ANSWERS: 37
  • My family chose to declaw a destructive cat once. We have always regretted it. I would never do it again and would discourage anyone else from doing it. For the most eloquent explanation I know of, see http://declawing.com. For convenience sake, though, I'll give you the high points of the article here: -- declawing is an American practice, but it's actually illegal in several countries -- it is literally amputating part of the cat's paws, as claws extend all the way into the bone -- it is extremely painful and traumatic for the cat Cats need to have something to sink their claws into or some help with nail care, since they can't do anything about the fact that their claws grow naturally. The article also mentions the following strategies to preserve your furniture (PLEASE, PLEASE try these before taking such a drastic step as declawing your cat!): -- keep the claws clipped regularly; you can do this at home after your vet shows you how, or you can pay for it to be done by the vet or a professional pet grooming service (every 4-6 weeks) -- invest in a scratching post, so that the cat has something other than furniture to claw; cats like posts made of sisal, and ours has one with catnip on it that she loves! -- when you do catch the cat scratching furniture, say "no" loudly and sharply or spray her with water; spraying is a big deterrent for cats, who generally hate to get wet (this one is mine, not from the article) -- I didn't know about these until I read about them on the website: apparently you can buy vinyl nail caps and put them over the cat's claws, replacing them every few weeks when they fall off (the author mentions a brand called Soft Paws which comes in different colors)
  • I dont really like the fact of declawing. i have seen it done. (I work at a vet) actually they sell caps that you can put on your cats claws. They also sell a citris like sented spray that you can put on a towel and hang to your couch so your cat wont scratch the furniture.
  • John definitely has the right idea. It's in their natural instincts to claw, they do it in the wild to tame their claws. If you don't offer an alternative they will keep doing it. i have no problems stopping my cat from doing that. buy a scratching post and if your cat still doesnt take to it try buying some cat nip(lose) and rubbing it on the scratching post. 70% of cats go mad for cat nip its in their genes. if your cat still doesnt take i found that my cat loves cheap door mats ( dont ask why?) and she allways goes to the door mat. good luck
  • Anytime after the age of 9 weeks, I just got a kitten and the vet has told us that she can come in when she is nine weeks old to be declawed...
  • You need to try softclaws or maybe find your cat a new home because declawing is very cruel and painful for the cat. anyone thinking of doing it needs to read these first, they are story's from people who have had their cat declawed. http://declaw.lisaviolet.com/declawstory.html
  • There is an alternative to declawing called a tendonectomy. Even with this procedure however, the claws of the cat must be maintained. Here is a link to help explain all that is involved: www.cathelp-online.com/health/declaw.php Do remember though that there are some cats that for sake of their nature NEED to be declawed.
  • Also, if you declaw your cat (besides it being cruel), you will have to make sure your cat does not go outside because if a dog or other animal attacks it, the cat won't be able to climb a tree or protect itself. When we got my cat its front claws had already been removed, and the cat would spend hours sitting by the door wanting to go outside, but unable to. I recommend the caps they have for cat claws, they work very well and you can remove them so the cat can go outside (if you allow your kitty ouside ^-^).
  • I know I'm in the minority, but I advocate declawing cats if they will be inside for the rest of their lives. I have had a parade of cats during the last 35 years, and only started keeping them inside and having them declawed after losing 3 cats in 18 months to outside accidents (2 hit by cars, 1 was caught in a car engine). I honestly have not seen any down side to declawing. If a cat is declawed at the time it is fixed, it doesn't seem to know the difference. I even had some older cats declawed after I started keeping them inside, and after a brief recovery period of about 1 week, they seemed to be okay with it. In fact, one cat that we thought of as mean because she always clawed us was in fact just trying to play. After she was declawed, she was so much fun to play with, and she had a great time for the rest of her long life. So I'll have to be a minority voice about declawing. All my cats have had or are having great lives. Just ask my other "laptop"!
