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Here’s Why You Should NEVER Declaw Your Cats!

Here’s Why You Should NEVER Declaw Your Cats!

While it’s becoming increasingly uncommon, one question we’re often asked by pet owners and potential adopters is “should I declaw my cat?”

The short answer is NO – you should never declaw a cat or kitten!

The surgery is extremely invasive, painful, and has many long-term repercussions for both you and your pet.

Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should never declaw your furry friend.

#1. It’s an extremely painful surgery

While you may think declawing a cat is like trimming your nails, the surgery is equivalent to a human having their fingers removed up to the first knuckle.

#2. Claws are a cat’s main defence mechanism

If your cat ever finds itself in trouble with another human or animal, claws are their first line of defence. Without them, your cat will feel clumsy and helpless, and may not be able to take care of itself should a problem arise when you aren’t there to protect them.

#3. Declawing cats can change their behaviour for the worse

When a cat’s claws are taken away, it’s common for them to become nastier, and more aggressive as a way to compensate.

Often, cats who come to the shelter without their claws tend to bite or hiss more, and are much less social than those with their claws.

#4. Clawing is an important behaviour for cats

Not only are claws important for cats in terms of defence, but clawing is also a huge part of their daily lives! Cats and kittens claw to exercise, maintain their nails, and stretch their muscles. It can also be a main form of comfort for cats in stressful situations.

Claws are an integral part of a cat or kitten’s lifestyle. Taking them away is not only painful and intrusive, but it could have long-term effects to your pet’s behaviour.

What can you do instead?

#1. Provide scratching posts

Cats need to be able to stretch and scratch on a rough, stable surface. Choose a scratching post or surface that is 3 feet or higher and made of rough material. Make sure the post has a stable base so it doesn’t fall onto your cat while it’s being used. Soft carpeting won’t necessarily fulfill a cat’s need to scratch. Sprinkle catnip on the scratching post periodically to encourage them to use it.

#2. Keep their nails trimmed

Build trust with your cat so they allow you to trim their nails regularly. When your cat is relaxed, use nail trimmers to trim the hooked part of their nail. Gently press the pad of their paw until the claws extend and you can see them clearly. Be careful to only cut the tip of the nail while avoiding the ‘quick’, which is the part that can bleed if trimmed too short.

Looking for more information about declawing your cat and strategies to manage this behaviour? Learn more on

Are you interested in adopting a cat or kitten? If so, see our adoptable animals here!


Written by: Shelby Andrews & Danielle Kramer, Ninth Life Cat Rescue Volunteers

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Submit an Adoption Success Story

Every year hundreds of cats travel through Ninth Life Cat Rescue. Their new life starts on the day they are rescued and move into a foster home. In Foster care, they received love, affection, warmth and security. Our foster parents care deeply for the cats entrusted to them. Many cats also spend some time in one of our adoption centres. Here, more volunteers socialize and play with the cats while getting to know their personalities even more to help them find a perfect home match for our kitties. And then you come along! You make the decision to provide a forever home to these fur-babies who have already received so much love. All of the volunteers thank you for loving them as we have, and we would LOVE to see how they are doing in their new home.

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The Day We Rescued 19 Cats

The Day We Rescued 19 Cats

On Saturday, May 27, 2017, the Ninth Life family grew by 18 cats, plus four tummies full of kittens. Last week some of you may have heard about a cat hoarding situation. In response, Ninth Life Cat Rescue, along with several other rescue groups, rallied the forces and stepped in so save these precious lives. It is estimated there were more than 70 cats living in a two bedroom apartment.

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Ongoing Fundraising – Gift Cards from FundScrip

Ongoing Fundraising – Gift Cards from FundScrip

FundScrip is a fundraising program that allows you to pay for your everyday purchases with gift cards bought from FundScrip. A percentage of the cards that you purchase is then donated to Ninth Life Cat Rescue of Ontario. You can also purchase them for gifts for holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. There are over 170 national retailers to choose from.

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Learn more about FundScrip under our ‘Donate’ menu, so you can always find the link to place your order again!

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A Tiny Kitten Called Gram

This is the story of Gram, aka Ivy, until his true gender was discovered.

Gram came to us as a sweet little six week kitten who was living outside. He has had continuous diarrhea and just never grew like his sibs did. Despite all the loving care from his foster mom, today he is about 6 months old and looks about the size of a 3 month old kitten.

We rushed him to the personal vet of one of our volunteers on Sunday because he was so constipated and discovered he has a constricted sphincter. – his sphincter is so narrow that solid poop can’t get thru. So our attempts to solidify his stools caused the poop to just back up in him…resulting in mega colon. 

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