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Here's an alternative to declawing your cat or kitten: You can trim your cat's nails to lessen the damage they cause, if you do not want to have him surgically declawed. Cats that are kept indoors need a regular manicure to prevent their nails from becoming overgrown.
Trimming your cat's claws should be started at a very young age so that they become accustomed to the procedure. Trying to force an adult cat to having its nails trimmed can be dangerous. In this case, let a professional groomer do the job - they know how to handle a reluctant kitty.
If your cat fights having his claws trimmed, get one of those little masks the vets use when doing procedures to keep from getting bitten. The little mask covers the cats eyes and goes around the lower jaw and velcros together behind his head. He can't see or bite, but his nose is sticking out and he can breathe fine. He's less likely to try to get away when he can't see, and he certainly can't bite you with the mask on. Sit him on your lap then, or someone else can hold him, and just trim the front claws. It takes less than a minute to do all ten front claws. After a few months, the mask may not be necessary anymore.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|