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Franny Syufy

Cats Declaw Poll

By September 6, 2006

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Declawing a cat is a personal decision, but one that should only be made by an informed cat caregiver who is fully aware of the exact nature of the surgery, the risks involved, and the potential short and longterm effects on the cat. This poll is the same as the one featured in the Cat Care Survey (Question 9), and it will be replacing the old email poll, which required arduous manual compilation.

Please note: If you are voting for answer #5, please read the following material, then visit the About Cats Forum, before making that decision final. Thank you for taking the time to vote in this poll.

Your opinions are important also, so if you feel strongly about declawing, whether pro or con, this is your chance to voice your opinion. Simply click on the "Comments" section below and fill out the form. Try to remember that, whether you are of the pro-claw or pro-declaw position, your comments will be noticed by on-the-fence readers, so please try to avoid harsh trigger words that might actually work against the case you are trying to present. Thank you again!


September 7, 2006 at 8:09 am
(1) Susan says:

I once work at a vet clinic that only treated cats. I was shock when I saw what the poor cats go thru when they are declaw. A little note if you HAVE to do this, use Yesterday News in the liter pan. The other type of liter will now hurt your cats paws and right after the surgery the other liter can get into the open wombs and cause major problems.

September 7, 2006 at 7:05 pm
(2) Judy says:

I had both of my male cats declawed. They are litter mates. I was told not to allow them to climb or jump after their surgery ( what a joke ). They came home with no bandages and the only visable signs that anything had been done was the BLUE skin glue ( no stitches )I’m sure they had no idea how worried I was about them. They are very happy,loving and well adjusted inside ONLY kids. I have NO regrets about my decision to have their front claws removed. They are now 11 years old and I’m not sure if they had been with someone that did not care enough to make them INSIDE only kitties ( declawed ) or the so called happier ( with claws ) kitties that are allowed to go outside and potentially be killed or be hurt. It hurts me to think that anyone would think I would do anything for any reason to harm (emotionally or physically) any animals.

September 8, 2006 at 1:06 am
(3) E says:

The idea that indoor-only cats need to be declawed is ludicrous. I would never amputate my cats toes just because they are indoor-only. My lovely cats have scratching posts, and things to climb, and all their claws.

September 8, 2006 at 9:04 am
(4) RandFsMom says:

I voted no because I disapprove. Even if not all cats appear to suffer in the long term, enough do that it’s just not worth amputating digits and causing the pain associated with said amputation. It actually saddens me that there are vets who are willing to dismember (and no, I’m not just using that word out of emotion…I checked dictionary.com to make sure it was appropriate) a cat’s toes.

My fully clawed kitties are indoors only, and fully clawed. I have yet to see my home go down in shambles because of that. So, a declaw is not a prerequisite to keeping cats indoors.

September 8, 2006 at 9:07 am
(5) RandFsMom says:

Whoops, correction on my last comment:

“My fully clawed kitties are indoors only, and fully clawed.”

That sounds a little redundant. That should read: My kitties are indoors only and fully clawed.

September 8, 2006 at 11:48 am
(6) Judy says:

A follow-up comment. Maybe it depends on the vet you use. I spent alot of time finding a vet that DOES NOT amputate digits. My kitties had only the nail bed removed. Their paws look just like they did before. They also have a scratching post and use it every day. They are also are allowed to scratch anything they want and have no restrictions. They can climb and jump because they have back claws which I trim.

September 8, 2006 at 3:10 pm
(7) BandVs Mom says:

I’ve never been comfortable with declawing, but we had a kitten who was a terror. Her claws and teeth were sunk into my hands and feet even in my sleep. She ignored water from the squirt bottle and we couldn’t find any way to stop her behavior. We also had a 2-year old child and were afraid he would be hurt. My vet failed to offer any suggestions, so we had the cat’s front claws removed when she was spayed. She’s now 9, has always been indoors-only, and is still an “attack tabby,” guarding our home from visitors. At the time, I felt I had no other options, but I wouldn’t do it again.

September 16, 2006 at 10:13 pm
(8) Suzan says:

Last year I pulled a purebred 6 yr old declawed Abyssinian from a local
rural, high kill shelter. They said the reason he was relinquished was “reocurring
UTI’s”. I found out at home that he had MAJOR litterbox problems (a common behavioral problem associated with declawed paws) – huge
puddles of urine everywhere but IN the box! After months of rehabilitating
him with Arnica (pain relief), Homeopathic Rheumatoid Pain drops, Reiki Healing, Feliway,
and Rescue Remedy he finally started using the box again!
He is a very
nervous, skittish Aby. I believe his “stressed out” state is why he has urinary
tract problems. Several vets have already made the connection between declawed cats and stress related diseases like UTI’s and asthma. Poor declawed cats don’t have their healthy claws for healthy “de-stress” clawhold, scratching.
He is also quite ackward on his feet – he sits back on his
wrists and not his whole paw (since he doesn’t have them anymore.) He’s the
poster child of “declawed and dumped”. If his former owners didn’t have 5 minutes a week to trim his nails, they sure as hell didn’t have the time and energy to manage UTI’s and litterbox problems. It’s so sad to see such a beautiful creature crippled from declawing. Hence one of the many reasons I

December 28, 2006 at 4:34 pm
(9) Greg says:

I have an indoor cat that is 2 years old and will not stop scratching my couches. We have scratching posts, cat toys, a carpeted cat house, tried spray bottles and even put double sided tape on the couch corners. All this has done is made him sneakier. Trimming his nails doesn’t slow him down at all. We even bought new couches that I thought he wouldn’t like as much, but he has scratched those too. The foam is showing through and they’re only 3 months old!

So I have a question for all those against declawing – what do you suggest? If cutting his nails doesn’t work I’m sure that the plastic caps won’t work either, at least not for long. I’m getting to the point that I have even considered getting rid him of him; a first for me after several cats and dogs. It’s easy to say that it’s cruel, but then come up with a solution!

If done correctly I don’t see how it’s any less humane than having your cat spayed or neutered. If your cats an indoor cat that is solely for your convenience as well. Maybe I’m just desensitized from growing up on a farm and seeing what is done to all the animals before you purchase them at the supermarket. Some of that can make declawing look pretty humane.

September 17, 2011 at 1:07 am
(10) BjornWoodpile says:

Would you cut your kids fingers off if he kept throwing a baseball around in the house and breaking furniture?

December 28, 2006 at 4:44 pm
(11) greg says:

Oh yeah, I tried the spray too. He smelled it, and then proceeded to scratch.

He also gets lots of attention from our other cat and two kids.

January 13, 2007 at 6:35 pm
(12) Jessica says:

Felines come with CLAWS. Puppies come with teeth. They BOTH require training to teach them the appropriate way to use their natural tools. Amputating your cats toes is the same as extracting all of your puppies teeth. It takes effort.

January 15, 2007 at 12:28 am
(13) Lizz says:

I have thought very DEEPLY for over 3 weeks about getting my 2 cats declawed. I don’t want to hurt them in any way and i have even cried many tears over my decision. But everytime i look at my door frames, corners of my sofas, the BOTTOM of my BEDS, the edges of my carpet it reminds me of why i need to do it. I have an $1800 bed that now the boxspring is COMPLETELY destroyed because they have made it a home underneath the fabric. (it’s only 1 year old), i have tried the sprays THEY DON’T WORK.. i have tried the tape, tin foil, they have a carpeted kitty condo 4 stories high, all kinds of toys and NOTHING works. I WILL NOT get rid of my cats because they are tearing up things.. But one day i would like to have nice furniture without the value being deployed within a few months.

SO for all of you animal rights activists who claim it’s wrong and inhumane.. either pay for the damage the claws have done, heal the scars on the owners, or voice your opinion without downing the owners who have done it and say we don’t love our cats. Some cats just have bad “clawing” habits. Both of mine are HORRIBLE and it’s taking me 1 year to decide to do it because the damage of my house is so great. I love my cats, but i also work extremely hard for the things i have. And will baby them for all of their care needed.

So please, if you can’t take into the consideration of individual stories DON’T JUDGE!

I don’t agree with abortion at all but in the case of incest, or rape where the victims are just that… i’m pro choice. Using it as a birth control… NO I’m NOT FOR!!

same with my cats.. i had them long enough to see what kind of personalities they have to see if it’s necessary or not.. under my circumstances I believe it’s for the best interest for both me and my cats…they will again have free roam of EVERY room in the house. That to me is important. ESPECIALLY WITH A BABY ON THE WAY!

October 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm
(14) Mackenzie says:

I agree with you. I had to get my cats declawed because like you, they were ruining my furniture. They are both strictly inside animals. So I saw no reason not too. I say go for it. I had to replace a lot of my furniture. Wasn’t fun. And a perk, with children, you never have to worry about them getting scratched. My child loved to play with our cats but of course, he played to rough with the cats (pulling tails and hitting) so he continued to get scratched. Declawing, at least for my needs, was a better way to go. I wouldn’t feel too horrible. Good luck.

February 8, 2007 at 8:18 am
(15) Laurence says:

I think this is barbaric. I WOULD NEVER DECLAW MY 2 CATS!!!! If you do not want your furniture scratched or damaged by your pet(s) DON’T HAVE ANY!!!

I read once that a declawed cat who would usually stay indoors had somehow gone out. He was set upon by the local tom and was murdered by him because he had no claws to defend himself with!!!

February 8, 2007 at 8:39 am
(16) Laurence says:

I would like to reply to Liz who says DON’T JUDGE UNLESS YOU TAKE EACH INDIVIDUAL STORIES INTO ACCOUNT!!! She has also said that she has thought very DEEPLY for over 3 weeks about getting her 2 cats declawed and doesn’t want to hurt them and that she has even cried over her decision to do it anyway.

And yet she is still putting the welfare of her furniture before the welfare of her pets (the later incidentally being living and breathing creatures who feel pain unlike her poor $1,800 bed)!

Well my heart bleeds!!! What an hypocric and selfish person she is! If she expects any sympathy from me she is in for a long wait!

My 2 cats, whom I love dearly, have scratched expensive pieces of furniture, and whilst I was not very happy about it, I accepted that this was part of owning a pet!


Scratching is a natural thing to do for cats! She must have known that when she had them!

So please Liz, don’t tell me you love your cats, because nothing you can say to try to justify your action would make me change my opinion about you!

February 8, 2007 at 11:48 pm
(17) Monique says:

I agree with Laurence. Obviously material things are more important to some than having the ones they supposedly love mutilated. PATHETIC AT BEST!!!

February 26, 2007 at 12:00 am
(18) Shamby says:

I have had both declawed and “all natural” cats. There are pros to both and cons to both. Depending on your lifestyle one may be better than the other. Declawing at one time was risky… just like any surgery for a human – at one time it was risky. The wonderful thing about the medical field is that it constantly improves. If your cat is in doors only then I don’t think there is anything wrong with declawing. If your cat goes in and out, I think its not wise…and if your cat is out doors only PLEASE DON’T! I agree with the fact that cats need to protect them selves, but if the only thing they have to worry about is the vacuum, front claws are not needed. Like every animal that we socialize, cats adapt…and if the animal rights people want to throw a fit that’s fine, but look at what we are doing to the earth. We change it as we see fit, to make things easier on us. What’s the difference? With pets at least we are constantly improving foods, medicine, surgery, ect. We are always making things safer.

February 26, 2007 at 2:02 pm
(19) cats says:


>>>I agree with the fact that cats need to protect them selves, but if the only thing they have to worry about is the vacuum, front claws are not needed.<<>>We change it as we see fit, to make things easier on us. What’s the difference? With pets at least we are constantly improving foods, medicine, surgery, ect. We are always making things safer.<<>>>Check out this great web site if you want a fresh look on declawing. It may open your eyes. <<<

Sorry, but since you seem pride yourself on letting people make their own decisions, why would you want to send them to a site that ENCOURAGES declawing?? I read enough of it to be convinced that it's just raving on the other side of the coin, and since this is MY site, the "raving" will be on the side of cats staying the way Mother Nature developed them, i.e. on the side of CATS, not FURNITURE. I find 99% of these pro-declawing arguments specious, self-serving, and selfishly ignorant to the extreme.

