy recovery for your cat, follow these guidelines:
We do not recommend using a different type of litter following surgery. However, it is important to keep the litter as clean as possible for the first 2 weeks.
Restricting a cat’s activity is difficult, at best. As much as possible, discourage your cat from jumping on furniture and counter tops for the first week after surgery by blocking the access to these areas. If you see your cat on a counter top or high furniture, help it down. Cats primarily use their back legs to jump up, but may injure the surgical sites when they jump down and land on their front paws.
Occasionally a cat will break open one of its incisions and a few drops of blood may ooze out. The blood should clot rapidly and form a small scab. Notify the hospital if you observe continuous bleeding from a surgical site. Do not attempt to clean the paws or administer any topical medications without consulting a veterinarian.
Are there any negative aspects to declawing my cat?
After declawing, it is advisable to keep your cat indoors. Some 10 scientific studies have shown that declawed cats are not at greater risk of getting bitten or injured in a cat fight. However, they may have a decreased ability to defend themselves against other predators if allowed outdoors.
Under what circumstances should I contact my veterinarian?
You should contact the veterinary clinic if any of the following occur:
- Your cat’s feet appear very swollen or bleed frequently and profusely.
- Your pet is reluctant to walk after four to five (4-5) days at home.
There is a change in your cat’s general health, behavior or if your cat stops eating for two consecutive days.
If you have any questions or concerns about your cat or the surgical procedure call us at 815.756.9976.