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Declawing cats: common practice, but inhumane?
Israel recently banned the declawing of house cats, a procedure that generally includes amputating each digit up into the last joint of the cat's paw, making it so they never grow claws that can scratch people, furniture and rugs. Israel is one of the few countries in the world where such a bill has been passed – in the U.S., the procedure is common practice, and about 25 percent of American cats are declawed, according to Time Magazine.
There are veterinarians, cat lovers and furniture connoisseurs who debate about this controversial topic. Does declawing harm the cat? Is it inhumane? Or is it a viable option for indoor cats to live peacefully among humans?
Veterinarian Dr. Eric Barchas is against declawing cats, citing that even the best outcomes can result in pain or behavior changes for the cat. He admits that in some cases declawing can be a reasonably last-resort option when the alternative is to give up the animal, but in general believes there are several behavior modification techniques owners can use to live happily with their cat and its claws. In fact, he denies his clients their requests for the procedure and instead educates them about other options.
A natural instinct for cats is to scratch things – trees in nature, and furniture in your home. To protect your furniture, give your cat something even better to scratch. The Whisker World Deluxe 3-Tier Cat Tree has two textured scratching posts made with sisal. There is even a place to tuck some Catnip to attract your cat to the new toy. The Whisker World Cat Tree Condo is another great option for your cat to hang out. With scratching posts and carpeted surfaces, your cat will love sinking its claws into these pet supplies.
Keeping your cat tired and entertained may also keep it from scratching you or your favorite belongings. Invest in some toys like Molly, TV Star or the Burlap Heart Catnip Toy to provide your cat with plenty of fun. These toys contain catnip, so they will immediately interest the feline and keep it coming back for more entertainment again and again. If Kitty is still scratching up a storm, a calming aid like Comfort Zone for Cats may help you control its behavior.