Declawing your cat is a major decision -- it's like cutting off the tips of your toes to save the trouble of trimming your nails. Cats can experience severe pain during their recovery, but there are steps you can take to make the process easier on your newly declawed buddy.
Talk to your veterinarian about a prescription for feline pain medication. The older the cat, the longer the recovery period takes, and it could even be weeks before he's feeling 100 percent. If you just had surgery, you'd want something for the discomfort, too.
Replace your cat's typical litter for something softer and non-granulated. Shredded newspaper, for example, is less likely to irritate her tender paws.
Baby your cat for a little while. Think about how tough it would be getting around with both of your feet in casts -- he's going to struggle for at least a few weeks. Pick him up instead of forcing him to jump, and keep things like his bed, his food and his litter box all in one room so he doesn't have to run around the house so much.
Keep a close eye out for any signs of trouble. If you see bleeding after the first few days of recovery, or swelling or discharge around the feet, call your vet. These symptoms, along with the pain your cat appears to be in, could be signs of infection or worse. Even if your cat shows other signs of sickness, like a loss of appetite, get a hold of your vet as soon as you can.
- Never allow a declawed cat to go outside. His ability to defend himself against or escape from predators is compromised.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.