Declawing Maine Coon cats is one of the worst things you can ever do. Some owners get tired of having their furniture and themselves constantly scratched and think this is an acceptable solution. They probably believe it is like trimming the nails of the cat one single and last time. They are completely mistaken.
Declawing a Maine Coon is not a manicure, but instead a major surgery, whereby the last bone of a cat’s fingers and toes are amputated. Banned in many countries, declawing causes significant pain to your cat, for the rest of their life. Declawed Maine Coons cannot defend themselves, hunt, or climb. The only case where this is a positive thing is when you avoid complications caused of tumors or large wounds in a claw. But, only one claw would be removed, not all of them.
Maine Coons will regularly need to scratch objects, it is not done for mere enjoyment. Maine Coon declawing does not solve the problem. Keeping your Maine Coon outside of the house is not an option either, because it can get stolen, due to its high price. Nonetheless, there are many other alternatives which will not hurt the cat and enable you to enjoy your time with it, avoiding the unwanted scratches.
Maine Coon Claws
Maine Coons have usually five fingers or toes in each paw, although some of them might have up to six. Each finger or toe has a claw at the end. It is a pointed and curved nail, made out of keratin.
Why Do Maine Coons Need Claws?
Maine Coon Cats have them as a weapon for both self-defense and hunting. They also use them to dig holes, climb trees, hold strongly onto surfaces, and even grooming. Cats exercise certain muscles when they scratch things. They also scratch to mark their territory, leaving a scent that humans cannot perceive but cats do. Scratching also helps them to shed the outer layers of their nails to help them grow. In other words, for a cat scratching is a fundamental need and its claws are an essential part of their bodies. A Maine Coon can never behave like a cat without its claws.
Can You Declaw A Maine Coon Cat?
There are two main reasons why Maine Coon owners decide to declaw their pets:
- their furniture, walls, and upholstery are constantly getting scratched
- they worry about getting family members injured with the scratches, especially children and babies
Sometimes Maine Coon owners get tired of having their furniture scratched. Sometimes the walls and upholstery get scratched too. After a while, all the furniture of your house can get ruined and may have to get fixed or replaced. this can be very expensive and very annoying if you see the new furniture getting scratched too.
Maine Coon owners sometimes get worried about having family members injured with cat scratches. This can be especially problematic with children and babies.
The major problem is that cats can carry bacteria and fungi and their scratches and bites can lead to diseases like: cat-scratch disease, toxoplasmosis, ringworm, etc. It can become very expensive to go see a doctor constantly to check the scratches or bites in order to avoid these illnesses.
Benefits Of Declawing Maine Coon Cats
Some people claim that declawing Maine Coon cats has benefits:
- for people with low immune system
- for the cat when it has a serious wound or a tumor in a claw
1. Immune System
People with a low immune system think that by declawing their Maine Coon, they will have less chances of getting sick. However, the fleas and bites of the cat will still be a problem, regardless of the cat’s claws. Since the risk of getting sick will persist after the surgery, it is not a solution.
2. Medical Benefit
Sometimes the Maine Coon could have a tumor or a serious wound in the claw. In these cases, the veterinarian might suggest that it should be removed in order to avoid complications. Nevertheless, the surgeon would only remove one claw, not all of them. This makes it a completely different situation.
Risks Of Declawing Maine Coon Cats
Declawing a Maine Coon cat is very different to a manicure. It is a very painful and complicated operation. The cat needs general anesthetics and runs the risk having many complications, like hemorrhage. Cats feel an enormous amount of pain after the surgery and require painkillers. This pain will continue for a very long time.
The main problems that a cat faces when it is declawed are:
- it feels pain every time it stands up or walks
- it cannot hunt or defend itself when it goes outside
- it can no longer perform its regular activities
- it changes its overall behavior
1. Ongoing Pain
Since cats walk on the tip of their fingers and toes, the claws help receive the weight of their body. After the operation, the cat’s weight will be held by the remaining bones of their fingers and toes and this will result in a lot of pain when standing up or walking. All of this leads to a very strange contraction of their tendons, which increases the pain even more.
2. Unable To Hunt Or Defend Themselves
A Maine Coon without claws cannot hunt or defend itself when it is outside of the house. This puts the cat in great danger whenever a threatening animal is around. Veterinarians who perform these types of surgeries will tell you that the cat should stay indoors for the rest of its life after it is operated.
3. Daily Life Impacted
A declawed Maine Coon cannot perform any of its regular activities anymore. It can no longer climb a tree or a post, stay firmly attached to a surface, or even scratch when it feels itch. This diminishes the cat’s strength and affects it both psychologically and emotionally.
4. Behavioural Changes
This leads to an overall change in its behavior. Some owners have reported that their operated cats started biting because of their frustration. They no longer have their claws to scratch as a warning, so they eventually bite. This is way worse for the members of the family.
Alternatives To Declawing A Maine Coon
There are other less drastic solutions, like: training, getting a scratch post, trimming the claws regularly, getting soft nail caps, or using pheromone sprays.
