Cat Declawing

What is Declawing?

  • Declawing is AMPUTATION to the first digit.
  • Declawing requires multiple amputations comparable to the removal of human fingertips at the first knuckle. See for dramatic images of the surgery. Sensory and motor nerves are cut, damaged, and destroyed. Recovery from the surgery is a slow and painful process. This procedure can hamper the sensations and enjoyment involved in walking, running, springing, climbing, and stretching.

Declawing can Cause Two Major Side Effects

  • Aggression. (The cat has lost its main self-defense and may turn aggressive to compensate.) Your sweet cat’s personality may be changed forever.
  • Litterbox aversion. After declawing, some cats cannot dig in litter, or find it uncomfortable to do so. These cats may start urinating inappropriately around the house.

What do Vets Say About Declawing?

  • “Declawing is an inhumane, unnecessary procedure that has many alternatives. It is never in the cat’s best interest. With declawing, we are interfering with a species’ nature because of our own whims, mis-conceptions, misinformation, and sometimes, laziness.” Neil Wolff, D.V.M.
  • “Declawing fits the dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint and dismember all apply to this surgery in veterinary medicine, the clinical procedure serves as a model of severe pain for the testing of analgesic drugs.”  Dr. Nicholas Dodman, author of  The Cat Who Cried for Help, and director of the  Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Legal Perspective on Declawing

  • While declawing is a popular and lucrative practice in the United States, it is not practiced in European countries. It is, in fact, against the law, in many countries including England, Germany, and Switzerland.

Declawing Doesn’t Solve Problems

  • Cat owners who elect to have their cats declawed generally do so with the belief that they will never have to deal with fabric damage due to destructive scratching problems. However, paw sensitivity resulting from the declaw operation may result in litterbox avoidance and urine-soaked furnishings or carpeting.
  • Without its #1 defense system, many declawed cats resort to nipping or biting with very little warning. They often use oral means to express their insecurity and this may also result in destructive chewing problems.
  • Cats, like people, react differently to physical handicaps. Some appear to be unaffected and others become nervous and defensive. When a dramatic temperament or behavior change occurs, the cat owner often decides to take the cat to a pound or shelter or have it euthanized by a veterinarian.

Let Your Cat Live with his Claws!

  • Destructive scratching problems are 100% correctable. Providing the cat with suitable scratching targets to satisfy this instinctive behavior and encouraging appropriate behavior is generally all that is required!
  • Train your cat with “Sticky Paws” products on furniture. This is like double sided tape that is applied to areas where cats like to scratch.  The cats do not like the sticky surface.
  • Provide scratching posts.
  • A favorite scratching post is the Cosmic Catnip Alpine Scratcher, an inclined cardboard scratching post that is inexpensive and loved by most cats.
  • Try “Soft Paws” products on your cat’s nails.  These are similar to artificial nails for humans and come in clear or colors.  Even glitter!
  • Routinely trim your cat’s nails. If you are not sure how to do this, ask your vet or a vet technician to show you. It’s easy!