Franny Syufy

March 1, 2007 at 12:12 am
(20) Kevin says:

Wow all you people are full of yourselves, your no better than Hitler one sided bitch that deletes anything YOU don’t like, let people decide for themselves what they want to do with there cats, i’m sure this post will never be seen by anyone but YOU so kiss my hairy white ASS FRANNY

March 1, 2007 at 8:08 am
(21) cats says:

Indeed, Kevin, thank you for proving my point. I’m going to let your comment stand for posterity. Perhaps some day you will grow up enough to be embarrassed by it. :)

March 1, 2007 at 10:27 am
(22) Kevin says:

Oh thank you oh great one for not deleting my post this time, maybe one day when i grow up i can have my very own opinion poll and be one sided and delete what ever i like, Oh you forgot to mention to the great people here that you deleted my legit post from me earlier on my view on this,lol

March 1, 2007 at 10:29 am
(23) kman2 says:

Oh thank you oh great one for not deleting my post this time, maybe one day when i grow up i can have my very own opinion poll and be one sided and delete what ever i like, Oh you forgot to mention to the great people here that you deleted my legit post from me earlier on my view on this,lol

March 4, 2007 at 9:30 pm
(24) Shamby says:

The reason why I would recommend the site is because the ONLY sites you can find about declawing are saying how evil it is. If you read a little further the site I recommended is not 100% “you should declaw” it states you should try other things first, HOWEVER, you should not feel like you’re a horrible person if you end up declawing BECAUSE the other options do not work.

And your right about the safer cat. Maybe someday we will discover a way to make a safer human…its the same concept.

And as I FIRST stated its a personal choice…for some people a cat with claws is best…for others, not so much. Oh and uh…its not about the furniture with some people. If the cat is attacking other animals, other people, then what? What if the person at that point has tryed training, and everything else…but nothing works? Do they get rid of the cat like so many others…and the poor thing ends up in a shelter? The cat looses the home because it was a bit shrewish?
This was my parent’s cat. She didn’t mellow out till her 18th birthday when she became officially blind. My parents had her declawed when she was younger because she was so violent. She was still feisty but at least she wasn’t drawing blood. To this day she is healthy and happy and my parents love her dearly.
I’m not saying all cats should be declawed, I’m not saying cats should be declawed as a first means. What I’m saying is that if you do declaw your cat that doesn’t make you a bad person. And I’m sick of people who point the finger and say how if you declaw your cat your an evil human who enjoys torturing their animals.

March 5, 2007 at 1:01 am
(25) Jessica says:

First of all, why do you have a link to a porn website on your page? I know you probably deleted that website Shamby posted about, however your link goes to a porn website. I’m pretty sure that’s not what I was looking for. Second, I have had two cats declawed. One recently passed away at the lovely age of 18 years old. She never once had any problems. She may have only been front declawed but never had problems regardless. I have another cat who is turning 17 years old this year who is fully declawed. Both of these cats were indoor only cats. My cats had no problems adjusting to no claws.
My cats never bit people after having their claws removed… maybe because most animals take after their owners. They never ever had any problems going to the bathroom, minus when my one cats became old and pretty much lost all of her sense of smell. Cats find the litterbox by it’s smell. They don’t look for it like most people think.
Like most other people have said I do not agree with declawing a cat if it is to be an outdoor cat. That would be just stupid, but the idea of letting a cat outdoors is stupid to me in the first place. Yes let’s let my cat go play outside and get ran over by a car. Great idea! Cats are meant to be cared for and not let run amuck.
As far as the procedure for declawing goes, my cats had no bleeding what so ever. It’s really not that hard with today’s technology to do such things as declaw a cat. If we can transplant hearts and other vital organs, we sure as heck can declaw a cat without problems. If you are going to a vet who hurts your cat, well then your just dumb. You def. picked the wrong vet to go to! Do your research… end of story.

March 6, 2007 at 1:15 am
(26) Kevin says:

i’m on your side all my cats are awsome and they are declawed and happy cats,…. This Franny what the heck is she doing linking a porno site for people to look at, kids can come on here she must of had a head injury at one time, and she tells me to grow up in a previuos message.

March 6, 2007 at 12:03 pm
(27) Jessica says:

Glad I’ve got people on my side =) You rock! Yeah my cats never once had any problems with being declawed. Never missed a beat. Never walked different, nothing. I don’t see how people think it’s torture but again whatever maybe they are just seeing more than they really are.

Yeah and I’m guessing she doesn’t realize she posted to a porn site, and that’s giving the benefit of the doubt. It needs to get deleted immediately because yes children can access it easily.

March 6, 2007 at 12:32 pm
(28) cats says:

Jessica, I have over 6,000 pages on my site with probably 10 X that number of links and and I have NEVER put any links to porn sites on it. However, domains do expire and are resold to the highest bidder, so it’s remotely possible that such a link can exist.

Please back up your claim of a porn link by emailing me with the URL of my page where you claim to have seen it. Otherwise, I’ll assume that you just threw that in to “support” your arguments.

Kevin, you just keep on proving my point.


March 6, 2007 at 10:47 pm
(29) Shamby says:

That is the link that you put XXX instead of what was there….well by doing that it links to a uh…not so PG site.
Just for the record this is NOT the site I had referred!

March 6, 2007 at 10:50 pm
(30) Shamby says:

Or just look at your comment, comment 17 on this article…if you doubt them (trust me they are right) click on it and it will take you to something I’m sure you had no intention of promoting.

March 7, 2007 at 1:00 am
(31) Jessica says:

Thank you Shamby for showing her that. I greatly appreciate it. Franny, I assume you were just trying to cover up this site Shamby had posted about however when you put the XXX to disguise the domain name that takes you to (deleted) which is none other than a porn site. For that matter it’s probably the biggest and most well known site lol. I’m sure it wasn’t on purpose but it’s my proof… just click the link (like Shamby mentioned in comment number 17).

March 7, 2007 at 1:03 am
(32) Jessica says:

Ok sorry I didn’t realize it was going to automatically link that site…. but it automatically redirects you there and ignores the declawing portion of the addy.

March 7, 2007 at 7:57 am
(33) cats says:

Okay, that was a dumb mistake by me. Thanks for clearing it up, Shamby and Jessica, and thanks for sort of giving me the benefit of the doubt. I’ve now moderated all the comments containing that link, and I need to get back to work now. :)

March 12, 2007 at 5:35 pm
(34) Greg says:

Has anybody come up with any new ideas yet? I would love to know where I’m supposed to focus my “effort” to magically get my cat to stop wrecking things and hurting people.

There are many people who have commented about how declawing is barbaric, not natural, selfish, etc, etc. It’s not even NATURAL for cats to live in houses. We have only brought them into our homes for our own SELFISH human reasons. I’m sure that my cats would much prefer to be roaming free in the wild somewhere. How is it not BARBARIC to cut out parts of a cats reproductive system? This too is done only for our own SELFISH reasons. I’m sure my cats would love to have sex and experience the joys of having kittens like they NATURALLY do. The day that you anti-declawing activists have all natural cats reproducing, spraying and bleeding all over your house is the day that you can call yourselves better than everyone else.

March 13, 2007 at 10:27 pm
(35) Kevin says:

LOL, hey franny and what point is it that i supposobly keep proving???

March 26, 2007 at 4:59 pm
(36) Cathy says:

Greg, those plastic caps that cover a cat’s claws might help. I have a friend who used them for her cat and they worked great. They don’t last forever — maybe 6 weeks — but it’s cheaper than replacing furniture.

April 12, 2007 at 8:33 pm
(37) Frank says:

I have a bit of a problem…

…and I want to hear from everybody

I had two cats for the last nine years. They were declawed before I knew how terrible declawing was.

One of them passed away eight months ago so I wanted to get my other cat a new buddy.

The people at the cat rescue place gave me the most womderfull, loving kitten, but made me sign a contract that says, if I were to get him declawed, they can take him back.

That was fine with me, I wasn’t going to get him declawed anyway.

As he has grown he has begun to use his claws like crazy. I don’t mind the scratches on me and he doesn’t attack the couches…

He is constantly attacking our other cat! It’s horrible.

She likes him but when he plays with her, he scratches her like crazy. She won’t sleep in the bed with me anymore, because she is afraid. She won’t lay on the couch with me because she is afraid.

I’ve tried everything but the my older cat keeps getting attacked, and without her claws, she can’t defend herself.

The vet said I should just get him declawed but I stuck with that contract I signed.

Can they really take my cat away?

I love both my kitties and don’t know what to do.

A little help?

April 12, 2007 at 8:48 pm
(38) cats says:

Hi Frank,

Indeed, you do not need to have the younger cat declawed. However, since your particular situation is so involved, and my time is severely limited tonight, I’d like for you to post your comment to my forum. You can join at http://cats.about.com/mpboards.htm. We have many forum members with years of experience with similar situations, and I know they’d be more than happy to help you. Tell them Franny sent you! :)

Otherwise, you’ve managed to post your comment to a blog post that was made over 7 months ago, so it’s unlikely anyone else will see it for awhile.

April 25, 2007 at 10:46 pm
(39) Meritaten says:

I disapprove of declawing cats, but I sympathize with those who are dealing with cats that scratch. If your child is acting dstructively, you have to stop it, whether it is human or feline. The problem is, cats need to scratch. And declawing them is essentially removing their fingers. Would you remove your child’s fingers to keep him from drawing on the walls or fingerpainting the couch?

My own cat scratched at first, but I was able to train her fairly easily to only use a scratching post. It was important to find one that she liked. The first one I got her wasn’t sturdy enough. she likes to lunge at it and scratch furiously. My dad built her one that she LOVES!!!!! It is an eyesore, but it works for her, so I can live with it. The only problem I’ve had since then is when we were visitng my parents at their house. One room had carpet on the lower past of a wall. (It actually made sense, but does sounds odd, I know.) Anyway, my cat thought it was okay to scratch there. She was very confused when I stopped her. It seems she associated that wall with her scrathing post in some way that I have never understood. After I stopped her a couple of times, she finally got it. With the exception of a very few instances like that, where one surface seemed to her to BE a scratching post, she has always been an angel about avoiding inappropriate scratching. She is fifteen now, and can’t jump like she used to. Sometimes, she will jump onto furniture and miss, and the little dear tries so hard to avoid scratching things when she catches herself. She understands that scratching is destructive and she can only sratch items that belong to her alone. she even has a vertical scratching pad that she loves to sit on. She knows that she is allowed to scratch it, but she loves it so much that she only scratches it occasionally. I swear that she understands that scratching it will eventually destroy it, and she wants to keep it! (She knows that the carpet on her post wears out and has to be replaced. She was a nervous wreck the first time I pulled the old carpet off. You should have seen her relief and joy when a new carpet was put on it. :)

I’m thinking of adopting a kitten that was born to a feral cat in my friend’s yard. If I do this this, I may wind up with a cat that is hard to train. What would i do if I tried everything and nothing worked? I want to say say that I would NEVER declaw a cat, because I feel that is is terribly wrong. While the cat may not be in pain all its life, declawing changes the way that they move, jump, etc. Plus, a cats only job as a member of my household is to catch any mouse stupid enough to come in. While declawed cats can catch mice, it is harder for them. I believe that I can train this kitten to behave appropriately. What if I truly can’t? i would probably put items around my furniture to prevent access to them when I wasn’t home and live like that, but that would be a difficult and unpleasant way to live. I really think that almost any kitten can be trained – and I say almost because saying all includes all, and I can’t say that for sure. Adopting an adult cat that scratches would be harder because the behaviour is set. However, with discouragement of inappropriate behaviour and encouragement of positive behaviour, it should be possible.

If you asking what to do when everything you have tried doesn’t work, I want to say to try another method, but if you are truly soul-searching about this, you have probably tried every method you’ve been able to find out about. I would ask that you consider either finding a way to live with the behaviour or perhaps finding the cat a home with someone who can live with it. Would you cut off your child’s fingers to save the furniture? Woudl you cut them off if the child was using them to hurt his brother? Someone posted that their new cat was using his claws on their declawed cat. Perhaps, as hard as it might be to give up the new cat, a new home might be a better answer? It would kill me to give up a cat, but what is best for the cat? I think we need to ask that.