- vinyl or acrylic nail caps
- nail trimming
- have a scratching post
- double-sided tape on couches
- balloons, bubble wrap, or tower of plastic cups
- cotton balls with a fragrance
1. Vinyl Nail Caps
Vinyl or acrylic nail caps are plastic coverings which you put on your cats claws. They do not hurt your cat in any way and protect your family and your furniture from the cat’s scratches. You add an adhesive in the caps and paste them in your cat’s claws. You can ask your veterinarian to do it for the first time to see how it is done. When the nails grow, the coverings will come off and then you trim the nails and put them back on again.
Nail trimming regularly can solve the problem. You can use a nail trimmer, a nail clipper, or one of the ones that look like scissors. In order to get the nails out of the paw, you should gently press on the top and bottom part of the paw with your fingers.
Once the nail is out, cut the white tip of the nails. You should never cut the pink part of the nails, called quick, because that will hurt your cat and there will be a lot of bleeding.
3. Scratching Posts
Having a place to scratch, like a scratch post can be a great solution. Scratching posts have to be very solid. If you buy one that wobbles, the cat won’t like it.
Scratching posts come with a great variety of finishes:
- Corrugated cardboard
- Sisal rope
Every cat is different, therefore you need to find out which ones your cat likes, and which they do not. These are my favourite scratching posts, designed with the Maine Coon cat in mind.
I also love this particular scratching post, sold on Amazon. It looks cool!
4. Double-Sided Tape
The places where you spend the most time in your house will be the places that your cat will probably scratch the most, because you are leaving your scent there and the cat is complimenting it with its own scent. If you use a double-sided tape on the arms of your couch the cat will not like it when it touches it. You can leave a scratching post next to it.
5. Make Lots Of Noise
Another option is to put noisy objects that make sounds that the cat dislikes on the places where you do not want your cat to scratch.
Some examples of such objects are:
- Bubble wrap
- Tower of empty plastic cups.
As soon as the cat scratches them, they will make a noise that will keep the Maine Coon away.
Owners can also shake a box of pasta next to their cats ears and face, whenever they try to scratch your favourite furniture. If you aren’t too keen on this idea though, why not use one of these effective anti-scratch products, available on Amazon.
6. Scented Cotton Wool Balls
You can use cotton balls that are filled with your favorite fragrance, or citrus smell and put them on the outside of furniture, walls or any surface that you do not want to get scratched. the Maine Coon will not like that smell and will stay away from that area leaving no scratches.
If you don’t have any scents in stock, use a cat scratch deterrent spray like this.
Training the cat where to scratch and where not to can be another solution. It is always better to do this when it is a kitten. However, you can always consult with a professional who will solve the problem with his or her knowledge and experience on the matter.
The following anti-cat scratching product is very effective, at training your precious Maine Coon to not scratch the furniture.
How Are Maine Coon cats Declawed
Maine Coon declawing is done by removing the last bone of each finger and toe of the cat. The cat is given anesthesia so that it falls asleep during the surgery and does not feel anything. During the operation, each claw, together with the last bone of each finger and toe, is cut with a guillotine. This means that the tendons and the nerves are also cut. Finally, the surgeon closes the wound with stitches and puts bandages around the paws.
Declawed Maine Coons go through very serious pain after the surgery, when they wake up and the effect of the anesthesia disappears. They will need pain relievers for a very long period of time in order to tolerate the soreness. In reality, the pain will never disappear.
Should I Declaw My Maine Coon?
Unfortunately, the decision of declawing Maine Coon cats is really up to the owners. Some of them are tricked into doing so by their veterinarians. Nevertheless, many people consider declawing Maine Coons to be brutal, cruel, and inhumane because of all the pain that the cat has to go through.
Declawing is banned in most European Countries, and in some parts of the United States. In the United Kingdom, you can even go to jail for that.
Ultimately, anybody who is conscious of what declawed Maine Coons go through, will definitely be against it, regardless of the country he or she comes from.
List Of Countries Where Declawing Cats Is Illegal
Declawing Maine Coon cats is banned in many countries of the world, except when there are medical reasons, which rarely happen.
The following countries have made declawing a Maine Coon cat illegal:
- Parts of Canada
- Parts of the United States
- New Zealand
- Northern Ireland
Can you declaw a Maine Coon cat?
Declawing a Maine Coon is an inhumane, selfish, and brutal form of torture. Mutilating such essential parts of a Maine Coon’s body is only excused when there are medical reasons. In a way, declawing Maine Coon cats is a similar to catching sharks, cutting off their fins, and throwing them back in the water while they are still alive, just to let them suffer a slow and terrible death.
Some very irresponsible veterinarians might defend Maine Coon declawing, probably just because of the money they earn with the operation, but it is a terrible act.
If you really care for your cat and cannot stand its behavior, there are many other alternatives that you can try, which were mentioned in the article. In the worst case, it is better to sell your Maine Coon or give it to someone who will take care of it. The cat will live a healthier and happier life that way.