Coming home from a long workday to your furry friend purring at your feet can be relaxing. Until you walk in the living room and discover he clawed your new leather sofa. Getting your feline declawed can prevent this scenario, but he may be picky about his litter box afterwards.
Clawing is a natural instinct in felines. They scratch a surface to stretch, remove the shedding outer layer of the nail, to mark territory and for a variety of other reasons. Even if you provide scratching posts for Scruffy, he may still be inclined to claw your precious belongings. Declawing your lovable pal is a big decision, but ultimately it can help you live in harmony with your feline buddy. During surgery your veterinarian removes the top joint of each toe, as well as the nail. Usually only front claws are taken off, but in special cases, your vet may remove the back claws, too. Kittens tend to heal quickly, so you should aim to have your little furball declawed between 3 and 5 months of age, suggests the Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital.
Best Cat Litter
While it is perfectly safe to use any type of litter after declawing surgery, you can maximize your kitty's comfort by getting him a soft type of kitty litter. His paws may be slightly tender, and soft litter might be gentler on his feet. Shredded newspaper or litter made from newspaper pellets are ideal litters to use during the healing process, since they have a soft texture.
Cats are notorious for being picky and getting their own way. If one of your furry family members has this type of finicky personality, he may not like the new litter in his box. By suddenly swapping Scruffy's litter post-surgery, you might frustrate him and he could be less inclined to use his usual potty area. If he seems disinterested in his litter box or if you catch him relieving himself someplace else, go ahead and replace the litter with the same type he was using before surgery. It doesn't matter if he usually uses traditional non-clumping clay litter, silica crystals or other type of litter, as long as he is comfortable in the litter box after his surgery.
Instead of changing your purring companion's litter overnight, give him some time to slowly adjust to new stuff and purchase the litter ahead of time. Mix it with the litter he already loves before his surgery. This way, he'll be able to get used to the smell and texture. As he gets more comfortable with it, you'll be able to completely switch to the new litter, so it isn't a surprise when he gets home from the hospital.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.