Updated May 2019
A cat that has been declawed no longer has claws which makes it more difficult for the cat to dig in the litter.
The best kitty litter for declawed cats is litter in which they can still dig and have some traction, despite the fact they no longer have claws.
Paper pelleted litter is frequently recommended by veterinarians after the declawing operation to prevent infection.
In a hurry? Head straight to Recommendations (link in the Contents) for a quick summary.
The recommendation by veterinarians is to use paper pellet litter for at least a week after returning home to lessen the chance of getting an infection. Avoid litter that is dusty as it can stick to the paws and may result in infection.
As litter box avoidance is often a problem with declawed cats it is therefore worth considering any expense purchasing pelleted litter as part of the cost allocated for having surgery. While the paws are still in the healing process it is important to change the litter daily to prevent contamination.
The Best Litter For Declawed Cats
This is an unscented litter made from soft, recycled paper pellets that are perfect for sensitive paws.
You might think that paper is not going to soak up urine but it does and there is minimal tracking.
And... this litter is dust free. Many people like it for that reason alone, even if they do not have cats that have been declawed. No dust is a big plus if you are looking for a non allergenic litter.
There may be some spread of paper pellets however this seems a minor irritation compared to the grittiness of ordinary litter that can be unpleasant underfoot.
Following surgery, the paws will be sore and you'll need to provide a cat litter that is dust free.
This will help prevent infection.
Your cat will take around 14 days to recover from the surgery. After this time you may want to use a different litter or return to a litter that you have used prior to surgery.
Once the paws have healed, if kitty is a little unsure about which litter to use, have both types available and he will make the choice.
Ideally start using the recycled newspaper litter before surgery so that the cat has some time to get used to using a different litter.
You may already be aware that cats will often reject the litter box after being declawed, so some stealth work may be necessary to coax your kitty back to the box.
If your declawed cat is sharing a litter box with other cats, try giving the cat its own litter box.
If practical, try changing the location of the box where there are no obstructions. By obstructions, it may be the cat has to pass by somewhere he doesn’t really want to. It may be the dog's bowl or something that is scary to the cat. Put yourself in your cat's shoes (please no meowing) and check out the navigation to the box.
Does it seem okay?
Use a soft litter. Your cat doesn’t have claws to dig in the litter, so it stands to reason that the litter needs to be nice and soft. Try to avoid the cat associating the litter box with pain, so ideally provide a soft litter that still has enough substance for your cat to get some traction when digging.
All of the points mentioned above are easy to implement, however there is no substitute for paying a visit to the vet to identify if there is a medical issue contributing to litter box avoidance.
Cats are most commonly declawed to prevent damage to household property. It is a highly contentious issue and is not common practice or even legal, unless necessary for the health of the cat, in some parts of the world.
This is a good article around this emotive issue which points out why cats should not be declawed and this article from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals outlines their position statement on declawing cats.
Many declawed cats end up in shelters because declawed cats frequently develop problems using a litter box. This is a sad situation however I applaud anyone who decides to adopt one of these abandoned cats.
Whatever we might personally think of the procedure, it is most important that we treat all of our kitties with the care and love they need.
Cats need claws to walk, run and to balance. They love to jump up to high places and they use their claws for traction, support and stability. That’s what claws are designed to do.
Cats use their claws when running up and down trees and to escape when needed.
Declawing cats can cause health problems, for example the wound can get get infected which then needs further veterinarian care.
Declawed cats often have litter box avoidance issues which leads to peeing and pooping anywhere and that can lead to abandonment and is the reason many declawed cats end up in cat shelters.
Declawing may sound to some as though it is removing the claws from a cat, however it is far more than that. It is amputation of the claw and surrounding bone.
To put this in human perspective, it would be like cutting our fingers off at the knuckle. This can cause problems with balance, walking and running and leaves the cat unable to defend itself. Cats use their claws to help cover eliminations.
An alternative to consider instead of declawing is to use cat nail caps. The caps fit over the whole nail with some adhesive, which is included. The nails are covered totally however the claw can still extend and retract. They are made from a vinyl resin material and are shed as the cat's nails grow - approximately four to eight weeks.
There are lots of fun colors and they are totally safe to use plus kitty looks totally cute. It is also not a permanent option so you givetry them to see how they work for you and y0ur cat.
Click the image for more information.
Claws can cause havoc and ruin furniture, which is a significant reason for people wanting to declaw a cat. A cat can be trained to use a scratching post and even ignore furniture if you are prepared to put some effort into this.
When we bought some leather sofas we were not prepared for the clawing tsunami that shortly followed. It was as though the cat was waiting for a leather sofa to come through the front door.
Yes, the cat did scratch the leather couch. We did solve the problem, we just took the long way round.
A scratching post is another excellent way for a cat to use its claws to scratch.
Give your cat a scratching post when he is a kitten and he will become accustomed to using it for scratching. There are some amazing cat scratching posts ranging from a super simple post to some quite intricate pieces of furniture.
Cat's claws do need trimming from time to time. Follow this information which explains exactly how to trim the claws of a cat. If you do not feel comfortable with this, take your cat to the vet for a claw trim.
The Best Litter For Declawed Cats
We highly recommend Fresh News Cat Litter for declawed cats post surgery or when paws are in the healing stages. It will lessen the chance of an infection developing as there are no fine particles with this litter.
Also, many people use this as an everyday litter and 92% of reviewers would recommend this litter to others.
The litters reviewed also make good choices for cats that have not been declawed so if you have a declawed cat and a cat that has not been declawed they can both use the same litter.
Before surgery, not just declawing but any surgery, mix some of the new paper litter with the old until it is gradually replaced. Give kitty a chance to adjust if you have the time available before surgery is scheduled.
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