  • Declawing is considered one of the most painful operations in veterinary medicine. I have heard of declawed cats ceasing to use the litter box because the litter hurts their feet after the operation--better to deal with frayed furniture than soiled carpet and bedding! However, if you must declaw, better younger than older. I work in animal rescue, and the one problem we've had with surrendered declawed cats is... when they feel threatened, they bite! It's far better to be clawed than bitten. Cat teeth create deep puncture wounds that don't allow bacteria to be purged from the bite, and the resulting infection can mean big hospital bills or even surgery to remove infected tissue. I nearly lost a finger to a bite from a declawed Siamese (whose owners had let outside). Some tips about training: Cats like rough textured surfaces like nubby upholstery, rough wood, carpet, sisal or cardboard where it's easy to "dig in." Each cat may have a different preference, so try a variety of materials for a scratching post. One caveat about using shag carpeting on scratching posts: if it's the same as the carpet on your floor, the cat won't know the difference between the carpet it's supposed to scratch (on the post) and the carpet it's not supposed to scratch (on the floor/stairs). One good way to deter a cat from scratching is to find what "forbidden" areas Kitty likes to scratch and then cover the surface with a strip of clear packing tape or double-sided sticky tape. Cats don't claw where they can't dig in, and they hate having things stuck to their paws. At the same time, encourage them to scratch "approved" things by rubbing the approved areas with catnip. Once the cat's attention is turned toward the approved scratching objects, you can remove the tape. Slipcovers help protect any furniture you're really concerned about. Take the covers off when you get home from work or when you have guests (Slipcovers are also great for keeping cat hair off your furniture). Make sure Kitty gets used to having his or her claws clipped regularly. Cats generally increase their scratching behavior when their claws get too long. One final request to potential pet owners: Before you adopt that cute puppy or kitten, please bear in mind that, like kids, animals inevitably cause wear and tear on the interior. If it's top priority for you to have and maintain House Beautiful, buy a goldfish.
  • Declawing is horribly painful and detrimental to cats! Please don't do it. In addition to making scratching posts (of all varieties and textures - try both the cardboard and carpet posts) available to your kitty, you might want to place packing/duct tape - STICKY SIDE OUT - on the furniture the cat seems interested in scratching. Cats hate the feeling of stuck paws and will come to associate getting stuck with that particular piece of furniture. Tape doesn't hurt the kitty; it's just upsetting. This is also a good way to prevent spraying. Place posterboard wrapped with tape - again, STICKY SIDE OUT - on the floor in front of a a potential/former spray sight. Make sure the posterboard is 12-18 inches in front of the wall. When Kitty tries to back up, he steps on the tape; sticky paws give him something besides spraying to do.
  • I am on the fence on this one because like so many have answered, it is a process that can severly alter a cats disposition. Most adult cats will usually become very neurotic and sometimes even schizophrinic (more than normal of course). However on the other side, it can accomplish two things: 1) If you are too busy to catch a cat in the act and discipline it for scratching furniture, it works and 2) if you have another cat that is already declawed or old that you fear might not be able to defend itself even during play, this isn't a bad idea either. HOWEVER, most will tell you that is it BEST to declaw before a cat is 5 months old. If a cat is declawed after 5 months, its chances of developing psychological problems increase dramatically. Borrowing from a previous question on a cat's age in people years, 5 months would probably equal to that of say a ten-year old. Now keeping that in mind, I'd like to use my girlfriend's analogy for this one: The process of declawing is a lot like the process of circumcision. There may be positive and there may be negative reasons, but one thing remains. The process done to an infant will not affect the child nearly as much as it would to perform in on a child of more than 5 years. So if you think about it, it makes sense. You perform declawing on a cat that is past 5 months, its a lot like performing circumcision on an 11 year, and how could you not blame him for being psychologically damaged after that? So if you do declaw, do it while they are still very young.
  • Don't DECLAW the Cat!!! the suffering cat likely will be angry with you for a long time. take the time to train, it will be worth it.
  • I don't know where your from, but declawing a cat in TX is illegal. As the law states that you cannot render the animal defenseless to preserve it's own life.
  • I'm going to join the chorus of "Don't declaw!" It's a really horrible thing to do to them. It involves the amputation of the ends of the toes. Not every cat has a problem with it, but some sure do -- and there is no way to undo it. What is worse, though, is the fact that as some cats age, because there is nothing there where tendons would normally attach some of the tendons in their legs can shrink, leaving them limping. If you keep the claws trimmed, cats will have much less impulse to claw. Do that, make sure the cat has a good rough scratching post (possibly treated with catnip), and try using the citrus-scented towel trick over furniture you don't want the cat to claw, and you will find you have far fewer problems.
  • My family has had 2 declawed cats in the past. The first was about 18 months old when his procedure was done and he suffered a lot of pain at first, but never showed any psychological trauma as a result. The second was declawed when he was about 6 months old and didn't show any signs that the procedure bothered him at all. Our vet told us that for the first couple of weeks after declawing to use shredded newspaper rather than kitty litter because the litter can get into their paws and iritate and cause them pain. Neither had any trouble with the newspaper and we were able to switch back to kitty litter within 3 - 4 weeks. However, we are about to bring 2 new kittens into our home (the second of the two cats recently passed away - not related to declawing...we had him for 14 years) and we are now cat-less. I am questioning whether or not to declaw the kittens. We will discuss the procedure and alternatives with our vet (who likes a holistic approach) and take his advice. I won't say absolutely declaw or absolutely don't declaw. I've had declawed cats and non-declawed cats. Mine never had any trouble with the procedure and didn't develop any psychological effects. I think you should consider the age of the cat. If the cat is much older than about 6 - 8 months, I would try other alternatives first.
  • I agree with the no declawing. Me and my girlfriend just got a cat and we thought long and hard about declawing it and in the end we eventually decided against it because people are just too lazy to trim the claws every two weeks. That is all that needs to be done. No need to perform surgery just to save your furniture.
  • I would not declaw a cat.I that cat is let out nightly or ever gets out,it would not be able to defend itself in a fight with another cat.I have owned many cats in my lifetime and have seen my own cats fight with other cats.It can get quite violent and if the other cat sees an advantage(your cat without claws) it could scratch him/her up.I would do the old fashioned thing,and clip the nails.
  • Would you sew your baby's arse up because you might not be there to change its nappy? So don't do it to the cat.
  • I've been told that declawing a cat isn't the equivalent to removing a human's fingernails, but the equivalent of amputating their fingers at the first knuckle. There are alternatives: there's a product called Soft Claws (or Soft Paws) that is a vinyl cover that you put over the cat's claw that stays put for 3-4 weeks. With the covers on they can't do any damage. We used to put them on our cats' front claws. The only difference between Soft Paws and Soft Claws is one is sold through retail channels while the other you can only get from your vet but they're cheaper. I forget which is which.
  • I haven't read any treatment like my vet performed on our cats but he did what was similar to laser removal of the cats claws in which there was no bleeding, no wrapped paws and my cats were able to use the litterbox as soon as they arrived home...however...I recently acquired a new kitten and I do feel there may be a personaltiy change after this type of operation...my cats grew up very aloof and not very lovable and I can't say for sure if the removal of the claws created this but this new little kitten is so lovable I would hate to see her change...she is wrecking the hell out of my house though as kitten claws seem to be so very sharp...I'm really torn
  • Cats should never be declawed in my opinion. It amounts to cutting the ends of their toes off. Additionally you cannot teach a cat to "not" do anything. Scratching is the natural way they sharpen thier claws for self defense and hunting. They do it out of instinct. Perhaps a cat is not the correct type of pet for you.
  • i would never declaw my cat, but based on the age of this question you either did it or didn't do it by now.
  • I really don't know what age your cat would have to be, but I am going to get on the bandwagon with everyone else here-please don't declaw. Go with the soft paws. Here is the link: http://www.softpaws.com/
  • Just get some Nail Caps... you can get them at Jefferspet.com just type "Nail Caps" in the search they will come right up and they are a lot cheaper than declawing!
  • In the past I have had two declawed cats without any problems. I think that some vets are good at doing it, but others are not and those are the ones you hear about all the time.
  • When they reach age thirty.... since cats only live 15-20 years max.... that means NEVER
  • I have news for all you "catlovers" out there about NOT getting your cats declawed! I LOVED my cat I had about 18 years ago, yes, she actually lived 18 years and I had her declawed in the late 70's at the age of about 6 months. She NEVER EVER had any of these issues and problems you people are soliciting on this site and others! She could climb a telephone pole as I watched her one day! She would go outside in our backyard as she knew her boundries, by HER choice by the way, and actually climbed a Mimosa Tree almost to the top! I had to go and get her down and stop her before I would have had to call the Fire Dept. to get her down. She ALSO caught a bird as I watched, brought it to our back patio outside, alive I might add,(I'm sure all you bird lovers are gonna have a field day w/that! LOL) held it w/her front paws (remember, NO CLAWS) and killed it w/her back claws. Cats do not need their front claws for ANYTHING, espcially if they are inside cat like mine was. They ONLY scratch flees etc., w/their back claws. Ask a vet if you are not sure of that fact, I did. I got three opinions before I declawed mine. She was NOT in any pain when they sent her home, but they did send her home w/a mild pain killer and I gave it to her for a couple, three days but after that it was back to "usual." NO PSYCHIATRIC issues like some individuals would have you believe, no weird behavior, absolutely NO problems jumping up on the top of the refrigerator, couch, bed, as she got older, maybe at a year if not sooner. Cats "adjust" people! They are resilient, they are animals, NOT HUMANS! It is a PROVEN fact they do not even feel pain like we do. I would suggest you people do some REAL scientific research and you'll see it isn't as bad as all these propaganda agencies are making it out to be, NO matter HOW many countries it's illegal in, it's also LEGAL to have prostitutes in other countries, why don't we legalize that? This is the USA, FREEDOM PEOPLE! Everyone has to have a cause of which to stand for in life for "something" so I guess those have chosen cats being declawed. Get a life and let those of us who "want" to and "believe" it's okay to declaw our cats do it w/out all this guilt, propaganda, gruesome, psyciatric damage crap! 'Cause thats ALL IT IS, CRAP! Garbage, whatever you want to call it. My cat lived a WONDERFULLY HAPPY LIFE until she passed away of just plain ole old age. NO psychiaric issues, just a very very very happy kitty and then cat!
  • Never! If you are so worried about the furniture, better to get a different kind of pet. Declawing is illegal in Australia and I consider no reputable vet would do it elsewhere. Cats are not a fashion accessory and it's natural for them to have claws to defend themselves and to lay down scent (there are scent glands near a cat's claws and these would be removed when it is declawed) I think if you are even giving the subject serious thought, a cat is not the right pet for you. If you must have a declawed cat, then get one from an animal refuge or a vet. It would be pretty darn traumatic to a human to have all their fingertips amputated, especially if it were done when they were a teenager or older. Declawing amounts to much the same thing in a cat. If you like a furry pet, why not try guinea pigs instead?
  • It's fine that everyone has their own opinions, so I'm going to write mine. I disagree that it is extremely cruel to declaw a cat. It may be painful, but that's why their are medicines for the cat. And after the pain is gone I don't think they would remember it. We've always gotten my cats declawed growing up and there has been nothing wrong with them. They were just as happy as can be after the surgery. I have a 16 month old and another baby on the way and just got a kitten. When she is old enough I am going to get her declawed. Mainly for the safety of my children. And I can bet that she will be the same cat after the surgery, as she is now. :-) Just like all the other cats I have owned.
  • The younger the better. I know some people do not believe in declawing, but the fact of the matter is that if you go to an animal shelter, the majority of surrendered cats have claws - declawed cats are much more docile, and are often loving members of the family. Not to mention, that I have NEVER met anyone who can honestly tell me their cat is 100% trained to a scratching post. I have several friends and acquaintances with cats who supposedly are successfully trained to the scratching post - but there is always that one couch or chair that is the "cats" piece of furniture, and is clearly attacked on a regular basis (or part of the carpet tucked conveniently behind other chairs). Not to mention, guests who are new to the cat may find kitty to be a warm fuzzy friend to sit in their lap until kitty decides to "knead" their legs, poking holes in their clothes and their skin. Ouch! For the psychological and physical well being of cats, declawing is sometimes a viable option - as long as owners know how to work with a recovering patient for the first few weeks. It makes kitty and owner (and guests) much more amiable to one another. Surgery is also less traumatic if you can find a veterinarian who uses laser rather than actually sawing off the joint. Laser surgery is much less invasive and a whole heck of a lot less painful for the cat.
  • Put inside out tape rolls on the areas she is trying to scratch. They don't like the feeling of the tape on their paws. Then make sure she has a cat tree or some other "legal" place to scratch and put catnip on it. After a while, she'll get the "this not that" message and you can take the tape rolls back off.
  • I wish I could get de-fingernailed. Anyway, for the sake of economy and minimizing the amount of drugs the cat has to take, do it at the same time as you spay/neuter it.
  • I believe a cat should never be declawed, it takes away the cats ability to defend it's self. If the claws are a problem then a scratching post helps immensely, along with regular trimmings.
  • I have two cats that both have all their claws.We clip their nails and they have a scratching post that they use.Get the kind with sisal rope wrapped around it rather than carpet.That way she won't think it's ok to scratch carpet(it's the texture).I wouldn't get her declawed as it involves amputation of the first knuckle and can be very painful.If you're gone alot,it's not a bad idea to get her a companion:))
  • It is VERY cruel to de-declaw a cat. You should not have a cat if that is how you want to treat it! It is so inhumane, it is NOT legal in many countries. I was raised with cats, and have one now plus am fostering another. I have never had a problem with any cat scratching furniture. All you need to do is provide them with a number of scratch pads. Some cats are vertical scratchers, and some horizontal. It also helps if you pay some attention to them. MOST cats that have been de-clawed suffer the consequences of life-long psychological scars. Many also have physical issues. Would you enjoy going through life with half of your fingers cut off? What a society we live in where people think of animals as just objects to do with as they please! Very disgusting!
  • I had to get my first cat declawed in order to keep him, I was in a housing program and the caseworker said I had to get Sylvester declawed in order to keep him. NO MENTION OF SOFT PAWS or any other alternative. This fool of a caseworker had her OWN cats declawed, I hope she eventually learned that cats sans their front claws DO NOT always make happy, contented pets. Where I live now, I live pretty much on my own, and many of the peer counselors have their own pets and quite a few are anti-declawing. Yep, Tika has her claws intact.
  • A cat should never be declawed. Your problem is not having a destructive cat it is having a cat at all.

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