Declawing Cats Pros and Cons: Alternative to Declawing a Cat

Are you thinking of declawing your cats? Do you think declawing is necessary? Is their a way to avoid declawing?

Many question related to declawing arises in the mind of cat owners. But, still declawing cats is a very controversial issue.

What is declawing a cat?

Declawing a cat is a surgical method that involves amputation of the last bone of each toe.

Simply, in a human, its like removing or cutting off a finger from last knuckle.

In the last stage, when the other methods fails you follow this procedure.

Is declawing a cat humane?

Not at all!

Many people think that declawing is the only solution for cats for unwanted scratching. I can say that they have been mistaken and their belief need to be corrected.

Declawing a cat may sometimes have an adverse effect like they find problem while using litter box or in aggression they may bite.

Many countries have even banned declawing. Because it can cause long lasting problem for cats.

Is declawing a cat painful?


Many people falsely believe that declawing is just as simple as trimming your nails.

You need to understand that declawing cats is painful, unethical and permanently crippling procedure.

Nevertheless, if a cat is posing a threat to individuals or other pets, then there is a need of more training and expert suggestion. Declawing is not the solution.

Until and unless, in a rare case when cats is suffering from some disease and declawing is the only way for a cat to remain a member of a household we support a pet parents right to choose this option.

Why do cats scratch?

Scratching is a very natural behavior of cats. They doesn’t mean to destroy your furniture or carpets.

Scratching make them remove unwanted things like dead husks from their claws. They also use to stretch their muscles and even mark their territory.

It is to be believe that through scratching they trim their nail.

As cats grow, this natural phenomenon develop slowly and steadily in them. They found to develop this habit when they are 8 weeks old.

So, declawing cats effects entirely their behavior aspects and can lead to worst condition.

Why do people declaw?

The most typical reason to declaw a cat is to prevent it from being destructive

After finding a guilty cat sitting in front of shredded furniture, carpet, or drapes a few times, some dog owners could be tempted by this solution.

Similarly, if a cat is continuously getting in fights with some other cats in the home or scratching people, declawing is seen as a fast solution, as opposed to correcting the behavior through training.

On some occasions, cat owners have numerous reasons of their very own that prompt declawing.

For instance, people with weak immune systems, like older people or chronically ill cannot be scratched. The bacteria on a cat scratch can be dangerous for them.

Do cats need their claws?

Yes, and for a number of reasons.

One big reason is for protection. Not only do cats use claws to swipe at predators in self defense, they’re also used to climb trees and escape danger.

In addition, claws are an integral part of cats anatomy. Most mammals walk on the soles of their legs but cats are very different. They’re digitigrade meaning they walk on their toes.

Their entire bodies are engineered for toe walking: their backs, shoulders, paw and leg joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments are designed to distribute a cat weight across its toes.

Also, cats use their claws for many things: balance, exercise, and stretching. This is actually the only way a cat can exercise many of its back, leg, and neck muscles.

Procedure for Cat declawing:

The medical procedure involved with declawing a cat is called an Onyectomy.

The claw is not just clipped. Actually, the whole bone is removed, including the ligaments and tendons.

With five claws on each paw, felidae declawing is comparable to performing ten separate amputations.

Using Scalpel or guillotine clipper:

This is very standard method of declawing a cat. In this process, amputating with a scalpel or guillotine clipper following closing wounds with stitches or glue, and bandaging the feet or paws

Using laser surgery:

In this method an intense beam of light is released, which passes through tissue by heating and vaporizing claws.

Tendonectomy procedure:

In this method, tendon that controls the claw in each toe is severed.

Though it preserve the claws, but the tendency or ability to scratch is eliminated.

This procedure is mostly adopted due to abnormal growth of thick claw.

Though, accidentally cat can snag or scratch but the intensity would be very less.

What are after effect of cat declawing?

After going through above declawing procedure – While not all cats will experience any effects once healed from the surgery.

There are a few things to watch for:

Back and joint problems:

Removal of the claws means removal of a cats capability to stretch its back muscles and changes the way wherein the legs hit the ground. This often lead to back problems, including pain and muscle atrophy.

Think about it like wearing improper shoes in humans.


Declawing can be very painful. Some cats might get nerve harm and hemorrhage. And while rare, some long term problems include re growth of deformed claws inside the paw.

Litter box problems:

It is very difficult for the cat to mark their territory without claws.

So, even house trained cats find difficulty in “doing their business” inside the litter box.

Difficult to walk:

After cat declawing, it is very difficult for cat to balance with toes.

So, because of impaired balance, declawed cat has to relearn how to walk.

How do I care for my cat after declawing?

Don’t use normal litter box:

You cannot use normal litter box. Instead, use shredded newspaper or commercially made litter from newspaper till the time the paws get healed.

Timely give medication:

Your veterinarian would have given you pain medication. Timely give pain medication to your cat.

Temporary lameness:

Due to declawing a cat, temporary lameness may occur. You need to help them while walking.

Also, notice whether any swelling, bleeding or discharge is occurring or not.

If lameness doesn’t heal or improve, you can visit veterinarian.

Don’t allow declawed cats to go outside:

Declawed cat is defenseless. It ability to defend themselves from prey or to protect themselves is taken away.

So, for a lifetime you have to keep your cats indoor or always in surveillance.

What are declawing cat alternatives?

You can trim your cat nail regularly:

Either you should learn how to trim cat nail or you can take an expert advice.

You should find the time when your cat is relaxed or unafraid. At this point of time, press their toes gently, until the claws extend.

You will notice a nail hook which is responsible for possible damage.

Now, take the help of nail clipper and cut only the tip of the nail. Remember, over cutting may damage their vein.

Buy multiple scratching post:

You should buy one or two scratching post. You should notice that scratching post is long enough for cats to stretch.

Don’t buy scratching post which are soft and fluffy. It should be rougher enough to satisfy their clawing needs.

Train your cat where to scratch or where not:

You need to encourage cat to scratch on scratching pad by sprinkling catnip.

Catnip are available on pet store or you can purchase from Amazon store. It helps in attracting cat.

You should discourage cat from scratching furniture by using loud voice or using squirting gun. You can use squirting gun to spell lukewarm water on cat’s back.

Never try to be physical with cats.

Wrap Up:

Remember declawing a cat is harmful and unethical.

You are just snatching a basic right of a cat to defend themselves, climbing, jumping and catching a prey.

The above highlighted pros and cons of declawing cats will let you to take a right decision.

Adversely, you should follow cats declawing alternatives.

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