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Cat Declawing 101: Effectiveness, Safety, and Varieties Available

If you are considering a pet, but you’re having some concerns about your Weatherford home and the destruction of your furniture, you should choose a cat over a dog, right? After all, a dog will chew things up, scratch the door frames, and cause general havoc, while a cat merely sheds a bit and maybe has a hairball or two. If only this were the case! Cats can cause major destruction with their claws. Cats scratch for two reasons: First, they scratch to sharpen their claws, but more importantly, they scratch to communicate with the people and other cats around them. They usually scratch the same objects over and over to make a noticeable mark on the areas they consider their territory. Scratching also allows them to leave a scent with the scent glands in their paws. Though the smell is not noticeable to human beings, other cats can pick it up quite clearly and know that they are in another feline’s territory. This applies to both male and female, indoor and outdoor cats. You might think, “Well, this won’t be a problem for me. My cat will be an indoor cat with no other cats around. She won’t need to mark her territory.” Unfortunately, this is not true. Cats continue to do this even when they do not encounter other animals, although scientists have yet to discover the reason behind this behavior.

One way you can prevent your cat from causing so much damage in your home is cat declawing. It is best to do this when your cat is young – about five months old. A cat has three bones in each of its toes. When performing cat declawing, your Weatherford veterinarian will cut off the end of the last bone, along with the nail, which means that the claw will never grow back. The veterinarian will then sew the incision together and bandage the paws for a day or two. Usually, a cat will be given pain medication, and its owners will need to keep it quiet and lying down as much as possible. Some people claim that cat declawing is cruel and unethical. However, the vast majority of cats make a swift recovery with no noticeable side-effects. Declawed cats must be kept indoors, since declawing leaves them defenseless against predators or other cats when outside.

There are several types of cat declawing available. Normally, veterinarians will make a straight cut from the top to the bottom of the bone. The downside of this method is that it can often cut through the pad on the bottom of the paw, as well. Cosmetic cat declawing involves removing the claw and the small piece of bone it is attached to using a small curved blade. This is more time consuming and costly, so it is not done as much. Finally, laser cat declawing is a technique that has just become widely available. It is similar to the first method of declawing. However, it seals up blood vessels and nerves as it cuts, reducing pain and speeding the healing process.

Of course, cat declawing is a personal decision, and the method you choose will depend on your budget and the services offered by your Weatherford veterinarian. Whatever you choose, however, rest assured that declawing is perfectly safe for indoor cats.

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ParkerCountyVeterinaryHospital in Weatherford, TX offers a wide range of veterinary services, including cat declawing, laser surgery, dermatology services, orthopedic surgery, and internal medicine. Led by Dr. Patrick Jarrett, DVM, Parker County Veterinary Hospital is Weatherford’s premiere animal care clinic. Dr. Jarrett is a 1975 graduate of Texas A&M Veterinary College with 35 years in practice and a commitment to providing patients with the latest in veterinary care. Though Dr. Jarrett has a wealth of experience with animals of all types and sizes, his current practice focuses on the care of small animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pet mice and rats, and gerbils. To learn more about Parker County Veterinary Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, call 817.596.0909 or visit

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Following the dream of owning his own hospital, Dr. Pat Jarrett purchased the Parker County Veterinary Hospital in 1985. Originally, it was a mixed practice that included all animals. He used to say, “If it walks, crawls, flies or dies, I’ll treat it!” Horse colic’s at 2am, trimming parakeet wings, gluing the cracked shell on a turtle, delivering a two headed calf, midnight c-sections on a 100# female Irish Setter, turning down a request to declaw an African lioness, x-raying a pregnant Iguana, bone platting the fractured leg of a potbelly pig, and removing a rubber ball from a cat’s intestine are just some of the general practice challenges that occurred. Giving in to age and knee problems, Dr. Jarrett limited services to small animals since 1991. His hospital provides veterinary care for dogs, cats, rabbits, and pocket pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, pet mice/rats, and gerbils.

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