Should I declaw my cat?

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Updated: 4/17/2007 1:07 pm
Nature gave your cat claws for good reasons. They help it climb and give it a way to defend itself. If you keep your cat indoors, neither of these needs are critical. There's been a debate among cat owners for years over whether or not to declaw. Any cat will instinctively try to sharpen its claws. If you provide it with a good scratching post, it may be satisfied. When your furniture or drapes become scratching posts, you might consider declawing. One alternative is to keep your cat's claws trimmed. Pet supply stores carry trimmers that operate similar to little guillotines. If you look carefully at your cat's claws, you'll see that they're pinkish near the base, with a clear or white tip. Holding the cat so that it can't scratch you, carefully trim the tips. Never cut into the pink part, The color comes from blood vessels, and cutting into that area can cause pain and possible infection. Most veterinarians or grooming salons can keep your cat's claws trimmed safely and easily.
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