Should I declaw my 3 year old indoor cat?

  • What do you say about declawing a 3 year old, indoor cat?

  • Hi Barb, 

    It is not recommended and unnecessary to declaw a cat (both indoor and outdoor). The reason for this is; the procedure itself means amputation. This operation involves surgically removing the end bones of the cats toes, in order to remove the entire claw. It can cause physical and psychological suffering, which can last the cat's lifetime. For these reasons, as well as others, this is also widely considered to be an act of animal cruelty and is banned in several areas. 
    As an alternative, a cat can be trained to have her/his nail's trimmed, taken to a groomer or a veterinarian for a clipping appointment or have vinyl nail caps affixed to the claws with non-toxic glue. 

  • @Barb Kaminga don't do it. It's actually mutilation and banned in many other countries because they've determined it is animal abuse. Taking away a cat's main line of defense and natural pleasure to scratch will most likely cause other behavioral problems. 

  • It's not recommended. It's a very traumatic experience for your pet that he/she will never completely recover from physically or emotionally.  Many countries have banned the procedure citing it as cruel, inhumane and no different from animal abuse. A cats claws are their only line of defense and being able to scratch (on a scratching post or board) is a source of comfort and pleasure for them. An alternative to declawing is have their nails trimmed on a regular basis, or have them fitted with nail tips that are applied with a safe type of glue. Also provide kitty with a post or board where he/she is allowed to scratch so that they have an outlet to release their normal instinctive impulse to scratch. They scratch to shed their nails and keep them healthy. It's not a behavior that you should attempt to stop or discourage.

  • In my area, no one will declaw a cat. It's cruel, and as others have said, they don't really recover from that trauma. Try getting your cat used to having nails trimmed and have scratching posts/mats for it. 

  • You know the pain involved in declawing a cat ? They remove the knuckle of the poor cat along with the nail. They have so many scratch posts and a clear material that attach to the sides of your couch if the cat is scratching your sofa. If the cat ever gets outside accidentally, it will have no defense against dogs or other predators that's trying to harm it. It can't crawl up a tree to escape them either. 

  • NO.

    Not ever.


  • @Barb Kaminga , please don't do that. It's painful for the cat

  • The real question is: why is the OP considering the option.  Is the cat clawing up furniture - that can be addressed.  Is the cat scratching people - that can be addressed.  Simply saying "Don't do it (yes that was my first response also) does not really help answer the original question.


    @Barb Kaminga 

    I have had situations when we thought it was necessary to correct certain behavior issues like scratching furniture.  But, that was before I read about how important this was to felines and their innate behavior.  Sadly, it renders them defenseless from other animals.  

    Rescues in my area ask that you do not declaw and you sign a document that states that you will not.  

    I have muliple scratching posts - a cat tree (six feet tall) and several cardboard scratchers.  It work (works) for me.

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