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To Declaw or Not Declaw?

Many cat owners have made declawing part of the "new kitten" routine, while others stand strongly against this process. If your cat is going outside, it is strongly advised that you do not declaw as you will be putting your cat at a disadvantage when defending herself. The choice is yours, and what's best for your family, but keep in mind that it is a serious decision and should not be taken lightly.


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Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 9 years
Gosh, i couldn't have put it any better Samurai. I actually only recently found out that this procedure even existed (as many commenters pointed out it's illegal in many parts of the world, and it seems only the in US do some people have such a casual attitude to it), and I think it's appalling. Having nursed a kitten through a completely necessary back leg amputation I couldn't imagine under what circumstances I would put him through a similar procedure. My cat is super friendly but even still he sometimes gets a bit rough when playing, with claws and teeth, but I just stop playing till he calms down. As for our new sofa? He has yet to scratch it, but seriously, he could tear the hell out of it for all I'd care. Yes i'd be upset, but it's replacable... he's not, nor is his personality if he was to lose it. I read that this procedure has a hugely negative psychological effect on cats and I simply wouldn't be willing to take the risk of my little man changing. That breastfeeding analogy was just plain stupid, the analogy that made the most sense to me was "would you cut off your child's fingers to stop them finger painting the walls?" The sooner this is outlawed everywhere the better, and in the meantime people will do what suits them best, but I hope everyone who thinks about doing this thinks long and hard about what they're doing.
samurai_hell_kitty samurai_hell_kitty 9 years
My kitties are strictly indoors and I would never have them declawed. There isn't anything in my house that I consider more valuable than my kitties' health and happiness.
alishabaird alishabaird 9 years
Think of it as 10 amputations... It's your decision, but please take your cat's needs into serious consideration before making such a drastic and permanent choice.
Alisha_Stiletto Alisha_Stiletto 9 years
Um, to the dingbats that quoted me as an animal hater, and then go on to prove their point as to why declawing is a horrible thing to do - please note my original post: "...But I think they should keep their claws so that they can defend themselves if need be, and shred up your curtains and your favorite clothing if they want...." Might have snark in it, but I made it clear that cats should keep their claws. You chicks need Hooked on Phonics. Seriously. Pfft
QueenOfAllCosmos QueenOfAllCosmos 9 years
Damn, I hit enter by accident. But yeah, cats can be pretty freaked out the first couple of weeks. They do get used to it and well, if you must you must.
QueenOfAllCosmos QueenOfAllCosmos 9 years
Although I would never do it to my cat, I do understand one situation in which you might have to and that is if you have a small child and a mean kitty. It is pretty sad when cats are declawed, they feel helpless and it is pretty traumatizing for them.
foxie foxie 9 years
My babies aren't declawed but I think it's a personal decision and I don't think it bears any reflection WHATSOEVER on how much an owner loves their cat. I mean, a loving home is a loving home. I think that if declawing means the difference between someone rescuing a shelter kitten or not rescuing it, it's much better that the kitten be declawed and have a home. I actually found a lot of the comments before mine really ignorant... almost as if a lot of you are suggesting a cat is better of having claws but being in the shelter than it is having a home but being declawed. Do you seriously believe that?? When the procedure is done at the same time as sterilization, it isn't traumatic for the kitten. Actually, I read a study that shows that the majority of people had an even closer relationship with their cat post-surgery. Soft paws are a good alternative if they are compatible with your cat. A LOT of users find that the caps get caught on furniture easily and damage them more than claws would.
glynislily glynislily 9 years
I declawed my cat because my mom has Japanese Chins and they have big eyes that are easily damaged. It was only the front claws not the back. Many people try to say that there is a difference in temperament after claws are removed. That I never noticed. And my cat can take care of himself with the back ones. He got out once and beat the crap out of a stray that attacked him. Now he is afraid of the outdoors.
orangek8 orangek8 9 years
I am absolutely against declawing. The fact that it is still legal makes me sick. I think it is a revolting and selfish cruel procedure. The time when declawing is banned cannot come soon enough. Here is a good web site if you want to educate yourself about the serious horrors of declawing. It addresses feline declawing, as well portrays the crippling effects of declawing on a larger scale (lions, tigers). Seeing the problems these big cats have might illustrate the issue more clearly.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
My cats that are declawed still *make bread in the covers *still use the litterbox regularly *still climb up onto windowsills *still act like cats I love the options people are giving here "lock it in a closet till they dont scratch the furniture" yea that sounds more traumatizing than declawing! have you ever locked a cat in anywhere? I love the "i just stopped showing my cat love when it clawed the furniture" you know maybe i will try that with my husband when he doesnt put the toilet paper in its holder. I also love the "you care more about your furniture than your cats" I counter back that my cats care more about the furniture than me, they have kitty trees, kitty condos, windowsill hammocks, kitty beds, and ignore me for them. i think thats cruel.
