Is it harmful to declaw a cat?

This is an issue about which many people feel very strongly. We try to give people the facts based on what our vets and our experience have told us. Which is this: declawing is something that should only be considered in cases of EXTREME behavioral problems. Cats use their claws to exercise, play, stretch, climb, hunt and mark their territority. Although your cat might use your hands or furniture for these activities, declawing is NOT the answer and there are many other ways to guide your cat to healthy claw activity.

The declawing operation itself is the human equivalent of removing the first joint of all your fingers. Many vets feel that the lack of these joints impairs the cat's balance and can cause weakness from muscular disease. Declawing also makes a cat feel defenseless and can affect their personality, making them skittish or nervous biters. In rescue work, we see many declawed cats that have been given up by their owners. Why? Because these cats still had behavioral problems that were worsened by not having their claws.

There are alternatives to declawing. Exercise and play with your cat regularly. Give him a scratching post and teach him to use it. Trim your cat's nails on a regular basis. And, of course, talk to your vet or cat-owner friends about ways to "train" your cat to exercise its natural instincts in non-destructive ways.

Reprinted with permission from Kitty Adoption FAQ's   provided by: Kitten Rescue Online.

Visit Amby's Declawing Resource Section for more information.

URL of this page: