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Readers Respond: Tell Us What You Think About Declawing Cats

Responses: 180


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


Declawing should be against the law. My vet refuses to do it. Did you know if is cutting off the first knucle of each paw? I think that's cruel.
—Guest Irene Wilson


I have two stories about the subject. my sister insisted on declawing her 8 yr old cat, it was terrible. The cat ended up getting out and was attacked by two dogs under a car and they pulled his tail off, he could not climb a tree. I recently adopted an abused declawed cat that was kicked outside and she has been fine. The only thing is that I have to go outside with her everyday because she can't climb tree's either. The one good thing is that she was born without a tail so getting it bit off wouldn't happen. She's been around other cat's that she has scrapped with and she uses her back claws and her teeth, which she has also used on me. Im not for declawing because cat's need there claws for all different types of things and they love to be outside.
—Guest Renee

declawing text

My mission is two-fold: The first is to eliminate the practice of de-clawing cats. I believe the best way to do that is not to patronize veterinarians who provide de-clawing, and not to purchase cats from shelters or pet stores who offer de-clawed cats. The second part of my mission is to allow cats to go outside with supervision for at least an hour each day. Cats can be trained and will stay close to home. Despite what you may have read or been told, the removal of a cat’s claws is very painful for the cat. Not only is the claw removed, but the doctor amputates the first joint of each toe. Cats are given painkillers, often morphine, to alleviate the pain. Once “healed” the cat can still have pain and numbness throughout its life. As a clawless cat ages it usually experiences changes in the way the joints and paws work together causing stress on the joints, inflammation, or arthritis. As with any surgery, there is a chance of infection. A cat is virtually helpless without claws.
—Guest kathleen

Declawing is not necessarily defenseless

I have had several cats throughout my life that have lived beyond expectations, all have been declawed. The procedures today are much less invasive and my babies have no idea they have been declawed. They still smack just as hard and can in fact climb trees and come back down. They are inside cats, but do slip out once in a while. My 7 yr old got outside, declawed. She was gone for about a week before coming home without a scratch on her. Cats have several defense mechanisms, not just their claws. They very much operate with a bluff, like my tail is bigger than your tail kind of thing. Older cats can lose this bluff though and will not be as inclined to use it if in a confrontation. Declawing is a personal choice. Talk to your vet, make an educated decision.

Declawing, Yay or Nay?? I say NO!!

My mother raised me around cats she loved them. She always told me declawing cats are inhumane because if something is to happen they have no defense unless the other animal gets close enough for them to bite them. I agree extremely on that statement however, I adopted a male that was already declawed and I could completely understand why he was declawed he has this fetish about standing up and constantly pawing at closed doors. If not declawed that would really mess up some doors however, he got outside the other (Even if an inside only, they always find a way to slip outside) and a male stray attacked my small female and he ran to the rescue he couldn't do anything and that male almost hurt him terribly bad luckily they were separated immediately. Its just not fair to the animal and there are other ways to keep them from destroying your home, like scratching post ect. If you teach them that the bad behavior is not allowed as kitten it will also help prevent it as they get older.
—Guest brezzy1990

Declawing, if done right, is OK

My Vet does not cut the whole end of the toe off. If Your Vet does that, you need to find another Vet. Mine makes a small cut and removes only the nail. No meat or hair of any kind. In 36 hours, they were running and playing like nothing ever happened. Some have put horror pictures on the internet, but all they need to do is get a GOOD Vet. Just because they don't like it, they can't tell me that I don't.

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