Declawing a cat leaves them unable to defend themselves, climb, and enjoy their lives to the fullest, so this is never a procedure that you should put your kitty through. Of course, some cats, through no fault of their own, will be declawed, and some of these may end up in a shelter.
These cats are often overlooked, but they still deserve loving homes. Of course, you will need to take extra special care of them by following the tips listed below.
1. Keep Your Cat Indoors
Cats without claws lack their primary means of defence, so they can feel easily threatened by other cats. If they meet one outside, they may panic. Additionally, a cat without claws isn't able to climb fences or trees, so they'll be more at risk of jumping into a garden or other enclosed area that they cannot then get out of.
2. Get a Soft Scratching Post
Scratching is an activity that is biologically hardwired into cats; even a declawing procedure and the pain that results cannot change their genetics. Your cat will probably still engage in 'scratching', and this can cause them pain if they run their declawed paws over a harder materials, such as sisal. Look for something softer, such as cardboard or wicker.
3. Check Paws Periodically
Once the initial pain has passed and the wounds healed, your cat shouldn't have any further problems. However, it is possible for the claws to start to ever so slightly grow back, though not enough to replace the lost ones altogether. Make sure you check periodically.
4. Give Them a Safe Place
Declawed cats can feel threatened by humans as well as other cats. After all, they've gone through a hideous experience, and they now lack the tools they need to defend themselves from grasping hands. Even the most docile of housecats can still dig in their claws when you try to pull them out of a hidey-hole. For this reason, make sure your cat has a safe space that they can go to when they feel overwhelmed; perhaps a carrier covered with blankets. When they're in there, never try to pull them out.
5. Watch for Signs of Pain
Though unlikely, your cat's wounds may open up once they have healed, so you should know what signs indicate that your cat is in pain. Cats are actually quite good at hiding pain, but they may walk in a slightly odd fashion, show signs of a decreased appetite, and sit so their toes hang over the sides of objects. If you find that their wounds have opened up, take them to a vet clinic right away.
Cats who have had their claws removed really deserve a second shot at a loving home, so you'll be making a real difference by adopting one. Just make sure you follow the steps above, and consult with your vet regularly.