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Readers Respond: Tell Us What You Think About Declawing Cats

Responses: 180


Banning declawing only the first step

Frankly, surgical declawing is horrible, but banning it is only the first step. So called "soft paws" also need to be banned as well. Cats need to claw. Capping off their claws with soft nylon is horrible. How can they stretch or work their claws when they are effectively blunted? Trimming cat nails is also cruel. Once again you are unnaturally blunting the cats' nails. Past the issue of claws, making cats "indoor-only" animals is absolutely inhumane. Cats need to be free to roam and explore. I'm always so saddened when I see a poor, depressed cat stuck indoors like a prison inmate with no opportunity to get outside. Obviously, this is no kind of life. Cat owners who are doing any of these things are not deserving of the company of these magnificent creatures. If you aren't willing to let a cat be a cat and be free, then maybe you aren't a good candidate for a cat caretaker. I just hope for the day when the world wakes up to this kind of animal cruelty.
—Guest Tom


I dont thing that is a good thing to do God gave them to cats for a reason (protection)I know they can be a problem but i know that some cats can be trained to claw on things other than the furniture.would wont your nails removed

It sometimes is useful & sometimes not.

It could save lives. And I have met people with cats who dont have any problems afterwards(Behavioral or health wise). Then again I have seen the cats with problems after... I dont think it should be totaly illegal to do so, but you should be legaly responsible for the cat afterwards. Like you cant get rid of them, and pain management should be kept up, ect. I would not do it to a cat, I use the catcaps(Soft Claw). They work. Maybe vets should recomend the nail caps to people and have them try them out before declawing. I never heard of them and wasnt going to get a cat till I heard about them. I was researching cats and just bearly found them on some website. Maybe there wouldnt be so many declawings if nail caps were advertised(Via comerchial on TV) and maybe even more adoptions(?). Some people dont know about them untill after(So I've heard).
—Guest Ari


I am TOTALLY AGAINST declawing!!!! It is important for pet owners to educate themselves on all aspects of pet ownership. If you feel that your cat needs to be declawed, you should not be a cat owner. As for those who argue that declawing a cat and adopting him is better than letting him die in shelter, well I like the example that someone else gave. This person said that it would be like cutting off your arm. You may still live a long and happy life but was that really necessary? There are HUMANE options out there, and if you provide your cat with adequate scratching posts, he WILL NOT scratch up your furniture! And if you are willing to get rid of a cat who does claw up your favorite sofa? Well then once again, you should NOT be a cat owner. Do your research. I thought I was pro-declawing and I thought it was okay to feed a cat grocery store brand cat food etc, but I did the research and know I understand the truth.
—Guest Leah


It is sad to think of the discomfort a declawed cat must have when he is unable to scratch himself when he has an itch! What if the cat gets fleas. Some people have both back and front claws removed. This seems really cruel. Poor kitty, it's got to be awful for him/her to have all 20 claws removed.
—Guest I love cats

Shame on anybody who thinks its alright

Have yourself declawed once and then come here and tell us about it!!! Humans have domesticated these poor creatures and now they can't live with their habits!!
—Guest Regina

Don't declaw

I could never be that inhumane as to declaw my cat. I have had cats. Some raised from kittens and some came to me as adults. I have never had a problem with my furniture being damaged. I have taught my cats to use a scratching post. Some a little longer than others to teach but they learned and did it. I have a cat now that in the beginning used the corner of my sofa and my chair in the front room. Sometimes she would use my mattress. But with patience and consistancy she routinely uses her cat post for scratching. I have never had an ongoing problem with scratching. I would never consider declawing. There are solutions and mutilation isn't one of them.
—Guest I am against declawing


My little guy was just declawed last week at 8 months old when he was neutered as well. While I feel absolutely terrible about the pain he went through, I have to take in to consideration that he was viscious, and in multiple occasions has scratched both my two year old and four year old until they bled. He is fond of tearing up wall paper, and absolutely HATES having his nails trimmed. I understand that it is medically unnecessary, and painful for the cat, but I feel my cat is like my child. I elected to have him declawed, because I live my kids, and because I'd rather have a declawed indoor kitty than have him taken due to a scratch related incident with friends or family. While it's true that he had no say, you have to bear in mind that circumcised boys, and babies with pierced ears do not either, and thousands of people have both procedures done to children each day. Pain is temporary, and with behavior modification, Nero promises to have 20 loving years with us.
—Guest Dogbird

declawing ???

