Is it ever OK to declaw a cat?

Will this thread turn into a trainwreck?


I have four cats. One is declawed (not by us), but I have zero problems with it. If it is to the greater convenience of the owner to have them declawed, shrug, go for it. Our cats have clawed up a couple of pieces of furniture, but it hasn’t been that big a deal. They preferentially claw our sisal rugs, which are effectively indestructible.

Are they wild cats that live out in the wilderness? No, don’t declaw them.

Are they domestic cats that have been domesticated by people? Then have them declawed at your convenience. They are a domestic pet.

I had relatives declaw their cat (ALL 4 paws!). Then the assholes decided to make him live outside. I took the poor guy in and he is quite happy now living with a few Jack Russells. They named him furball, I renamed him Spike for self esteem. :slight_smile:

I am totally against the practice BTW.

Our cat growing up had all four paws declawed. He still brought home mice for my mother.


Well, since I started the poll, here’s my opinion – I think it’s OK as a last resort if the vet is experienced. I don’t think it’s a terrible thing to do but I think it’s preferable to find another solution if possible.

We have been struggling with Soft Paws on our adorable but destructive cat in our new condo with new furniture. The Soft Paws fall off more than they’re supposed to. They just came out with a new version that are supposed to stay on better so we’re trying them.

Last year I tried to find a vet who did declawing, just to ask some questions. There is no way to find one. I finally chose a vet at a largish-sounding practice who was very nice. She explained all the pros and cons, the types of procedures, how to find a good vet for doing it, etc. She said she’s not against doing it and used to do it herself at another practice.

But the current practice not only doesn’t declaw, they prohibit their vets from referring anyone. So to find someone reputable I cannot ask a vet I trust and respect, I have to go through the phone book and hope I find someone honest.

Today I read a story in the news saying that various communities are considering passing laws against declawing. Frankly the whole thing reminds me somewhat of the abortion controversy and the abortion gag rule.

As noted, cats don’t have fingers. I suppose if my cat ever needed to write out a check, I’d be more worried about it.

I picked “depends on method” only because it’s the closest I could get to “It’s ok, period” and I guess I’m against declawing cats by use of fire or vats of boiling acid. I personally don’t plan on ever declawing a cat (I own a former stray who came declawed) but I have no problem with others who do it.

whatever do you mean? I have used them for a number of years. I get mine at the local petsmart. I just got a new pack of them, these are clear. is just one brand of them.

Many years as a vet in the UK, and NEVER, EVER, has anyone complained to me about their cat damaging the furniture, nor asked me about the possibility of declawing or other alternatives.

Maybe you should ask why your cats are so destructive.

ducks and runs

Trimming their nails nice and short seems to do just as well as those dumb soft paws. I just don’t “get” them. If the cat tolerates you gluing on the plastic covers, why don’t you just trim the nails really short? The destruction really only happens with needle sharp claws.

I have four cats. They all get nail trims about every 2 weeks. 2 of them were really hard to do at first and I had to wrap them up in a blanket, but after we did it that way the first 3 or 4 times, they actually got easier to do after they figured out I wasn’t going to hurt them.

I work for a feline rescue. We’re against declawing. Our behaviorist has more litterbox-declawed related problems she deals with more than anything else. In her experience, a lot of litter box problems start up after a cat is declawed, if they might have ever had a problem in the first place.

It just seems like a gamble to me. Declaw the cat for it to keep a home in the first place due to scratching furniture that people seem to have more affection for than a living breathing pet, and gamble that the behavior problems after the declawing won’t put that same cat out of a home anyway. Oh, but the couch is nice!

“Convenience” - I don’t think mutilating an animal who has been entrusted into your care for “convenience” is justified. If you want convenience, please, don’t get a cat. I can’t count how many times my cats have been inconvenient to me.

I had one of my cats declawed using a laser method that just nipped off the claw. No joints were removed.
He was fine when we picked him up afterwards; no bandages, no sutures, and seemingly in no pain. He ran around and jumped just as before. He was strictly an inside kitty, though. If I had outside kitties, I wouldn’t do it.

As far as I know, if your cat is de-clawed, the final joint is removed, not just the claw. From this site (the American College of Veterinary Surgeons) -

It’s totally fine, if the doctor is qualified.

I have three cats with no front claws, and they are happy and fine.

If it’s declaw or the shelter/death, declaw. I can’t believe there are people who would rather a cat be intact and dead - personally I wouldn’t do it, but if I knew somebody who was at her wits end and had tried other things and was going to get rid of the cat, hell yeah declaw it.

I don’t understand why the survey doesn’t just have a “Yes, it’s OK” option, since it has a “No, it’s never OK” option.

So I checked every freaking YES box there was.

I can’t believe I’m about to publicly do this, but I agree with Shodan: it’s a cat, not a little person in a fur coat.

Since I’m paying for the cat’s food, lodging, litter, litter box, water, medical care, and every freaking other thing in it’s life, if I want to enjoy the cat’s company without ever having myself, my clothes, my furniture or any other possession clawed up, then I’ll damn well go and get him declawed.

I was responding to the comment that “the cat can not scratch stuff up” while wearing the claw shields, which is nonsense. Perhaps some cats cannot cause damage wearing these things. My cat managed to damage things while wearing them less than a day after being applied, and wore them out shortly after, and we applied them multiple times with the same result. Therefore, these claw-covers work with some cats, not all cats, so “the cat can scratch stuff up.”

I had both of my cats declawed, and they don’t seem to realize it. They still make harmless scratching motions on the furniture. And I never, ever let them outside.

The way I see it: I have rescued them from the shelter and possible death. The least they owe me is intact furniture.

Mutilation for convenience - no. To save it from death, only as a last resort, reluctantly yes.

You would have great difficulty finding any vet here who is prepared to declaw a cat.