Schaianne Schaianne 9 years
I declawed my cat Schmoozer way back when (all 4 paws!!) and sooo regretted it! :( He used to be an indoor only cat and my vet at the time told me horror stories of how her BIG cat punctured her waterbed all the time (at the time we had one ourselves ... and Schmoo was fast getting huge!) ... so we did it. Not only do I regret the pain I saw him go through while healing (the vet wouldn't give him pain meds!!), he still would "claw" things and tear up his poor little toes. A few times, the claw would actually start growing again (:jawdrop:) and cause bleeding. Then we moved ... and he wanted to go outside with the dogs ... and I had to worry about him being outside and defenseless. I'll never, ever do that to a cat again. I used to beg his forgiveness all the time, I felt so bad about it!
marciana marciana 9 years
Totally against it. If you want something fluffy to decorate your house, that doesn't break or scratch anything, get a stuffed toy shaped like a cat. To me it's enough to know it's very painful. Knowing that it's like cutting off a part of our fingers is yet another reason not to ever consider this. And having lost my kitty to a horrible illness, I would never put a pet of mine through unnecessary painful procedures, because I know how bad it is when they're in pain because of something that it out of our hands, and how much it hurts that there's nothing we can do to make it better. A pet owner should do everything to keep their pets from being in pain, not the opposite. In 99,999% of the cases, pet owners do this because they care about their furniture more than the animals. How someone can hear a vet say "it's VERY painful and it's like a partial amputation" and go ahead with declawing is beyond selfish and cruel. If you can't tolerate a cat's nature, don't get one.
stephcorinn stephcorinn 9 years
I am 100% against declawing. As others have said, if you don't like an animal that scratches, don't get a cat. And for those of you who say you've had it done to your cats and they are "lovable and the sweetest cats ever," you're just speaking from your own experience. That is fine, but don't take your experience as evidence for how it will be for all cats. The people who have written who actually work in shelters or vets offices have the most experience with declawed cats. They are the ones speaking out most adamantly about how bad declawing is for cats. I know that these Softpaws caps won't work for everyone, but there are other alternatives to declawing. When we first got our cat, he started scratching on our couch. My friend used to work for the Humane Society and she suggested putting double-sided tape over the areas he was scratching. So, we did. He only scratched once or twice after that. The stickiness of the tape freaked him out so he stopped scratching the couch. This also worked for keeping him out of the dirt in the potted plants in our house and off of my nightstand. I learned a lot about how awful declawing is from my friend who worked at the Humane Society. The cats who have been declawed will stop using the litter box and they can have "phantom" pain in their paws. Their paws also become more sensitive. Cats scratch not just for protection and sharpening their claws. The scratching also releases phermones in their paws, so it is a way for them to "mark" their territory and to calm themselves. Having pets is WORK. If you don't want to put forth an effort in training your pets, don't get a pet!! Don't torture them because you are too lazy to properly care for them. (People do the same thing when they use shock collars on their dogs instead of properly training them.)
tmmkitten tmmkitten 9 years
two words, "softpaws". my husband wanted to declaw our kitties, and i have told him under no condition will it occur because of how painful and mean it is. after i told him more about what the surgury actually does, he now considers it evil. here in the usa, we are one of the most forward thinking contries in the world, and yet we have no problem "modifying" our animals to fit into our cosmopolitan lives, where animals are considered second to the furniture.
cherie2 cherie2 9 years
I live in Australia, where we would never do that to our kitties. I do agree with the comment some people made about PetSugar. There definately should be more information on the proceedure on this post. It is illegal in most places in the world because it is cruelty to cats. I have seen alot of comments on forums, that they never would have done that if they knew what it entailed and the risks. If you trim your cats nails regularly, they arent sharp. I have never had a problem with my cats having claws in all the years I have had cats.
manxygrl manxygrl 9 years
SOFT PAWS - please everyone use these. they were developed by a vet and I have 3 cats and my boyfriend and I glue the soft paws nail caps on the cats about once a month and they still scratch the back of the couch but there is no damage. please try this BEFORE you declaw.