If you know you want a cat, but can’t live with scratching, please consider adoting a cat that has already been declawed. THese cats need to find good indoor-only homes, preferably without clawed co-cats. Why not get what you want without inflicting this change on another cat? I use that word because I can’t think of a less confrontational word that conveys my thoughts. Anyway, this might be the solution for you. my friend did this. She disapproves of declawing, but can’t afford to have her furniture ruined. This worked in everyone’s favor.

As for those who argue that spaying and neutering is just as cruel, are you prepared to give a home to every kitten born? THere are so many unwanted cats right now. My sister adopted a female that wasn’t spayed. Her cats are indoor only cats, and the other cat she has was a neutered male. This shouldn’t be a problem, right? Wrong. THe female, who normally has NO desire to leave this nice home she found, got out while she was in heat. THey caught her within fiteen minutes, but … she wasn’t alone. Keeping them indoors is not a foolproof method. I don’t feel as strongly about the need for spaying and neutering as I do about the negstive aspects of declawing, but without these surgeries, there would be even more unwanted cats. THere are stray cats everywhere already. I believe in spaying and neutering because it is the better choice. I adopted a cat from a shelter, so I had no choice. THe kitten I’m lanning to adopt will be spayed too. I’m still trying to find homes for her mother and siblings. Two cats is my limit – I’ve lived with three before (my own plus two that i was caring for while their mother was working abroad for a few moths) and I couldn’t give them all all of the attention that they needed.

May 1, 2007 at 11:21 am
(40) sue says:

My cat is getting declawed on Tuesday. My decision. Hate to do it, but doing it anyway. I have had all my cats declawed. Their personalities did not change. They still use a scratching post. We call it using the digit post. I hate when they come home. I hate having done it. But we have tried everything that is on the anti-declawing websites. Long talks with several vets. This works for us. I am happy you’ve found something that works for you. They are indoor cats. They can still climb. They can still stretch. They cannot defend themselves…hence they stay indoors.

June 6, 2007 at 5:01 pm
(41) Shay says:

I didn’t answer the survey because the questions do not fit my situation. I have two cats. My first cat I reluctantly declawed as she was to be an indoor cat, went balistic when I cut her claws and inadvertantly scratched me twice in the eye. Under that same circumstances, I would do it again. I have a second cat that I got as a companion later on and looked for a cat that had already been declawed because I preferred not to declaw another cat but didn’t want to put my first cat at a disadvantage when dealing with her new roomate.
Although I would not automatically declaw a cat, given the severity of the operation, I have to say that my cat suffered no ill effects. Her personality didn’t change. She does not bite, except inadvertantly in play. Although she does not go outside her house is invaded by the occasional mouse which she makes short work of. Furthermore both of my cats knead their paws when they are content so those who say that declawed cats are lacking that important tactile comfort would appear to be wrong. Lastly my cat still ocasionally uses her scratching post which she never used to do when she had claws.

June 21, 2007 at 10:34 pm
(42) Greg says:


I never said that I don’t believe in spaying and neutering. I in fact believe that it is the right thing to do. I said that spaying and neutering isn’t “natural”. Some people are using the argument that getting a cat declawed isn’t “natural”, and therefore is wrong. I was trying to prove the point that what is “natural” isn’t always the best/only solution.

July 13, 2007 at 12:11 am
(43) newcatdaddy says:

i found this site after just getting scratched deeply in my ear from my cat
because she is very skittish.

she was just laying down on the sofa with me as i was petting her like always. suddenly a noise from outside, not loud, just a bump from next door startlesher and she completely freaks out. claws came out and left deep cuts in my ear. i looked in the mirror and saw the dripping blood cascading down the inside of my ear.

this was not the first time something like this has happened to me with this particular kitty(one yr old).
she is one of two cats. her brother is the bigger of the two and he is gentle all the time.


if this happens again i would either declaw or seriously consider gettting rid of her which i don’t want to do.

i’m saying this maybe in anger as the my throbbing ear is still being pressed with a napkin to stop the bleeding.

August 5, 2007 at 4:46 pm
(44) Cat Daddy says:

Instead of declawing, many cats get abandoned and/or euthanised. Most agencies in Canada seem to have a ban on adoption into pro-declawing homes. The result, of course is predictable:

1. We snuff a lot of cats in Canada because fully half of prospective cat owners do not want cats with claws, and

2. People who want de-clawed cats end up buying from breeders, adding even more cats to the overpopulation pool.

There is nothing humane about condemning a procedure that results in preservation of lives. Declawing saves lives… the self-righteous views of agencies against declawing (and believe me they are holier than mere mortals, folks, if you don’t believe it go talk to them at your local petsmart) cost lives.

My moral arithmetic says declawing is less serious than killing.

September 17, 2007 at 10:34 pm
(45) Leopold says:

I’ve read both sides of this debate with quite some interest. I’m taking a neutral stance at this time. One thing that strikes me about the anti-declaw sites out there is this: They are so desperate to make their point they make up all kinds of stuff that just makes my B.S. detector go off. It diminishes their credibility. Why make statements like “95% of declawed cats will never use a litter box again” and more. I’ve known people with declawed cats and that just does not match my experience in any way.

And then there are all the analogies that declawing is the “equivilant” to chopping off your finger or pulling out your teeth. I’ve looked at the procedure and it does not look equivalent to me. It is more serious than trimming a fingernail, but not the equivalent of chopping off a finger (or a paw). Chopping off a finger (or a paw) would be a MUCH more serious procedure. Again, it just diminishes credibility.

Look, there are reasons that people may want to consider not declawing. I think those reasons stand on their own. If it is unnecessary surgery, and it surely does cause some pain to the cat, then why do it?

What I get a kick out of though, are those people that say something like “I have two cats and all I did was this and they stopped scratching”. Well good for you. Unfortunately, not all cats are exactly identical to those two cats.

If a declawing stops a cat from going to a high-kill shelter, should the cat go to the high-kill shelter rather than be declawed? I realize these are serious moral questions that will not be answered in a forum discussion. Philosophers have been debating such moral questions for millennia.

Bottom line: anti-declaw advocates will actually have a stronger argument when they stop exagerating. When I read something without saying to myself “that’s not true, that’s not quite right”, then people can focus on the true arguments. Otherwise, the exagerations just get in the way.

September 20, 2007 at 8:54 am
(46) grace says:

I value my cats over my furniture. When I adopted my kittens I took on a responsibility to care for them the way they deserve to be cared for. I have trained them to use scratching posts- it took a little effort- but, like I said, that’s the responsibility I took on. I have made changes to my home to fit my cats- not changed my cats to fit my home. It’s kind of scary that, at this moment, 14% of voters said they have declawed their cat and would do it again. I just ask these people to please do some research into this procedure before you decide to do it again- for the sake of your kitties.

September 20, 2007 at 9:18 am
(47) grace says:

I’m sorry but anyone who says anything along the lines of “I love my cat, but if it doesn’t stop scratching, I’m going to have to get rid of it.” If you loved your cat you would not consider ‘getting rid of it.’ Like I said before, when you take in a cat you take on a responsibility. If you are going to declaw I would rather see you ‘get rid of the cat’ so someone else can give it the care it deserves.

I’ve been scratched on accident- I was scratched in my eye- am I going to get rid of him? Of course not. I sympathize with people who had the procedure done without knowing what it entails- but it makes me sick to know that people can be so selfish as to have the procedure done, knowing that it is the amputation of the cats ‘fingers’, simply because they deem their precious furniture more important. Get over it. If you think a stupid couch is more important than your living, breathing cat, you don’t deserve to have a cat.

And for whoever said that spay/neutering was for selfish reasons- are you serious?! Do you know how many perfectly healthy cats and kittens are put to sleep every year because there aren’t enough homes for them?! THOUSANDS. By spaying/neutering we are saving THOUSANDS of cats from that fate.

For the person wanting more info on keeping cats from scratching- try the caps over the claws- you’ll have to replace them every 6 weeks or so but they do work. It will just take a little effort on your part. But I know I would rest a lot easier knowing that I put in the effort to solve my cats scratching problems instead of taking the ‘easy’ way out by having it’s ‘fingers’ chopped off.

September 20, 2007 at 2:01 pm
(48) gracy luna says:

I have always had pedigree cats, my current being Julius Caesar, a beautiful and loving Burmese. I have had all of my cats declawed, with no infections or problems; maybe I am one of the lucky ones, but I believe if a cat is “indoors only” they should be declawed. I do not feel I am inhumane to have this procedure done, I just feel it is best for both parties.

September 20, 2007 at 2:06 pm
(49) gracy says:

This is a response to Lawrence #13 – First of all, cats defend themselves with their back claws, not their front claws. The cat was “set upon” because he was an indoor cat with no outside “street smarts!”

September 20, 2007 at 2:09 pm
(50) Jill says:

All nine of my cats are declawed. They behave exactly as if they still had claws, i.e., they continue to scratch on the furniture, carpet, etc. However, there is no need to scold or squirt water at them, they can behave as they like. Never have had litterbox issues or personality changes, either. Also, people who have immune disorders or are diabetic cannot afford to have any type of accidental scratch. With all the animals in shelters being euthanized, I am sure those cats who rather have a happy home than be put to sleep with their claws!

September 20, 2007 at 2:16 pm
(51) Jane Nelson says:

I’ve had declawed cats, but would never do it again!! I had a cat sit and hold it’s paw up and meow, many,many times, like it hurt. I ripped a fingernail off, that hurt!! Can you imagine taking all you fingers off to the first joint? No way!!

I have “ALOT” of cats and only a few claw the furniture, it’s not worth furniture to destroy your cats poor little paws!!

If you want furniture, don’t allow your cat in that room!! Allow them free run when you can watch them!!

September 20, 2007 at 3:14 pm
(52) Aida says:

This is a very hard question to answer. I would never declaw a cat. I can imagine how it makes a cat feel. (You see, I had one of my toes amputated which I liken to declawing.) However I don’t know what to tell the person who has a cat and the choice is declawing or putting the cat to sleep. I believe that owners can work with cats to train them away from damaging furniture, etc. Also another reason is that in the event that a cat escapes, he would be helpless outdoors.

September 20, 2007 at 3:47 pm
(53) Courtney says:

I have two cats, and neither of my cats is declawed. As a pet parent, I took on the responsibility for caring and respecting my cats for what they are: cats. Cats sometimes claw furniture; occasionally they’re going to accidentally scratch their human. This is what happens when you care for cats. If someone is not prepared for this then they shouldn’t have cats.

In many other countries in the world legislation has passed making it illegal to declaw cats, such as England, Germany, Australia, and Japan, etc. Only if it is in the health interest of the cat do these countries allow declawing because it is viewed as inhumane. Perhaps the United States should follow in the same path, but I sincerely doubt it will happen anytime soon, if ever.

In addition to respond to Gracy’s comment #47, cats use both their front and back claws in defense. First a cat will swat an opponent with its front claws, and then lie on its back and use its back claws. There are defensive purposes for front claws.

October 10, 2007 at 6:07 pm
(54) Peter G says:

Declawing cats is extreme barbaric mutilation and has absolutely no place in a civilised society. It is born through veterinary greed and from cat owners showing more concern for their personal belongings than an animal’s life.

No veterinary practitioner in the UK or parts of the European mainland would be allowed by their respective professional bodies to perform such an act and a discerning public would ensure that anybody conducting this would no longer be allowed to practice. The profession here would never contemplate such a prcatice.

There are many South African vets in the UK and I approached my own local practice to ask their view from a South African viewpoint. They were visibly horrified and one added that he had ‘thought that the USA was a civilised society’.

October 13, 2007 at 12:02 pm
(55) FP says:

I had my two indoor cats declawed. We tried several scratching posts, scratch pads, everything, but they continued to rip the curtains, sheets, furniture, etc. They seem fine. Don’t buy into the “don’t declaw” scare.

