Chronic Lameness Occurs in Some Cats After Declaw

In a review of multiple studies involving a total of 582 declawed cats, five suffered from persistent lameness after declaw surgery. That’s 0.86 percent, or 1 cat in 116 that are declawed.
When a cat is declawed, the end of each toe is amputated. The procedure is quite painful, so veterinarians give pain medication before, during and after the surgical procedure.
Signs of pain may include limping and lameness, reluctance to run or jump, presenting a guarded posture, sitting up like a prairie dog or diminished appetite.
Most cats resume their normal activity within a couple of weeks after surgery. Of course, we cats are stoic, so often it’s difficult to determine just how uncomfortable we are and for how long after the procedure.
If you’d rather not subject your cats to the risk of chronic pain, you can do what my mom does: She regularly trims my claws, and she offers me several legal objects to scratch. Soft plastic claw covers work well, too.

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