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Readers Respond: Tell Us What You Think About Declawing Cats

Responses: 141


No to declawing

I have two cats - one is an inside cat and the other an outsdie cat. I would no more declaw either of the 'girls' than I would have my fingernails removed.

We need a better type of owner

Some veterinarians have argued that some people would have their cats killed if declawing was not an option. We should not, however, allow ourselves to taken 'emotional hostage' like this. If a person really would kill her or his cat in this case, it is reasonable to question the suitability of that person as a feline guardian, especially when there are millions of non-declawed cats living in harmony with people.

To Declaw or Not Declaw

To all that will declaw a cat because it scratches the furniture. You are valuing a piece of furniture over a living breathing little animal. Lets take your nails out and see how painless it is for you. You shouldn't be allowed an animal if you want to declaw.
—Guest BellaLuna

Declawing Cats should be Illegal

I believe it is illegal in many places and many vets will not do it. I think it is a terrible thing to do, bordering on barbaric - I would be happy to see anyone who declawed a cat have their fingernails and toenails removed without any anesthetic.
—Guest Karen

Declawing is actually a painful healing!

Declawing is extremely painful for cats to heal from; such as getting fingernails removed; honestly, if you have a huge problem with scratch marks, get cat trees or of another material that doesn't match whatever it scratches; use catnip to train it. If that cat slips outside by any chance, it has NO way to defend itself. To say it's not defenseless is stupid. It can't climb trees, it can't get over fences to get away, nothing. There are numerous ways to get your cat de-stressed or show him/her boundaries. If you pro-declawers have patience to research it and actually take the time to look at your cat, you'd see the light; otherwise, you're just lazy and you shouldn't have a cat in the first place. How about I pull out all of your fingernails that won't grow back, and let you walk around on your hands during healing; especially if that was your only defense? Stop being lazy and irresponsible and BE a petowner! Do the research, take the time to train (it's extremely easy). DUH!!
—Guest NoDeclawer

one declawed one not

I have two very lovable cats. One I have had for ten years and the other only one year. The older one I had declawed when she was spayed and the younger I haven't had the money to do either yet. The thing I worry about is the accidental scratching. I know cats are clean freaks and they love to clean themselves, but what happens if a human gets sick because a cat scratched him or her immediately following a trip to the litter box? Because of this one issue I am all for declawing. Two of my sister's cats had the tendonotomy, where they go in and cut the tendons used for retracting claws, and I think that that is more cruel than the declaw. If you don't watch the claws of the cat and clip them regularly then the claws can grow into the pads and become very painful. Until there is a better way to permanently stop cats from scratching I will stick to my decision to declaw my cats.
—Guest Samsmycat

do you plan to declaw your cats?

The question was on my adoption application and I answered it with bolded, uppercase letters and twice the size: NO I didn't read the article, "The Declaw Dilemma" because -- what's the dilemma? Cats have teeth and claws. That's who they are and what they were created with. I have no right to take them away. If I can't accomodate a cat's need to claw, then I shouldn't be caring for that cat. Depending on how many cats I've had and depending on their clawing habits, I've had over a dozen scratching devices of various kinds around the house. Type, size and placement aren't the same for every cat. If I was a cat and all you did was hang one of those narrow little scratchpads on your closet door on the other side of the house, you can be sure that I'd scratch your couch, too.
—Guest coaster


I do not like it. 2 are declawed, but they came to me that way. My bootz is not. Daddy trims them once a month and she used to it and it is daddy daughter time. I would never get my cats declawed. As long as they are properly trimmed and there are things to scratch on cats do not need to be declawed. It is just wrong.

Oh please!

How many of us call surgeons cruel? So the cat undergoes surgery and gets over it. Would you rather the cat live a life outdoors being subjected to parasites and diseases, not to mention cat fights and wounds, even human dangers from people who don't want them around!!! An indoor cat who is loved can give you a lifetime of returned love and happiness and have a life of leisure and contentment that we all long for. But with claws, you have to sacrifice the unintentional scratches, ruined couches and other furniture, etc! They get over the surgery, but not the outdoor dangers. Go to the animal shelter. Adopt a cat. Find love. And it's up to you if you get him or her declawed. Life's too short to argue.
—Guest CG

Stop it all

You need to stop all declawing in the US and make it illegal. To those that don't want ruined furniture, deal with it or don't get a cat. Scratching is part of the cat's life-take away a human's finger tips and let them live without writing or art ever again. But the most inhumane thing is to declaw the front and back claws-try running or playing sports without your toes. Declawing should never be done-those that only want declawed cats care more about their furniture than the cats in the first place. If you get scratched, deal with it! Did your parents remove your finger tips and nails because you hurt them when you were young?
—Guest Declawinghater

it's up to the owners

we had an indoor/outdoor cat who we had declawed and he was just fine. There were no behavioural changes and he was always a happy loveable guy. He still was able to catch mice outside and inside (we have a very old country home) and he still "scratched" the furniture and stretched so I really don't see the harm in declawing- almost every single cat we've had was declawed and was fine with it. I believe it's up to the owners whether or not they want their cat declawed or not.
—Guest me

cats outside

why do people let their cats outside? With the amount of strays and diseases and other dangers they can run into, it seems horrible and cruel to me. I'll sit out on the deck with a leash but never let them run free. You think their claws will stop a coyote or a car? I don't even let my dogs out without supervision. I live just outside Chicago so not rural and there are coyotes here. There are way too many cats roaming and these cats seem to like our garage and my husband's refurbished antique car. Apparently they still have their claws.
—Guest Concerned


I have two cats that are adopted. I adopted them already declawed and would not have adopted a cat with claws although I would not have an animal declawed. I live in a 100 year old farm house with a lot of antiques. We have a lot of scratches from previous clawed cats. We trained them but as soon as we leave the house they would let loose. If you are cat owner, you know cats have a mind of their own. Next I just had to mention because I always read people say imagine not having fingertips. Have been a farmer all my life I lost half of two fingers, the tips off the other two and half my thumb on one hand in a tractor incident that is better left unsaid. Guess what? I'm fine. I still farm and have a normal life. Stop with the 'imagine having no fingertips' crap. what do you need them for. manicures? Oh and the only behavior of mine that changed post accident, is I no longer put my hand near tractor blades. I also must say I still feel like I have my entire fingers.
—Guest Farmer

Declawing cats

I think it's a very cruel thing to do. If you don't like their nails then you shouldn't have them. None of the vets in out area will do it. That shows just how awful it is... it's like someone pulling your fingernails out!!!! Watch it being done before you decide to do it & I'm sure you will change your mind if you love your cat.

new baby

My girlfriend insisted on bringing her cat with her when we moved in together. I insisted she get it declawed. She is pregnant and I think that being declawed in a small price to pay in order to stay sheltered, safe, and well fed. God knows that if our baby recieved one scratch from this cat, declawing would seem humane and peta approved as opposed to what would happen to it i got my hands on it.
—Guest ruf

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