October 28, 2007 at 12:09 pm
(56) Kathie says:

I wanted to find out what is meant by
‘nail beds’ removed rather than ‘digits’. No one responded to that letter and I wonder if that is possible to do. Is is a less invasive way to do de-clawing? Does anyone else have personal experience with a vet performing this on their cat? Thanks.

October 29, 2007 at 10:29 am
(57) Franny Syufy says:


Removing the nail bed IS removing the first digit. In order to ensure that the claw does not grow back again, the ENTIRE nail bed must be removed, which means amputating the first digit in its entirety.

Franny Syufy

May 2, 2008 at 3:24 pm
(58) Kovitlac says:

I currently work at a vet clinic right now. Declawing is a very practical procedure that allows more people to adopt these beautiful animals. It’s amusing to see this article state that ‘if you don’t know where you stand, please read all this anti-declawing propoganda before coming to an “informed” decision.’ I have seen first-hand what declawed cats go through, and it’s really not that different from spaying/neutering, which is actually much more invasive. To call declawing mutilation makes me laugh – it’s no more mutilation then fixing is. Multilation literally means “removal of a body part.” Don’t be a hypocrite and blantantly show a double-standard.

May 15, 2008 at 6:07 pm
(59) Sue says:

I couldn’t bear the thought of declawing my beloved fur baby. If our situations were reversed, I sure wouldn’t want her, as my Mama, to have the first digits on my hands amputated.

May 15, 2008 at 6:55 pm
(60) Annemarie says:

I’m posting a comment to this discussion because I am appalled by the outrageous statements made by both sides of the arguement.

I can only comment on my own personal experience(s) with the many cats who have come through my home. When my husband and I first moved in together he had a 10 year old brown tabby (with claws) and I had a 2 year old orange tabby (declawed). We did not experience many issues integrating the 2 cats into one household and the orange guy was able to hold his own against his clawed “brother” as cats use their back feet for defending themselves. Even though my husband’s only contribution to furnishing the new home was a TV cabinet and a bed frame we never considered getting the old guy declawed. For 7 years (until his death due to kidney failure) we used SoftPaws on him. We ordered them in funky colours to amuse ourselves although I’m sure he had a hard time explaining the pink ones to the rest of the neighbourhood kitties.

In the mean time 4 other cats have been rescued by us. One adopted our nephew and has since left us for the love of an 8 yr old boy, with her claws. We had the other 3 all declawed after much consideration. Each time a new kitten came home we would watch and try to teach/discipline. We tried what we thought was reasonable – the sprays, scratching posts, squirt bottles etc but when the time came for spay/neutering we made the decision to have them declawed (front paws only) and microchiped all at the same time.

We currently have 4 lovely kitties with us and they are indoors with some outside time but only in the backyard (1 at a time) when we can give them undivided attention.

We never went back to the SoftPaws but if we ever ended up with another cat with claws and they were older than 18 months I would definitely use the nail caps again. I would highly recommend them to any clawed cat owner. If you can’t find them in your local petstore you can order them online. Just be aware that they come in various sizes.

Each time we brought our new kitty to the vet we would ask her what the latest info was (since there were sometimes several years in between). The last time (which was Sept 2007) she gave me an article written by a gentleman from Toronto who is apparently a famous animal researcher/writter (his name eludes me at this moment but I will ask her for the name again and post it later). The article was about how IF a cat ends up at a shelter there is a greater likelihood of a declawed cat getting adopted than a clawed cat. I’m not judging the validity of his work/research and Franny if you like I can probably get a copy of this article and scan it to you for your review. In any case what he said made sense to us and so we made the decision to have the procedure done.

I’m sure that many of you have already judged me. Would your judgement of me be less harsh if you knew that: the orange tabby was my mother’s cat first and it was she who had him declawed; for almost a year we gave that sweet old brown tabby sub-Q fluids, meds and special diet to extend the quality of his life; nurtured 3 cats through the calici virus; managed to get the orange tabby into diabetic remission and have maintained his remission for almost 2 years now.

As someone who has lived both sides of the argument I try to appreciate what each side brings to the table but no matter what side you are on I am most in favour of doing what is right for you and your household – just be aware of what your motivation is in what you choose to do.

May 16, 2008 at 11:16 am
(61) Amy says:

I did it to my cats 13 years ago when I didn’t know better. Never again. One my male cat, 8 years after the declaw, his paw started to bleed. So we took him to the vet and she said his body was rejecting a big chunk of glue from the declaw. So sad and needless. I feel guilty whenever I think about it.

May 18, 2008 at 2:01 am
(62) Yvette says:

The way I look at it, if you don’t want a cat with claws, get a stuffed one (it will last much longer anyway). All four of my cats still have their claws and are just fine the way they are.

June 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm
(63) Maddy says:

Changing Views of Declawing over 30+ Years of Cat Ownership

O.M.G. I have learned over the years why declawing should not be the first option, and overall I agree. When I got my first kitten in 1977, the vet would not spay until she’d passed her first heat. She went in to heat at about 6 months and did NOT come out! For weeks and weeks I had male cats gathering at my front and back doors yowling to my poor frightened baby who climbed the drapes out of fear and frustration. I’d gently disentangle her claws because she couldn’t get down on her own. The young husband screamed plenty about the holes in the new drapes, but I ignored that handily. I was more concerned for my little girl! One day I returned from working a 6 hour shift to find her hanging from the drapes, screaming. She’d obviously been there for some time, and freed one paw, but a claw on the other paw had gotten twisted in the fabric and was bleeding. I took her right to the vet after snipping the drapes to free her without inflicting further injury. The vet finally agreed to spay her (she’d been in heat for 8 weeks!), even though he’d sworn to me before that he could NOT spay her during or before her first heat without dire consequences to her health. Considering the injury she’d done to herself with the drapery, we agreed that it would be best to declaw her at the same time.

After her surgery, he said that her ovaries were loaded with cysts, and it was good that I’d pushed to have her spayed when I did. (eyeroll)

After her recovery she became much more affectionate and loving, but she was always something of a fighter. If she got the hint that an idea was afoot to take her out to the car, she’d hide.in the 6″ wide and 6′ long opening between our king sized waterbed and the wall. When I’d dip her at home, she’d bite me, and determinedly claw at me with her back feet. She never trusted strangers, but immediately accepted each of my babies when I brought them home. She would make friends with our human friends only after many, many carefully supervised visits.
She was a loving kitty who was very happy because I made sure she always got her way. Alas, at 13 she had a severe systemic allergic reaction to a new flea dip, and I held her in my arms while the vet (not that first one!) helped her over the rainbow bridge. The dip, or her reaction to it, had blinded her and damaged her heart.

A few months after losing The Beems in 1990, we visited the county pound to look for a new kitty or two. (I’d always wanted two, but Beems had tried very hard to kill the one kitten I’d tried to introduce to our home.) My then 8 yr old youngest son walked up to the first cat he saw at his eyelevel, and stuck his finger in the cage. Mitzi went right up to his finger and rubbed her cheek on it. She was listed as 4 months old, picked up from the street the day before (not ready to adopt until further examination/observation), and someone had already offered to adopt her as soon as she was ready. My little boy stood by that cage all afternoon, clearly in love. We could only tear him away as they were closing. We signed up for Mitzi “just in case” the first offered home fell through. I’d signed up for another 4-5 month kitten also still under observation. Three days later I got a call at work to come down and pay Mitzi’s adoption fee before the spaying vet got there that day, or they would release her for adoption to the next person on her list. I left work with a rushed explanation and made the 40 minute drive without incident in the half hour time frame I’d been given. I wrote a check and went to visit “my” little Ginger Snap, to find someone else in her cage! She’d been put to sleep that morning. Why? She’d yorked up a hairball, and they decided that meant she wasn’t healthy enough to adopt out. I selected another cat that was “ready to go.” Mookie was listed as 11 mos old, already fixed by a previous owner who surrendered him for reason “couldn’t keep” ??? He was scheduled to be put down that evening if not adopted. He’d been there for months and no one had ever signed his card with an adoption offer. I waited for Mitzi’s spay procedure to finish, boxed them both up and took them straight to my new neighborhood vet for tests, shots, examinations, flea baths and yes, declawing. After leaving my new kittehs, my orders and my check at the front desk I turned toward the door to return to work, the vet came out and saw me stopping to greet his resident office cat, Mickey. He asked if I was afraid of Mickey because he had claws. I said no, I’d never approached him without his permission and he’d never threatened me. He told me that cats didn’t need declawing to be good pets and that he really didn’t like to do that to cats. Then he got called away, and said he would be careful not to “botch” the procedure as he’d often seen and treated such results, and after asking me to reconsider on any future cats I might adopt, he ran in back to handle whatever was needed of him and I returned to work.

It was only when I returned to the vet that evening to pick up my new kittehs, all vaccinated, tested, wormed, dipped and groomed, declawed and medicated (for their kennel cough) that they told me Mookie was probably closer to 5 years than 11 months old. Even then, I’d already known it was cruel to declaw an adult cat that was used to relying on his claws. The deed was already done and there was nothing I could do. I brought them home. Mitzi was kept in my son’s room and Mookie in mine for that first week to adapt and recover. Both seemed very content, though it was reported by my son that Mitzi was quite playful and affectionate, while Mookie was just content to cuddle and eat. They each had their own litterbox (paper only), food, water and human slave. During the second week, each got the run of the rest of the house for an hour or two while the other stayed in their own room. On Saturday of week three when Mitzi was having her turn at run of the house, she came sniffing at my door (I was inside with Mookie). Mookie’s ears and nose perked up, and he sniffed back at her from the inside.

Bracing for anything, I opened the door a crack. They sniffed each other’s noses, and Mitzi nonchalantly slithered in and walked right past him to explore. He turned around to take a swat at her and I saw the shock on his face when he spread his hand and no claws popped out. He looked at his paw in horror, he looked at me and he KNEW I’d done it to him!! He swatted Mitzi anyway, but he ducked fast and far when she swatted him right back. He was more than twice her size, but it was a good a few weeks before he fully realized she was clawless too. Until then, he respected her distances and they seemed to get along without fighting, so they both had run of the house. As he slowly lost his fear of the claws she didn’t have, little wars broke out. War over the food bowls, the litter boxes, the favored perches, war over nothing at all. He was bigger, faster and meaner, but she was smarter and more patient, also damned impertinent. She’d piss him off just for the fun of it. He’d look out the window, she’d capture his magnificent tail. He’d pin her down, she’d bunny kick him in his face and throat. He’d beat her for using a litter box, then lie across the hallway to block her access to all the bedrooms and litter boxes. She shrugged and sat behind the kitchen wall, knowing that sooner or later he’d walk away from his post and look for some food. She sat there in pounce position all afternoon while he fell asleep, got up from his nap and stretched, having forgotten just why he’d napped right there, and strolled toward the kitchen and some food. She jumped out from behind that wall with one paw curled in to a fist and bopped him a roundhouse right upside the head.

I fell off the couch howling with laughter, he just stood there for like five minutes shaking his head hard until it cleared. He was clearly humiliated, a big black longhaired 12 lb.hulk like him, beaten by that little shorthaired 5 lb. tuxedo vixen. Just about that time, we got a call from my older son’s best friend whose long haired calico unexpectedly threw 5 kittens, including another cally like a mini-me of Momma (whom I’d wanted to cat-nap for her resemblance to my newly lost little Beems.) Needless to say, we soon brought home a tiny 1 lb kitten. With the wars between 5-6 lb Mitzi and 12 lb Mookie, I hoped little Dougan would bring out some nurturing instincts, but decided this little one may need her claws to hold her own as she grew. She lived in oldest son’s room for adjustment & protection. She turned out to be such a submissive little lover that the other two ignored her and went on fighting each other for the Top Cat spot. We had no trouble training Dougan to scratch only on the post, using only gentle taps and firm words. She soon forgot she had claws at all. One day they came out instinctively when Mookie tripped over her as he ran by, chasing Mitzi. The sight of her claws scared her more than they scared him or Mitzi. I never saw them come out again, except to be trimmed.

