Why you should NEVER declaw your cats!

They are there for important reasons

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 defense mechanism

If your cat ever finds itself in trouble with another human or animal, claws are their first line of defense. 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 behavior 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 behavior for cats

Not only are claws important for cats in terms of defense, 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 behavior.


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 behavior? Learn more on www.catscratching.com

Author: Patti Altridge