Declawing is a procedure where a cat's retractable claws are surgically removed. This procedure has gotten a bad reputation in recent years, but in some cases, it is the best option. Cats should be declawed when it's the only way to curb their aggressive tendencies. Often it's the only solution owners have which protects both their cat and their family's safety. If you decide to declaw your cat, here are four things you can do to make the entire process easier on everyone.

1. Ask your veterinarian questions.

Your regular veterinarian will be able to perform the declawing procedure. During the surgery, your cat is put to sleep using general anesthesia, which will keep them from feeling pain. In most cases, the claws are only removed from your cat's front paws, but this can vary depending on the needs of your cat and family. Make sure to ask your veterinarian any questions you may have leading up to the procedure. They can describe the surgery to you and tell you what you should do to keep your cat comfortable while they recover.

2. Give your cat space.

When you pick your cat up from the vet after their declawing procedure, they may be disoriented. It will take a few hours for the medicine used to put them to sleep to get out of their system completely. In the meantime your cat may be groggy with low energy. Allow your cat to nap. Give your cat space and bother them as little as possible. This will allow them to adjust to their surroundings at their own pace.

3. Use shredded newspaper for litter.

Your cat may not be able to use their regular cat litter after their procedure. While their paws are still healing from surgery, gritty types of cat litter can irritate their wounds. If litter gets stuck in their paws, an infection can develop. Use shredded newspaper for cat litter until your cat's paws have healed completely. Change the newspaper frequently to keep odors and bacteria from developing.

4. Keep your cat's paws clean.

Your cat's paws will heal over time, as long as they stay clean. If your cat's paws become visibly dirty, wipe them clean using a soft cloth and gentle motions. Your cat will likely keep their paws clean themselves. All you need to do is make sure their paws stay dry during the recovery period.