Mookie could not live with the humiliation of being firmly put in 2nd place by Mitzi. He developed some horrid PTSD behaviors which included pulling out all his fur and bad bad litter box strikes. He went on a hunger strike, and starved himself to death. I had a horrible time with the guilt. If I’d known his true age, I would probably have left him at the pound where he’d have been gassed without first having to live the 2-3 years of torture I’d put him through. It would have been kinder to the poor guy. No one set out to torture this poor cat, except perhaps whomever originally dumped him at the shelter for whatever reason (perhaps he was a bully in his first home too?). I blame the well meant lie about his age, which was surely only meant to give him a chance at a home, but got him traumatically declawed and shut in with a tiny cat he could. NOT. dominate. He’d obviously been used to going in and out, which I could not allow as I had a very busy crossroad four houses down from me, plus he was now clawless and defenseless. Even if I’d left his paws alone, he’d surely have gotten away with getting out now and then and soon been road pizza or alligator food. Yes, we lived in South Florida near a lake. It happens to cats and dogs from time to time.

The girls settled in well together after Mookie was “out of their way.” Dougan was only too happy to let Mitzi be the QUEEN. Dougan died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism at the age of four and a half. She ran in to younger son’s room, made a horrid noise and collapsed. I ran home, scooped her up, tried a Heimlich (she was a random chewer) tried to clear her throat which was shut tight and bleeding; I tried rushing her immediately to the vet. Too late, she was gone.

Her mom had been “gifted” to our friends by a licensed breeder of champion Persians. I learned that Persians are given to the malady she died of at about 4 yrs old, especially where there is inbreeding. The breeder that dumped Dougan’s mom on my unsuspecting friend surely knew she was already preggers, but could not be sure which of their studs did the deed. One possibility was her own father, one was an uncle. Yeah, private breeders are always careful and ethical, sure they are. I missed that sweet little girl for a long, long time.

Mitzi dug up all the litter boxes the next day, and finding nothing fresh, realized she was now the ONLY KITTEH IN THE HOUSE, and quickly settled in to happily rule the roost full of only us lowly humans. The kids grew up and out. Mitzi and I became constant companions. (Okay, I was her happy, willing slave.)

Two years ago I had a disabling stroke. During my extended hospital stay, Mitzi was fostered by a real live human angel with two large fully clawed cats of her own. She quickly terrorized the home cats with the force of her personality and voice. She lived with them for 8 months, and they never dared try to put her little old 6 lb self in her place long enough to find out how defenseless she really was. She got to visit me a few times near the end, and was not allowed to suffer long when her final illness (a rapidly growing pancreatic cancer) became painful. My only regret for Mitzi is that I couldn’t be there to hold her myself as she went gently over the rainbow bridge with the vet’s help. She was a cat of infinite resource and sagacity. Two months after that, I was finally released and went to live with my daughter and her family of husband, 3 little girls, one lover of a big dog and one little hide-all-the-time, unfriendly, fully clawed scaredy-cat.

Last September, we moved to North Carolina, following DSIL’s job opportunity. The local culture is very harsh on cats and dogs. They don’t fix or vaccinate their pets here, and they let them run free all over the place breeding at will. Wanna talk about IN-HUMANE?? Drive down a few roads here in Fayetteville. If you love cats or dogs, it will surely make you cry.

I decided I’m ready to live on my own again, and spent a few weeks searching for a suitable apartment that would allow me to rescue a new kitteh of my own. I knew I’d never find another Mitzi, but my lap was empty and lonely long enough. Every single complex that allowed cats REQUIRED they be declawed! Sheesh, people abandon cats and dogs all over the place here just to avoid the vet bills associated with normal care like shots and sterilization. Plus, military families get transferred here all the time, only to find out too late that the standard rental rule is “one pet, under 30 lbs., fixed, vaccinated and DECLAWED IF FELINE” yikes.

A tiny black and white kitten followed my daughter home from walking the kiddos to the school bus at the beginning of October. She was clearly starving, abandoned, and had one eye swollen shut. We fed her, cleaned her up a bit, and she happily let us love on her. I took her to the vet. Had her wormed, vaccinated, her eye was scarred not punctured and cleared up quickly on antibiotics. The next day I found a handicap accessible apartment with kitteh allowed and NO requirement to declaw. We moved right in, me, my Baby and all her new toys. The only thing she ever clawed was my jeans as she’d climb up to my lap. Good thing, because while I can hobble around my apartment, catching a running cat is out of the question. Now she’s big, I can’t even pick her up as only one hand works; she scootches away from me with no trouble. She comes if she wants to when called. Okay, MOST of the time she runs to me when I call her, and follows me around like a puppy. When she was 4 months old and DD came to drive her to the vet for her spay appointment, I showed my daughter my arms and legs. We agreed, the claws had to come out, as I take blood thinners and will for the rest of my life to prevent further strokes.

Capturing and holding a squirming kitteh for a nail trim or to put caps on is out of the question for me. The vet was consulted regarding the procedure, and agreed to make sure her pain was adequately managed. The vet is across town, near my daughter’s house. Gas costing what it does, DD took kitteh and I stayed home. Two days later, she brought her back from the vets with her antibiotics and pain meds pre-measured in little needle-less syringes. I felt a little guilty when my BabyGirl ran to ME for protection from all she’d been through, but I made a big fuss over comforting her and caring for her boo boos. Baby would sit in my lap, where I could pin her butt under my good elbow, pull her lip down with my pinky and squirt the meds in her mouth at the same time, all with the same hand. I made her a clean litter box, filled with lots of soft clean toilet paper (easier for me than cutting up newsprint with one working hand). She healed better and faster from her surgeries than I did from her remaining unintentional scratches. She is sweet, happy and very loving and playful. She runs and hides from my exuberant granddaughters when they visit, because she is NOT used to being unceremoniously picked up for a cuddle. She’s used to walking over for a cuddle when she feels like it. It’s all a matter of respecting what the kitteh wants! The kiddos are learning. DD took in another abandoned stray kitten, who soon threw a litter of her own. Two of the four now weaned kittens have been fixed, vaccinated and re-homed. One to go and the last will be fixed and kept, along with her now fixed momma. Sometimes I feel like we’re the only real human beings in this crazy town.

My Baby Girl still uses her front paws to pull herself up to the narrow windowsill in my living room. Or she did when her boyfriend used to visit every evening. I found him looking like a pizza at the side of the road 3 weeks ago, only recognizable by his front paw. Now she only sits in the window if she hears something and has to investigate. She used to sit there all day long waiting for him. He was not a stray, he lived here in my complex. I’d seen him sitting inside his own window during the daytime. Evenings, he was allowed to roam.

Declawing? Not always necessary, but sometimes needed. When done, great care must be taken; from decision, through surgery and after care. Me? If I couldn’t have it properly done, I’d have kept my Baby Girl and born the constant bleeding. Before you unilaterally condemn the procedure, please think how many more poor kitties would die abandoned on our streets and roads or ‘humanely’ put down in shelters for lack of willing homes.

So, please, please, please! If you must pass laws, pass laws to keep fully sexed cats only in the hands of licensed breeders, and govern the breeders! From what I see, more pet cats are maimed and killed by cars than hurt by being declawed.

I’m so sick and tired of the preaching that fills every online cat community I visit! Yeah, let your cats out because NO car EVER comes within 2-3 miles of YOUR home, right? Then subject ME to your preaching about how cruel I am to my pampered, loved and happy baby because I declawed her rather than bleed all the freakin time or abandon her under pressure from my own doctors and family.

Try education, not unilateral condemnation. Save you preaching for those who choose to attend your church. You are NOT promoting more humane treatment of the cat population in general. Don’t take my word for it, visit a few ‘shelters.’ Even the so-called no-kill shelters here in the southern US have all become Auchwitz for cats and dogs alike.

My BabyGirl would surely have lived a short, miserable street life before dying alone, hungry, cold and unloved. She sure wouldn’t be pudgy, shiney and happily purring in her sleep, stretched out in my lap with her face tucked under my arm.

I’ve rarely ever known of an inside/outside cat who died of old age. I’ve known a few who’ve reached a respectable age, but still met their maker under the wheels of a speeding car. Oh, my cousins’ cat was eaten by a coyote at 15-16 years old; she lives out in the country where it’s ‘safe’ for kittehs to run free. Her new cat is kept inside and pampered along with her dogs.

July 19, 2008 at 9:41 pm
(64) Paula says:

We adopted two kittens and thought about if we should have them declawed. I kept going back and forth about it until I took my children in for a check up at their doctor. Once my girls informed the doctor we had adopted two kittens the doctor turned to me and said “please have your kittens declawed as soon as possible” The reason, if they scratch your children they can cause serious infections. I love my kittens but my kids come first. So they we’re declawed, they were playing the same day they had the surgery and are doing great, for our family I know this was the right thing to do.

October 14, 2008 at 7:38 pm
(65) questioning says:

I continue to read post after post about the selfishness of declawing. I totally agree that the procedure has serious risks, but what if you are left with no other choice? My job requires me to live on site, and have been fighting for a year to have him live with me. The only way I can keep my cat is to have him declawed. I have visited him while a friend (who can no longer look after him) has helped me care for him. I only have two choices. To send him to a shelter or to have the procedure done and it breaks my heart. I just want to say that it is not always as cut and dry as some might think.

October 14, 2008 at 9:12 pm
(66) brad says:

ok people.
i understand that its called inhumane.
and i understand where people are coming from with their furniture, beds etc.
i have had one cat before,
he was delawed…
its was my familys first one,
and we werent sure wether to do it or not.
but we did.

but sadly, he passesd about a years ago.

and now i have a new kitten who was neutered and declawed at the same time, and he comes home on thursday.

i believe he will be perfectly fine,
my old cat scratched even when he didnt have claws.
and there was no damage done to anything

unless it is an outdoor cat,
its ok.

and when people say how they get out and get hurt.

November 20, 2008 at 8:43 pm
(67) Judy says:

This has always been a very hotly debated topic in my household.
I have only ever declawed one of my many cats over the years. She was a rescue who had been in ‘custody’ of various places for over a year. Sometimes she’d be adopted, but very soon she would be back.
I fell in love with her and brought her home. She had serious issues with trust…for good reason, and it took 2 full years before she would sit on my lap or allow me to pick her up for longer than a few seconds.
This cat totally destroyed my very expensive new furniture unbeknownst to me. The back of the sofa had been scratched down to the wood framing. I was heartbroken. It had taken me years to save up and make this purchase and I was so proud of myself.
I tried to break her of the habit. Most of my furniture ended up covered in tin foil or that sticky tape from the pet store. No deterrent to her whatsoever. Now the loveseat is ruined and I’m not a very happy camper. BUT I love her to pieces.
Yes, I had her declawed. There was no way I could have her continue to destroy my things. There was also no way I could return her to a shelter. It was the lesser of two evils.
I bawled like a baby when I took her in for the procedure.
She came out of the surgery fine….I did all the aftercare I was supposed to do and we never ever had a problem for the next decade. She was euthanized 3 years ago and I still get tears in my eyes (like right now) when I think of her.

November 26, 2008 at 1:50 pm
(68) MeowMeow says:

I am against declawing, and the reason is quite simple. It is an unnecessary, often painful procedure that has NO benefit for the cat. If you are adamant about keeping your furniture in tiptop shape, and you are willing to dismember parts of your cat so you don’t get a few scratches, you should either get a cat that has already been declawed, or you shouldn’t have a cat at all. I think it’s ridiculous that people defend hurting an animal for the owner’s convenience. There are medical risks with the procedure, and even if they are low, it doesn’t matter, you can’t put someone you love, a part of your family, through something like that.

Also, my cat has claws and I had trouble for a while with her scratching the mattress (I wouldn’t mind, but it’s not my mattress). I had not intention of getting her declawed but I couldn’t get her to use her scratching post, even when I put catnip on it. Then I bought one of those round things with the cardboard scratching thing in the middle and the ball going around it, and as soon as I brought it home she started scratching on it. It was awesome, I think part of it is she can dig her claws deep into it, and the scratching post has sisal rope. Once in a while she’ll scratch on something else, but the cardboard is almost all she uses.

