Is it ever OK to declaw a cat?

Do you think it is ever OK to declaw a cat? Is it based on the age of the cat, how intensely the cat claws things, the type of declawing method used, etc? Or is it always wrong?

they make plastic claw caps that glue on. buy them and use them, the cat can not scratch stuff up.

I’m generally opposed to the procedure and would never have it done myself. But I reluctantly accept folks doing it as a last resort, if it is a strictly indoor cat and the alternative is them getting rid of the cat in some way that may prove detrimental to its long term health, happiness or stability.

I’ve known cats that have done just fine declawed. So I don’t like it, but I won’t cast aspersions, assuming the owners tried everything else first.

I would have picked the option “Whenever it is to the owner’s convenience” if it had been available.

Declawing a cat is not that big a deal. It’s a cat, not a small person in a fur coat.

Shodan the veterinarian’s son

I’m with Shodan on this. I don’t think it’s right to let a declawed cat be a strict outdoor cat because of the likelyhood of harm, but otherwise, let it be at owner’s descretion.

This is pretty much how I feel. Two of my cats were both already front-declawed at the time when I adopted them, and have never ailed a day from the procedure. I have had them for 13 years now, they are both about 16-17 years of age. They walk, jump, balance, etc, normally, allow us to handle their paws with minimal complaint (my clawed cat is worse about it actually) and even “sharpen their paws” (make the sharpening gesture).

That said I would not have the procedure done myself without some very good reason beyond the integrity of our furniture. Our third cat has all her claws and she is known to claw at the rugs, but mostly its fine and our “stuff” is all cat friendly*, like our IKEA couch which has a fully removable, washable, and replaceable cover. The bigger problem, furniture wise, was vomiting – which we cured with a new cat food.
*Cat Friendly = bought with the assumption that between clawing, vomiting, and inappropriate peeing, some destruction is inevitable.

It’s better than euthanizing your animal because you can’t take the destruction. Or surrendering to the pound, where euthanasia is likely. On of my cats is declawed in front. I didn’t do it, she was that way when I adopted her from the pound. The other three have claws. I don’t notice that she’s any less happy or agile than the other cats. She is primarily inside, although she’ll sometimes sit on the porch and sun herself. (My dogs wouldn’t let a stange dog in the yard)


If the cat is exclusively indoors I don’t have a problem with declawing at the owner’s convenience.

Nonsense. Pure wishful thinking.

I have a friend who has rescued 5 cats over the years. She had them declawed using a method that minimalizes pain and how much is removed.

They would most likely have been euthanized if she had not taken them in. They are now living in kitty heaven. Sounds like a win for the cats to me.

What’s with the lack of options that it is okay? I have zero problem with front declawing a cat provided it’s young, healthy, has normal bloodwork, and will never, ever go outdoors ever again. I’ve worked with and on a few hundred declawed cats over the years, and I’ve only ever seen 2 have complications. Both of those were from improper post-op care at home–the owners didn’t replace their normal clumping litter with the paper litter we told them to use, and particles got up into the surgical sites and festered.

Surgical technique and pain control drugs don’t really seem to make much impact on how well and quickly the cat recovers, near as I can tell. The ones who I’ve seen done with a scalpel and a single 12-hour pain injection were still climbing on the cage door and batting at you for attention the next morning, just like the ones done with laser and pain meds for home.

It does make for an easier surgery and a somewhat shorter recovery time if you do them as little babies before all the ligaments and everything toughen up, as opposed to waiting till they’re half- or fully-grown to do the surgery.

We just had it done to our two seven-ish, exclusively-indoor cats last week. We’re expecting a baby in a matter of weeks, and one of our cats has recently twice scratched our two-year-old across the face with little/no provocation. She just has no patience for children, but is too stubborn to walk away when my kid goes screaming past. The other is just more aggressive towards the other cat in general, and I didn’t want the one to be at a disadvantage to the other.

I love my pets, and I’d like to keep them, but there’s no match between my kitties and keeping their claws off my kids’ faces. If they weren’t de-clawed, they’d be at the shelter. I figure declawing is more humane than that.

FTR: They got so many snuggles and brushes afterward, and they don’t even seem to mind or care. I still don’t think they even really know what happened. They were just thrilled to be picked up from the vet after their overnighter.

You could always use Kitten Mittons.

De-clawing a cat involves a procedure that is similar to snipping off the first joint of your fingers; sure people can get used to living with their first joint of their fingers snipped off, but I don’t want mine snipped off unless it’s to save me from dying from cancer.

I’d re-home my cats before I’d snip their paws (that is an option other than just dumping them at a shelter). I can almost see re-homing a cat because you’re having kids (but I’d look into Soft Paws and regular trims first), but just to save your furniture from scratching? You need to look into pets other than cats. Cats come with pointy bits.

What about saving the cats from death?

Cats don’t have fingers. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have retractable claws in the first joints of my fingers. YMMV.

That’s the beauty of modern veterinary care - they don’t have to, if they use those pointy bits to claw up the furniture. Then you can enjoy all the advantages of cat ownership, with fewer of the disadvantages.

And I expect it to be a lot easier to find another home for the cat if you can guarantee it won’t scratch the furniture or the owner.


What about the “Always OK” option?

This poll is biased with jack shit for Ok options. Include all options regardless if someone will not like it. It’s a poll not your opinion.

Cats aren’t people and paws aren’t hands. I certainly wouldn’t want my ovaries arbitrarily removed (or my testicles, if I was a dude), but we don’t seem to have an issue performing those surgeries on pets.

As long as the cat is an indoor cat, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

I wouldn’t declaw a cat. Maybe I’ve been lucky but with some effort I’ve managed to train even stubborn cats to use a scratching post.

But if the cat is ruining everything, I do think it’s preferable to putting the cat to sleep.

I would never let a declawed cat out in the yard, without watching it or putting it on a leash.