I think it is mean cruel and unnecessary. Do we really know how painful it is? it is as unnecessary as debarking a dog.
—Guest catsfriend

Julie Hamilton

Here in the UK declawing cats is banned under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Rightly so. I am appalled that your nation allows disfigurements of natural physical attributes. Let me see, how would those people who have their cats declawed feel if they had their finger nails removed? Do to yourself as ye do unto others. Don't have a cat if you don't like the claws. The only benefit to cat declawing is the saving the lives of 50 to 70 million song birds per year, here in the UK. Imagine how many the US loss is given that you are a much larger country!
—Guest Julie Hamilton

sometime you have to declaw a cat

I had a cat that I loved very much but when my mother got diabetes I had to do one of two things. I had to declaw her or give her away. I love her but she hated my mother and since I could not give my mother away or kick my mother out, I had to have my cat declawed. people with diabetes do not heal as fast as every one else and a scratch could have killed my mother. other wise I would have never had my cat declawed. but I do not see that I had a choice and did what I had to do to keep my cat.

I feel so bad

This is my story: I took my cat for neutering and they offered declawing as if it was something "everybody does", several months earlier the vet asked me if I was interested without me even inquiring, he said he used a laser to remove the nail and it was not very painful, at the time I said no. This time, again the nurse said, would you like declawing too? I said OK, I remembered that conversation where the vet said he removes the nail with a laser and since everybodies tone was so like "everybode does it", I said OK and went home. During the day, as I was intrigued as how they removed the nail and prevented it from growing again, I got on the internet and researched, needless to say I was horrified, I felt(and feel) sooooo bad, I am so afraid that my kitty wont be the same, that I still have not gone to pick him up,I left him a couple of more days at the vet because I have kids and dont want them to hurt him, I am afraid of how he will look at me. I am sorry........
—Guest HC

100% against declawing but no choice

After much trepidation & a year of being terrorized by my cat I've made the appt to get her declawed. I have owned at least 10 cats in the last 30 yrs. My last cat had to be put down due to cancer, he was almost 19. I had him declawed when he was neutered-recommended by the vet-I was pregnant at the time. She is terrorizing everything. I truly don't care about the furniture or the curtains or the beds, maybe the walls that she climbs-rips the paper covering off the sheetrock & climbs the wall, the other cat is completely bald in spots because of this cat, the dog who is 10 times her size is scared now she is swiping at the kids faces-scratched my eyeball, my 6 yr old's face missing his eye by 1/8th of an inch and now another 1 of my kids. So it's declaw, turn over to a rescue or chance my kids or their friends being hurt, being sued and being forced to have her put down. Her nails get cut every 2wk, has scratching posts, toys, is spade, vetted, clean litter box, no choice at this point.
—Guest Rashi

Allergy Sufferer

Severe allergies are the only reason I choose to declaw my cats. Whenever a cat scratches out of play, love or any other reason, my allergies explode. My skin swells and itches for days...along with eyes watering and difficulty breathing. My cats are all RESCUES from the Humane Society. If I did not declaw then I would be unable to have the wonderful loving relationships that I do with my kitties. Over half the cats at the Humane Society are put to sleep from overcrowding. Although I declaw, I must due this in order to give them a loving home. I also have tried every prescription drug available and also went through 4 years of allergy shots. I would rather NOT put my babies through a declaw, but if I didn't then I wouldn't be able to have them at all. Choices are tough, but my cats are all healthy and happy. Declawing has rescued me too.

no other alternative

I've owned cats my entire life. While I completely disagree with declawing, three of them were declawed before I adopted them. All three lived long, happy lives with us (one lived to be 15 but had many other health problems, the vets didn't expect him to live past 10. One recently passed peacefully at the age of 18 and the last is 17 and still going strong). We have never had a problem getting cats to scratch appropriately until now. She is about a year old and no matter what I do I cannot get her to stop clawing people or innapropriate things. And believe me, we've tried EVERYTHING. I've now been given the choice of getting the cat declawed, getting rid of her, or getting kicked out of my apartment. So as much as it breaks my heart I made the appointment today to have it done. I have a wonderful vet who I know will take the best care possible of my little girl. So anyone who says there is no reason to declaw, which of my 3 options would you take?
—Guest Liz

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