I suggest alternative scratching things like that, try the caps, trim their nails. It’s not that hard.

December 8, 2008 at 1:08 pm
(69) msm says:

My cat is in surgery now for declawing. She was found as a baby in our garage and we kept her and bottle fed her instead of taking her to the pound. We have 2 dogs and I feared for her safety, but the problem is the reverse. Our dogs and my sons(12 and 15) are stalked, attacked and ruthlessly scratched by Grace. She bites and attacks us while we are sleeping. while I know Grace is “playing” it is a little ridiculous for us to be scratched up daily. Just last night she was grooming me while I was sleeping and then pounced on my head with her claws all dug into my face. Just like that scene from Alien. YES-I thought she was locked out of my room. We’ve tried it all. Spray bottle, nail caps, scratch posts, etc. Enough is enough. We are deicated, loving rescue pet owners and will not reliquish Grace for any reason. My neighborhood is filled with abandoned cats. We are doing what is necessary to keep Grace and keep the peace. So have your fit, but we would rather have Grace AND be safe from her attacks.

January 26, 2009 at 2:22 pm
(70) Faye says:

We rescued Coco off the street when she was four months old. We did not attempt to train her and had her declawed for our own selfish convenience. She never bled or had any other problems as a result of the surgery. She had free reign both inside and outside. She climbed trees, and laid dead moles, mice and full size rabbits at our door. She was never attacked and never backed down when confronted by another cat. I’m sure, in many people’s eyes, we made a lot of mistakes. However, we spent hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars on her as she grew old and developed health problems. When we had her euthanized at age 18, our vet said there had never been a cat more loved and cared for. Her ashes rest on our piano in a ceramic box hand crafted by my 20 year old daughter who was 18 months old when we rescued Coco. I miss her terribly. Would she have had a better quality of life had we not declawed her and were constantly fretting about our “stuff”–I doubt it.

April 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm
(71) HooksSplinters says:

Hm, every post I read that has the “Declawing is inhumane” bit in it ALWAYS has the same content. Really, you guys need to quit spilling the same things you read in the Anti-declawing sites. I’ve read them, and they primarily say the Same things over and over and over.

With me, I had a domestic black short hair cat who was declawed in the front when I was just a baby. But she was declawed prior to my birth, and I don’t remember if my parents had it done or not. But, that cat was an outdoor cat. You could not keep her inside for any length of time. Did the declawing hinder her way of life any? No, she’d climb perfectly vertical trees to catch robins and starlings. She’d attack our Lab and our German Shepard. She’d run up behind me and pull my diaper down then run away. She killed small mammals and rodents with the same agility and ease that intact cats have. Her way of life was great. How she died? She was in the fan of a truck when it started. Unfortunate, but I’ll point out that her death was not caused by an animal, and not due to being without her claws.

The cat’s primary defense is not their front claws. They use their front claws to grasp onto an object or prey, then proceed to BITE and RAKE with the back claws. That’s how most cat’s kill, by biting the prey animal.

I can list a few good reasons, aside from the furniture deal that most of you are caught up on.

1. Cats with claws are more often placed in shelters due to not being allowed in apartments. Now, don’t go on the “It’s my baby, I’d just find another place.” That’s unreasonable, especially when it comes to money, distance, and availability. It’s a sad truth, but it happens. It’s easier, and more practical, to have your cat declawed, which allows for it to come to a new home with it’s beloved person, safe from a shelter.

2. Diseases. Cat claws, the front ones especially, carry bacteria on them. People who have immunodeficiency illnesses can not afford to be scratched by their cat, even in play. Also, Children are at high risk of getting very ill from suffering a cat scratch wound. Infection always follows a scratch, even when treated immediately.

3. Claws getting tangled. I read a post in here that a kitten had gotten her claw tangled in fabric. That is highly possible, especially with rugs, and some scratching posts that are made out of fabric or carpeting. Cat’s claws are Hooked shaped, and if you miss a trimming, or if it has a rough edge to it, it can become entangled by the fabric, causing your cat serious pain, and even injury as the cat struggles to free itself. I’ve seen a cat break her toe from struggling.

4. Trauma to cats. Trimming nails are not as simple as many people imply. If your cat tolerates it, you are one of the lucky few. Most cats will not, and when cornered, and scruffed, or held while it’s claws are being snipped, they become stressed out, frantic, and could hurt the person trimming, or hurt itself. I’ve trimmed the claws on various cats, from domestic to exotic, and NONE have taken kindly to it.

Now, for people who experienced something wrong with the declawing, obviously the procedure was done incorrectly, or you did not take the proper after care of the animal. Sterilizing the wounds, and sterilizing the area of it’s housing. After surgery care is CRITICAL. Also, check out your vet. What is their experience? Was this done more than 10 years ago, then more than likely it’s not the best job. Remember, medicine is always improving. What is simple and well versed today, probably wasn’t 10 years ago.

So, What needs to be done are sufficiant articles on the cat’s life after declawing so people can make an educated choice. All the Anti-declawing propaganda is NOT appropriate literature, as it does not raise any benefits, be it for the owner, only stating Cons. It’s inflammatory, and not backed by any scientific evidence. To me, it looks like it’s made up of Animal Rights propaganda.

Please, please, please, if you are looking for answers, ask a vet.

May 27, 2009 at 10:32 pm
(72) nicole says:

I have to say,I have 17 cats in all..All were rescued from the streets,and all at differant times.Most were kittens and even had a couple of females who were pregant..Out of all our cats,7 are declawed which we did this to them.The other 10 are not declawed.I will never do this to another Cat as long as I live..It robs them of their gift from God,A gift God gave them to defend and protect themselves and also catch their food to survive in this crewl world if they are left alone wondering our streets unloved..I was like Many here on this thread,Thinking of my fruniture,and the cost I payed for it ect..Yes it was reuioned,but it was my fault,I didnt get the scratching post in time and when I did I never worked with the cats to use it..(Training like one trains with the litter box,You all know what im talking about)So what happened next is,I blammed the cats and took them all seven at differant times and had them declawed..I will admit after doing so,and watching the behaviour of them and the other 10 cats that never got declawed Ive seen a diffeance in both..The one declawed are depressed and seem to be in more pain then the rest..They seem unhappy and saddened..I wish I could redo what ive done to them,but I cannot..There eyes compared to the 10cats I have that are not declawed ,the 7 cats are and have seemed unhappy.

June 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm
(73) makeworldgoaway (Mary) says:

I like how words like “amputated” are used, get real. I have had cats for 40 years, all declawed, none had an amputation performed. Their nails were removed. Not one, NOT ONE ever had a problem (we’re talking approximately 15 cats) with pain, post surgery problems, bleeding…nothing. They have all been indoors only cats, I would not declaw a cat that went outside. None of them had psychological problems, they still “sharpened their claws” on lots of stuff. They all led happy, fun lives & I was a good Mom to them. Including the 2 current darlings. Have your opinion, but I get real tired of people acting like anyone who has it done is a monster.

July 17, 2009 at 11:36 am
(74) Firsttimeowner says:

I would like to say that as a moderator of a information website Franny should not be onesided but should remain neutral, even though you do not agree with “declawing” it is not your obligation, nor your purpose to guide people in one direction or another but to provide actual neutral facts about declawing the good and the bad. Your stand point is one sided and is unfair to your readers becasue people come here for information and if they dont find what they are looking for here they will move on until they find what they are looking for, so for the sake of about.com get your facts and figures about “declawing” and keep your opinion to yourself for the sake of information and learning that is what you should be doing.

August 13, 2009 at 2:39 am
(75) murphc4417 says:

I JUST had my 6yr old mitten-pawed female kitty, Chloe, spayed and declawed. It was a heart-rending decision but in the end it came down to health issues for her. She and her sister-cat, Izzabelle, have really never had many issues with clawing furniture. I have always cut their nails and Izzy does just fine. Chloe, on the other hand, had several flat nails and other nails that wouldn’t retract. While she would let me cut her back claws, she would go through the roof when I would cut certain super-sensitive nails on her front paws. She even once had a non-retractable toenail get yanked from the nailbed. I finally decided to get her declawed. I hated to do it even though, medically, it was a sound decision.

September 5, 2009 at 11:33 am
(76) jan says:

I’ve just never had a problem with declawed cats…my current rescue is a four paw declaw. Now I would never four paw declaw on my own as its really not needed. I guess if she has an issue..its that she doesnt cover too well in the litter box..but she certainly doesnt avoid it. For all this pain everyone says they are in…she bounces around just like any other cat-four ft vertical up to the window sill.

My gut says that problems occur when its done poorly. I’m curious though-for all that are against it…are you also against removing dewclaws from dogs?

September 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm
(77) Franny Syufy says:

Jan asked: I’m curious though-for all that are against it…are you also against removing dewclaws from dogs?

I can only speak for myself, but these are my thoughts: I would not consider *routine* declawing of dogs, nor “de-barking” under almost any circumstances. However, as with some polydactyl cats, the dewclaws must be removed because they become injured by snagging on carpeting, and in some instances can interfere with the normal gait of the cat.

October 27, 2009 at 6:16 am
(78) Joanne says:

I would NEVER mutilate my cats like that. It is cruel.

March 9, 2010 at 11:31 pm
(79) Andie says:

I would love to know if all the anti-declaw people are vegetarians? Wouldn’t it be hypocritical to be against declawing a cat but have no problem eating a cow, pig, chicken who was KILLED not just surgically altered to provide that meal.
I AM a vegetarian and only use products not tested on animals, but I chose to declaw my agressive cat after almost getting a claw in my eye because if I didn’t I knew I’d have to give him up and I couldn’t because I’d already fallen in love with the little devil and because I know he would most likely be killed if brought to a shelter. So I did it to save his life along with what I do to save the lives of all other animals.

March 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm
(80) Susan Garvey says:

I had three young children when we took in a stray kitten. He “swiped” at my kids many times. I was afraid he might actually do some damage. I took him to be declawed. I new he would never be an outdoor cat and if I took him to a shelter he would probably be put down. That was 18 years ago and, God Bless our baby, he is still vibrant, healthy and happy!!!! HOWEVER, he did get out a few times and since he was not able to protect himself, he contracted the cat form of aids (by the way not transferable to humans)! For some reason it never effected his health. But, we were just unbelievably lucky. I would try to train any kitten now, instead of declawing. Most cats would not be as lucky as mine. Just get one of those nail smoothers and keep their nails very short if you can. But, if you must declaw, it is better than having them be put down.

April 29, 2010 at 7:20 pm
(81) Lindsey says:

So, I understand and agree that declawing a cat should not be done for convenience but my case is not for convenience. I have a cat that I adopted from a lady on craigslist who no longer could care for him. Looking back, that was not the best idea but what is done is done. She will not take him back. She told me he was great with children. Well, it turns out she was a liar. The cat is NOT good with children and hates my husband. If my husband goes near the cat, he hisses and swipes at him. If my 3 year old daughter is near him and makes a quick movement, he will scatch her. Today, he scratched her eyelid right above the eye. She was bleeding and crying for 5 minutes. This is the third scratch on her face in 2 weeks. I have called 8 shelters in my area and they are all “at full capacity.” Also, I do not feel comfortable giving him to a neighbor or friend because of his aggression towards my children. My only other options are to put him down or get him declawed. Under different circumstances, I would never declaw a cat but I can’t risk another scratch like the one today to my daughter. I would be happy to hear alternatives. If it was my furniture, I would take the time to train and redirect his behavior but my daughters face looks like she got in a fight with a feral cat. What if the cat scratched an inch lower, that would have been her eye!! So, please, let me know what else I can do and I won’t get him declawed. But otherwise, that is my next option.

