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Should You Declaw Your Cat

Should you or should you not declaw your cat is always a hot debate among cat lovers. Does it matter? What are the positives and what are the negatives? Who’s to say who’s right? Oh, the thousands of questions that arises when both parties play devil’s advocate. There is no right or wrong answer…it depends on the individual, but lets explore some more so you can decide for yourself.

Cat declawing is the permanent removal of a cat’s claws. Declawing is a permanent and painful surgery for cats. It is looked down upon and considered inhumane and in European countries it is illegal and considered unnecessary mutilation (Schelling). Declawing to those who are not considered cat lovers is considered to be a quick fix to the scratching and destruction that cats inflict upon furniture and other home items. But before considering declawing your cat think about the negative effects it will impose.

Negative Effects of Declawing (Humane Society)

-Lameness: poses a long term risk
-Behavioral problems
-Medical drawbacks
-Back pain

Positive Effects of Declawing (Eckstein)

-Irreparable claw damage
-Human (owner) immune deficiency to bacteria

By simply glancing at the preceding comparison of negative and positive effects, clearly the negative outweighs the positive. Researchers suggest that most cast declawing is done solely for the benefit of the owner’s personal belongings. Are you willing to take risk of declawing your cat in order to save a couch or your floor?

Declawing is nothing short of a harmless painful process. The surgery is equally as painful as the recovery process. To shed some light on the process, declawing requires amputation of the very last bone of the cat’s toes. In order to get to this part of the claw, the surgeon must cut the padding of the paw open (Schelling). According to Eckstein, declawing can be compared to removing a human’s finger at the very last knuckle (now that’s something to think about). Sounds gruesome and it is gruesome. So, what can be done to prevent cats from scratching and causing damage to your personal items?

There are multiple solutions to cat scratching. One of the best solutions is to start training the cat at an early age. The ideal time to train cats not to scratch is at 8 weeks old, which is when they first start (2014). Videos can be found online, classes can be taken, and books can be read on how to train your cat. A second option is to utilize claw caps (top rated is Soft Paws). These are plastic caps that can easily be placed over the cats claws that are harmless and pain free. Lastly, which is probably the most common method, is claw trimming. Trimming is a technique conducted by your local vet or grooming center. This should also be started at a young age so the cat becomes accustomed to it. It’s decision-making time…

Should you declaw your cat?


Eckstein, S. (n.d.). Declawing Cats Q&A: Positives, Negatives, and Alternatives. Retrieved March 31, 2016,

Schelling, C. (n.d.). What You Need To Know About Declawing – Retrieved March 31, 2016,

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