purrtykitty purrtykitty 9 years
not all cats develop the "attitude" problems that everyone seems to think are so prevalent. neither of my cats has an attitude problem they are the sweetest cats. hello, many cats are very tempermental by nature...has anyone stopped to think that it just might be that cat. there are plenty of cats the have attitudes which accompany the claws. and as for biting...i find it hard to believe that cats bite without warning. EVERY cat i've ever known has displayed some sort of warning before they lash out (be it biting or scratching)...that's what the wriggling to get lose from your grip, ears flat down, and/or eyes dialated thing is (often accompanied by growling or hissing). if you choose you pursue a cat who's doing that and you get bit, then as far as i'm's your fault - you were warned. my husband and brother-in-law have been scratched numerous times by our cats back claws when the cats were escaping being held. i have no sympathy for them - they were warned by me (watching the cat's reaction) and by the cat's reaction. city girl - as for stretching, well we happen to keep scratching posts around because they like to "sharpen their pads" as we call it at home, just as they would if they had claws. i understand exactly what declawing entails...and it's certainly not a pleasant procedure to say the least. do i wish there was a more humane method of getting rid of claws (altogether), sure. but, i maintain, if declawing is done at a young enough age, it's not nearly as painful (ask any vet, that's why they keep cats after a certain age much longer after declawing). anyway, i realize i'm not going to win this argument, but it is an option that is legal (at least in the US), so stop saying that i don't love my cats.
LolaKat LolaKat 9 years
I'm AGAINST it. Declawing shouldn't even be an option. Cats have claws and they use them. If this doesn't jive with your lifestyle, for whatever reason, than a cat just isn't the pet for you, sorry.
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
PLEASE! Don't be so mean to PetSugar for asking about this! For us in Europe it is just so crazy, it's like aking your vet to remove one of your cat's legs! You just can't get it done and actually it is forbidden many places. But well in the US it is different and I think not too uncommon to do it so there is nothing wrong about asking about it in a poll!!
vikingprin vikingprin 9 years
I groom cats, so I see both declawed and unmutilated cats react to high stress. A cat with claws will usually use them to try to escape, whereas the declawed cat ends up feeling cornered, and sometimes bites. For those of you that don't know, a biting cat is far worse than a scratching cat. I've been to the emergency room 3 times for puncture bites, but neosporin was enough for the worst scratchers. I always shake my head when clients come to me and say "don't worry, he's declawed." That's when I start to worry.
Babycakes1234 Babycakes1234 9 years
Never, never, never. If you give them the right toys and things to scratch on their is no need to take away their claws. I have two indoor cats and one of the things they love to do is scratch on their kitty condo. Plus what would happen if they got out and had to defend themselves?
lintacious lintacious 9 years
My cat is declawed and he is just as playful and vicious and fun as before. He climbs trees, jumps on top of the fridge, and attacks my hair. He uses the litterbox without a problem. I would never want a declawed again ever, because it makes me sad when i see him try to claw things; but as a cat he is very happy and genuinely awesome.
cherrygirl143 cherrygirl143 9 years
I don't think it is any worse than spaying and neutering, they are surgeries and a good vet will do it the best way. It is a decision that must be given great thought. I currently have a cat I found near my home that is declawed. I took her in and I am trying to find her family. I'm glad I got her before she got hurt because she is defenseless without those claws, she can't even climb a tree to save herself. Anybody want a cat??? :)
lms lms 9 years
I have had many cats, both declawed and not. I currently have one cat that was declawed as a kitten and one that I just did last week. I tried my best not to declaw him, but it came down to doing it or him being given away. He is the most adorable, sweetest cat ever. However, he scratched up my leather sofa shortly after we bought it. I bought him the scratching post and the cardboard thing and use spray bottles. We recently bought new living room furniture and the couch cost well into the thousands. He ripped a hole in the fabric and used the wood that borders it all around as a scratching post in weeks. My husband honestly can't stand him. He said that he had to go. The people that would have taken him, won't because he also loves to poop in my dining room. I got the Soft Paws and they do not work for him. He pulled them off in a day. As I said he got declawed last week Tuesday. He came home Thursday and started jumping up on things that same day even though he wasn't supposed to. He limped up until Monday. He is a very regal cat, and he is back to walking with that special air about him. He is actually even more loving right now. I felt sorry for having to do it, but the alternative would have been him going to a shelter. other cat is not aggresive in any manner. He is the friendliest cat in the world. Also, he learned a long time ago how to use his back claws to defend himself. He has not turned into a biter.
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