May 2, 2010 at 10:14 pm
(82) Sandy says:

I am against declawing cats/kittens also. I have done rescue in my home for 15 years and never had a problem with furniture ruined. It takes proper training from day one. I constantly see so many declawed cats that are put up for adoption because owners can no longer care for them. It’s not something you think about when you decide to get them declawed. This creates problems as finding homes for these declawed cats are very hard as most cat lovers have a multiple cat household that are not declawed. As I read earlier, it is very hard to bring them into these homes as they cannot defend themselves. Another thought—-take a look at the declawed cats up for adoption. They are all beat up..that should tell you how hard it is for the cats to adapt and fit in..I agree that don’t have cats if you have to declaw because of worrying about your property..

May 29, 2010 at 9:42 pm
(83) Linda says:

I am completely against. The reasons? Too many to list here, but you can read some of them here: http://catblogz.blogspot.com/2010/05/actual-facts-about-declawing.html

May 30, 2010 at 8:56 am
(84) John White says:

We have several cats over the years we have declawed a total of 16. All our cats were strays that would not have made it more than 4 or 5 years if you believe the statistics about in home vs outside cats life spans. I believe it because we feed some strays that have remained outside and they do seem to have a shorter life span than our indoor cats. There is just so much that can harm them outside.

Maybe our vet just did a better job but the only thing we noticed different was that they couldn’t climb the curtains like they did when they had claws. They could still jump up on ledges, had normal gaits and seemed no different than before, they still use the same motion they always used when “sharping their claws” but they just didn’t have any claws, but they didn’t seem to notice.

If we were going to take in the cats and bring them into the home it was something we felt had to be done, because of the damage to everything in the house.

I do want to say for the first 4 or 5 years of having cats we were really against doing it but it has been 20 years now and what we have seen is that the cats are happy here and we are able to keep things with out having scratch marks and no cloth or leather objets have been destroyed.

June 20, 2010 at 2:57 pm
(85) cecilia says:

about 7 years ago a small crying ball of fur adopted me. her name was smokey. she was beautiful. she had 7 claws on her right front paw. one of the claws was actually growing into the pads of her foot as it grew from her “wrist”. we trimmed it almost daily (smokey was not a fan) but no matter what there would be blood on our carpet from this claw digging into her paw. so sadly we took her in and after convincing the vet to examine the claw by telling her that we did in fact NOT want to declaw this cat. the vet decided to remove that one claw. it was horrible to see her in so much pain. the vet actually cried but said when it healed it would be better for smokey. it was. this is the only time i have ever done this to one of our babies and would never do it again. never never NEVER. But after a few months and a lot of crying from both me and the cat. she healed and was better for it. she was not completely declawed just the one weird one. about 2 years later our home was broken into and the burglar left the door open and she got out and lost an argument with a car.
we miss her dearly and our two other cats are happy that we do not declaw.
as of today none of our furniture has died or cried out in pain from scratching.

August 22, 2010 at 11:41 am
(86) Paula says:

Declawing is MUTILATION!!! and should be prosecuted. How would YOU like the tips of your fingers cut off. Get real and understand what this means.

November 1, 2010 at 7:36 am
(87) Carolina1000 says:

I have an indoor domestic cat and I will never ever do that to her. She is who she is and of course she will scratch on furniture and anything else in the house, that’s part of their nature – I trained her not to do that and she is very good in understanding me when I talk to her. She was 6 weeks old when I received her as a gift and that’s the day I started training her. Her name is Daisy and she’s good at listening, your’s can be too.

November 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm
(88) kteach says:

I have lived with indoor-outdoor cats my entire life. Every one of them was declawed when they were kittens. They have never had any behavior or health problems. They hunt, hold their own in kitty altercations (and one will even go after dogs to ‘protect’ us) and climb trees.
There is a cat overpopulation problem and many people will not take in cats because of the destructiveness they can cause with their claws. If there is a choice between an abandoned-soon-to-be-euthanized-at-the-shelter cat or a declawed cat, then I am 100% pro-declaw.

December 4, 2010 at 11:58 am
(89) Jan G. says:

For all of you people that are for declawing, I think you are of the notion that cats are not trainable, and you are too lazy to work with them to achieve the desired results (clawing what is desirable, and leaving furniture alone). We have 5 cats, which have been worked with when young to use cardboard scratchers. These are very inexpensive, and can be placed anywhere in the house. I have always used these, and gave two with each kitten purchase to the new owner (when I raised Sphynx cats). Declawing is barbaric, and an unnecessary “procedure”. It has no benefit for the cat, unlike altering. Soft Paws and other nail caps that are available are super. We use these as well. It just takes a little effort on the owner’s part to trim nails and apply the caps. Why do people work with their DOGS so much to get desired behaviors, but the poor CATS just get rushed off to the vet for mutilation? Like dogs, cats need to be worked with when they are babies. I will rejoice when the day arrives that declawing will be seen as animal cruelty in the United States as it has been in many other countries.

December 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm
(90) Jan G. says:

If you INSIST on declawing your cat, please look in to the tendonectomy procedure. The claws and P3 remain intact, but the claws themselves cannot be extended. The claws will still need to be trimmed on a regular basis. The cat will not be able to scratch, but the feet themselves will not be as badly mutilated. Also, why have ALL FOUR PAWS declawed? The poor cat can’t scratch an itch!! How frustrating this must be!! Again, I will be so glad when this mutilation is banned in the United States. I mean, we are supposed to be a civilized nation. I see nothing civilized in mutilation.

December 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm
(91) Jan G says:

I also am against ear cropping, tail docking, and debarking of dogs. But I feel all dogs as well as cats, should be spayed or neutered.

January 12, 2011 at 1:25 am
(92) Shirley says:

It is really hard to know what the right answer is because it’s not like they can tell you, no matter what we think we know. My first, who was 20 when she passed, was not declawed and it was the only issue that created a problem for us. It was heartbreaking to watch her in her latter years, constantly becoming stuck because she couldn’t get free of her claws and needing my help. And I did get every so-called claw relieving thing out there. Trying to clip her claws stressed her (and as a result me) so much that it was the only time she fought me. When I brought the next two little ones in, I made the decision to declaw. Thankfully, I think I have the best hospital and they put full casts on them, kept them for four days, kept them on painkillers and I could vist and hold them. All I can say is that they both had happy lives and there weren’t any repercussions that I know of. And no stress for any of us from having to hold them down while I tried to do something that they didn’t want to happen. They have both also since passed but I believe in my heart that I did the best for them and I don’t really think they had big complaints, since it was me that was wrapped around their paws. I don’t as yet have another little one, I’m sure they’ll find me when the time is right, but I’m definitely leaning towards doing declawing again, as long as I have the same proper medical care.

January 12, 2011 at 5:01 am
(93) Shirley says:

OK, so I admit that I didn’t read all of the comments before I put up my first posting. I also admit that I have a warped sense of humour but is anyone else out there besides me cracking up that there seem to be a lot of people out there who don’t mind living in a home that looks like it was decorated by Early Salvation Army?

On a more serious note, I have had to say goodbye to three. First one, Trouble, not declawed. Second two, Saxy and Katie, declawed. Despite all of the medical attention and hospital stays, they chose to pass on at home. They all found a very special way to say goodbye and I held each of them in my arms while they took their last breath. Clawed, declawed, it didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was our history, the time we had together (for which I will be eternally grateful), all the laughs and all of the love. I fault no one for making the choice that they do, just make sure you always base your decision on what you truly believe is best for them.

May 11, 2011 at 2:23 am
(94) Alexandra says:

@ Maddy- Cats that are raised to be inside outside cats rarely get hit by cars. Dogs are another story. Unless you live by a highway they are fairly savvy. We have had inside outside cats live to 25 years old. Last cat died of cancer at 18. Declawing is crueler than spaying or neutering for one it’s not a noticeable change to be spayed. It doesn’t effect your ability to walk, jump or fight. And the fact you added a non declawed cat to your brood makes me sick. However you say they got along I doubt it. Everything you wrote seems to be a long winded justification for why you not a monster. But you are one. Your vet pointed it out clearly. You had your cats flea-dipped and vaccinated right after a spay? All in one day. You shouldn’t have kids or cats. People like you are the reason I would hate to be a vet. If you don’t like claws get a dog not a cat.

September 16, 2011 at 8:02 am
(95) CSulli says:

These polls are never easy. I would never declaw but did for medical reasons of my cat. Do I approve of it? No. I have 6 cats who are not declawed but I have one who had to be anesthesized every time she had her nails trimmed. Eventually, my vet told me that it was animal cruelty to subject her to constant anesthesizing every couple of months so I made the decision and it was more painful for me then it was for her after her recovery period. She is much more affectionate and loving than she was before, because her feet don’t hurt from my waiting too long to have her nails trimmed, to knocking her out in order to do it.

September 16, 2011 at 10:16 am
(96) LK says:

We must stop calling it declawing because it is an amputation. The bone, tendons, nerves and ligaments are removed along with the claws. I have three cats, my son has two. His cats were scratching furniture and mine were not. Why? Because I took the time to train my cats where scratching was acceptable and where it was not. It is like raising a child. Some people don’t know how to say No and some know how to teach. In my opinion, there is never a reason to mutilate an indoor cat. Not only for the brutal nature of the procedure, but because of all the changes that will occur to a cat’s body because of the removal of its toes. It will shift its weight; it can’t attach the claws to a post and stretch the muscles of its shoulders, back and legs. It will become weaker over time and the owner will NEVER know that their cat is in pain. Cats are stoic and have been taught by evolution to never show pain or weakness. To show anything but courage would surely result in an invitation to its predators. My furniture is intact and beautiful. Shut your bedroom door if your cat is destroying your things. Cover your upholstery until your cat is trained. My cats started destructive scratching right away but I calmly and lovingly led them to the proper areas where scratching was allowed with treats, praise, catnip and preventative measures to keep them away from the “good stuff”. The rest of the world is wrong and we are right? The USA is about the only country that allows declawing and I hope that someday it will be illegal and punishable by law. And don’t put too much value on your vet’s opinion. Declawing nets thousands of dollars each year that they are never going to give up.

September 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm
(97) Kathleen Hickman says:

I’m a former veterinary technician, and every reason I have to hate declawing comes to me courtesy of working in the vet field and witnessing all the trauma and complications associated with declawing that so many vets do not tell their clients about. There are numerous more humane ways to deal with a cat’s normal and natural scratching behavior than to amputate all the toes. There is *never* a good reason to declaw a cat.

September 17, 2011 at 1:04 am
(98) Bjorn Woodpile says:

Would you “de-tooth” a dog? Even if it stopped her from chewing on your furniture?

Heck, she could eat soft food. She’d still love you and play and let you pet her.

Those would be sure signs you’d done the right thing, right?

I can’t understand why people who don’t want cats acquire cats, and then try to mutilate them into something utterly un-catlike.

Get a bunny.

January 2, 2012 at 11:28 am
(99) JOE says:

Instead of the emotional nonsense and supposed facts given by the anti declaw camp how about some real numbers. According to all the sources I could find, it appears that in the United States that approximately 25 percent of cats are declawed. Today”s figures on Petfinder within 100 miles of where I live there are 12,841 cats for adoption from rescue groups, the SPCA and other non breeding sources. There are only 424 of these cats that are declawed. To be even more fair I have not included any cats listed as babies.

The anti-declaw camp would have you believe that declawing causes permanent physical and emotional problems making it more likely for declawed cats to be given up, but facts do not lie.I believe that any cats are given up or abandoned because of their claws.

I also think people should be ashamed of letting their pets outside to roam at will. The dangers are many. Also, cats are a non native species in the USA and to let them hunt the native species is just wrong.

I have two declawed cats that I love very much and have provided me with much love and companionship since my wife passed away a couple of years ago. My Cecil and Peaches are wonderful with no bad habits at all.

Would my next cat be declawed? You betcha.

January 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm
(100) Franny Syufy says:

“Would my next cat be declawed? You betcha.”

I just have one question, Joe. WHY?

January 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm
(101) JOE says:

Because they have the complete freedom to act as cats. My Peaches loves to sit on you and knead for hours all the while purring her heart out without ever scratching and having to make her stop until she is ready. Both her and my Cecil love to scratch at things and since there is no damage I do not have to try to modify this natural instinct, Neither of them has tried to test their limits using bad behavior. They both use the litter box religiously. As I said before I lost my wife and they are my immediate family. They are well behaved when I have people over whether they know them or not. They NEVER bite. I do not let them outside without a leash. I believe that cats should never e let outside on their own. They are extremely well adjusted and my Cecil is curled up right against me now purring his little heart out as I am writing this response. I do not attack folks that do not believe in declawing. If that is how they feel I respect that. I just do not believe that some of them should take a holier than thou attitude and try to tell me I should not have a cat. My cats are my life and are wonderful family members. I also know many people that have cats that have their claws including one that attacked my wife seriously scratching her. Many of these people spend a lot of time monitoring instead of peacefully coexisting with their cats. Even though 25 to 33 percent of cat owners have declawed cats only about three percent of the cats up for adoption on Petfinder are declawed and I am leaving kittens out of the equation. Please lets stop the attacks and know that people who have declawed cats are not stupid or uncaring towards our loved pets.

January 2, 2012 at 10:30 pm
(102) JOE says:

I forgot to mention, my cats are front declawed only.

January 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm
(103) Franny Syufy says:

Joe, I appreciate the fact that your cats are front-declawed only, and that you do not allow them outside unattended. I also agree that remarks such as “you should not have a cat” are out of place. I tried that many years ago, and found that the old adage about “catching more flies with honey” is particularly true in the case of sensitive subjects such as declawing. Attacting those with declawed cats only forces them to “brag” about their accomplishments, and reasonable discussion goes downhill rapidly.

On the other paw, I believe that the majority of people with declawed cats were completely unaware of the exact nature of the surgery. I have no statistics to prove that belief; only emails and comments I’ve read on the Cats Forum and elsewhere. Declawing is so routine with many veterinarians, that it likely doesn’t even occur to them or their office staff to discuss what is done: that the cat’s first toe joints will be amputated, either by a guillotine-type instrument, or by a laser. Many years ago, I attempted to get a law enacted in California (my state), which would require a three-day “disclose and wait” period before a cat owner could commit to a declaw procedure. The aide of the state legislator I approached, immediately contacted the state veterinary association president, who “thumbs downed” the proposal, and it went no farther.

That hasn’t stopped me for advocating for cats toes, and I will continue to do so as long as I live, in every venue I find available.

January 14, 2012 at 10:18 pm
(104) JOE says:

I appreciate the civilized comment. I also respect your point of view. I am quite aware of the significance of the surgery. I realize that with any surgery there is pain involved. Fortunately any cat that I have had or have known to be declawed has healed and has gotten over the discomfort in a matter of a couple of days without permanent physical or psychological ill effects. I, however do not believe laws should be passed based upon strong personal feelings and questionable pseudo facts. The fact that my cats are declawed in no way shows that I love them any less than anyone on the other side of the issue. I believe that the crusade is more detrimental than the surgery done by a qualified vet who truly perform it not just for the money. I love my cats very much and believe I have done my very best for them. They are the sweetest most well behaved cats I have ever known. They even run to the door to greet me when I come home and they appreciate the attention I give them and return it with love.

January 22, 2012 at 12:07 am
(105) Alana says:

I have had five cats over the years. 3 of which were not declawed, and the final 2 that were. The 2 that were had theirs done at a very young age (about 4 months old). Neither cat had any complications afterwards and were back to their normal lives within two days.

Unfortunately, one of the two–Charlie, a little orange tabby– died at an early age due to kidney failure, but I can say without a doubt that he had the best personality out of any of my cats. He was filled with such life and energy. Even during his illness, he held strong for over 5 months in order to remain a part of our lives. Declawing for him never changed a damn thing.

I have had my other declawed cat– Hauna, a tabby calico mix– for 5 years now. Once again, her personality is just the same as before she went to the operating table. She’s definitely a Mama’s girl, a lap cat. She’s incredibly intelligent and I was even able to teach of basic tricks (sit, stay and Which one? [Finding the hand that holds a treat.]) I allow her outdoors ONLY when she is highly under adult supervision and for no more than 20 minutes at a time. She’s smart enough to know her perimeters and mostly stays on or by the front porch, laying on the outdoor couch by the front door or chasing the lizards that are in the shrubs. She doesn’t like to be around the company of other animals, but that was a part of her personality even before she was declawed. She loves high places, chasing shadows or just laying on the windowsill to enjoy the view outside. At the end of the day, she curls up next to her Mama and goes to sleep.


January 22, 2012 at 12:07 am
(106) Alana says:

(comment continued.)

One thing that declawing has given me for both cases is the chance to bond with them in ways I never would have been able to had they remained clawed. When Charlie was a kitten, he had this horrible habit of swatting at a person’s toes that were moving under the sheets. He was obviously playing and you felt bad for yelling at him because he wasn’t /doing/ anything wrong, but the swatting was so bad that it was impossible to be able bond with him. After the surgery, things were fine. The swatting no longer became a big deal and I was able to play with him without the risk of getting hurt.

The same goes for Hauna. She recently picked up habit of kneading my chest or back while in bed. While her back claws still retract out, it’s much more bearable than if she still had her claws.

I will NEVER go back to not having my cats declawed. These past two have been the best cats I have ever had. No claws means no worries and I am able to love her unconditionally because of that.

January 29, 2012 at 11:07 am
(107) JOE says:

That is a nice story Alana. I believe it shows that declawing can have a positive outcome and is not just selfishness on the part of the caretaker. I believe that people have the right to their own opinion but should refrain from persecuting or trying to prosecute those that see it differently than they do. We should all love and care for our cats in the best way we can and also be kind and understanding to all cat parents that truly love their pets.

February 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm
(108) Alana says:

Thanks, JOE! =)

Having said that though, I would NEVER consider declawing cats passed the 1 year mark. The older the cat, the more likely post complications and mental trauma will occur. Kittens spring back to health remarkably quick post surgery because their body weight is light enough to not press down on their feet during recovery. Older cats have a larger mass, thus their feet carry the heavy pressure, thus pain and complications.

In addition, cats that have it done at a young age are less likely to remember the surgery when they are older, much like how humans can’t remember their baby years. Despite her declawing, Hauna continues to claw at surfaces as though she isn’t even aware that her claws are missing!

Also do the research to find a vet who knows what he/she’s doing and offers the laser treatment. It’s the much more humane way to declaw.

April 2, 2012 at 8:10 pm
(109) Cat Owner says:

I have two, 5 y/o cats from the same litter. I love these guys, but they have destroyed so much carpet in my home it’s unbelievable. For those who say if you’re not prepared to deal with this, you shouldn’t get cats… perhaps your right. The fact is, I now have these cats, and daily I am becoming less and less tolerant of their behavior.

So what now? Well, I’m about to move into a newly built home, and plan on buying lots of nice new leather furniture. My wife is pregnant, and I have no idea what to expect form my little guys when the baby arrives.

For 5 years I have been against de-clawing, however I am now considering it. If these cats destroy my new home, or hurt my baby, I will get rid of them, period. I don’t want that to happen, so they will be de-clawed. I am tired of being upset with these cats. I realize they are behaving like cats… cats scratch… However, regardless of their nature behavior, this has to end.

I’m man enough to admit my mistakes. I should not have gotten these cats if I wasn’t ready for them to destroy my home I guess. My bad… so what now?

The fact is I WILL NOT allow this to continue. So do I bring them to a shelter, where they will most likely be destroyed? Or do I get them de-clawed and live out their lives in the comfort of my new home? What’s the most humane option?

To those of you who say I should have not gotten a cat with this attitude, you’re right. I should not have. But I did, and now I have to determine the most humane way to deal with this problem. I for one, would prefer to keep them, regardless of your opinions.

May 13, 2012 at 2:25 am
(110) Soulbird says:

After reading he posts, here are my two cents. First domestication and spaying/ neutering isn’t natural to begin with. People say would you cut your kids fingers off for wrecking things…of course not. Well, would you sterilize your child because one day it may have too many kids? Of course not, yet we do it to cats all the time. So what’s natural about that? They can never have kittens, so is it for them or us? For us of course..to prevent babies getting surrendered and killed. So if declawing prevents a cat being given up and probably killed then I’m all for it. Otherwise all you anti declaw ppl should not have cats because you have probably altered them as well too. All for HUMAN reasons. So don’t draw lines in the sand…you self rightous ppl. Clawed cats get surrendered for many reasons,damage, injury..if we are going to force them to coexist with us, we need to do whatever it takes to ensure they never get surrendered for any reason. If declawing saves them so be it. Claws or death, use your heads. You can’t pick and choose what’s right or wrong…..ask a cat, I’m sure they would say fixing it is wrong too. Even living in a human constructed home is unnatural……hellooooooooo wake up double standard people.

August 27, 2012 at 12:28 am
(111) Oreo's mom says:

Many people have declawed their cats and have had positive experiences. I know we did. Our cats never suffered any psychological trauma or other ill effects. Our last cat was loving, affectionate and lots of fun despite being declawed. You have to be careful if you make this decision though…talk to others who have had successful experiences with the procedure and where they took their cat. Also, just because you don’t want your furniture destroyed or your children scratched, does not make you a terrible person or unworthy of pet ownership. And dont assume everyone is too ‘lazy’ to train their cat. Not all cats are trainable to that extent. There is a lot of hysteria over what is not a black and white issue.

February 21, 2013 at 6:49 am
(112) brianna says:

I have been reading all your post. I have 2 black 7 year old declawed cats. I have had them since they were 4 weeks old. They were strictly indoor cats. Until i got a dog, and installed a doggy door. They discovered the doggydoor and love going into the back yard. They aren’t able to climb up the wall or get out. i allow them to go in and out as they please. The reason why im saying this story is because just this passed year, stray cats have been lerking around the house mostly sitting on wall in the backyard. Its been making my cats very anxious and territorial. im very thankful that they are very vocal when cats come around. i have been able to run in the backyard and grab them before anything bad can happen to them! The whole situation is very stressful! and has affected my everyday life. Im this crazy cat lady chasing away cats at all the hours of the night till morning. I switched the doggy door now to the courtyard where both the dog and cats HATE. they constantly meow at the backyard to go out. Ive noticed all the animals have gotten a little aggressive with one another. Also they’re not happy just being strictly indoor. I strongly suggest you consider NOT declawing your cats! they live up to 20 or more years. That’s a long time. Who knows what sudden changes can happen in your lives that can affect the safety of your cats living situations in the future. Weather its bringing a new pet to the home. Or .just leaving it behind. I didnt educate myself with what kind of dangers a declawed cat could encounter. I regret declawing my cats. I wish i never did this to them.

March 17, 2013 at 1:33 am
(113) Andrea says:

We’ve had our female cat for 11 years. She’s a very sweet cat who likes to claw our couch, carpets and yes my new leather dining chairs. Annoying but I could live with it. Tried soft paws and she chews them off. Trim and file her nails and somehow are sharp in 2 days again. Once in a while my kids would get a random scratch when playing. This week my son was carrying the cat and when he went to put her down she decided to hang on. She got a claw stuck into the back of his head, and her other claw sliced his face under eye. I love my cat. I would never give her up. I also could never forgive myself if one of my sons lost an eye because I was worried about being “inhumane” to my cat. My baby girl was declawed yesturday using the “cosmetic declaw” procedure. I spent a majority of my night cuddling her, and then slept beside the large kennel I have her in so she doesn’t hurt her paws. If people want to call me a monster and place judgement go ahead. My cat is healthy, has a wonderful home, a family who will keep her until the end. And if you want to say I’m selfish for wanting my kids to keep their eyesight, then yep I’m a selfish ass.

April 22, 2014 at 3:56 pm
(114) js says:

I have had many cats over my life and have declawed all.I would have it no other way..i have never had an issue.we all spay/neuter..it is no different..my cats are all indoors..i am happy,they are happy , my furniture is happy.its a win/win situation for us;)

April 23, 2014 at 12:16 pm
(115) Franny Syufy says:

“my furniture is happy” says a lot.

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