Brian K asked in PetsCats · 10 years ago

Declawing cats... pros and cons?

my mom wants me to get my cat declawed because she doesnt want her furniture to be wrecked... what do you all think? i would appreciate some suggestions and opinions.... what are the pros or cons... and how can i convice my mom to not get the cat declawed.

also does anyone know what the ACTUAL process is for declawing the cat? not the ones that the human society comes up wiht (words like severing, and mutilating?)

and one more thing... my cat is 18 weeks old, and she is already scratching the furniture... we bought her some scratching posts, but she wont use it... she is also a ragdoll which gives her a mello personality, therefore will scratching be a problem?

i asked my vet, and he thinks its okay, but he doesnt reccomend it.... although he said we should do it... :(

what do you think?:):) anyone have bad drawbacks from declawing their cats?

14 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    Yes I have had very bad drawbacks from declawing and most likely so will your mom. She's doing it to save her furniture, right? Well, these drawbacks will most likely ruin her furniture because the cat will probably start peeing on that furniture when it's declawed. It's very, very common once they're declawed. And if it's not the furniture the cat is peeing on, it may very well be your clothes or your bed or your floor. Declawed cats usually end up with what's called litter box aversion, which means they stop using the litter box. Sometimes they stop using it for the rest of their lives because their paws hurt too bad to be digging in the litter anymore and they see the litter box and just associate it with pain so they start looking for somewhere else to go that is more comfortable. And that usually means your stuff. Once they start doing this, it's just about impossible to stop too, because just like people get old and arthritic and are always in pain, so are these cats. Their paws never stop hurting them. Except it just starts at a much earlier age since we had surgery on them to purposely cause the arthritis and pain.

    Another drawback declawing causes is biting. You take their claws out, they lose their defense of scratching so they resort to biting. Believe me, I'd take a little scratching any day over biting any day!! They bite hard enough a lot of times to draw blood because they get scared that they have nothing to protect themselves with.

    I went through this with two cats I adopted whose previous owners had declawed them. One has been peeing outside the litter box for awhile now and probably will be for the rest of her life. I've spent probably close to a thousand dollars on her with vet visits and all kinds of different products trying to get her to use it again but it's looking like it's never going to happen and it's something I'm going to have to live with. I love her enough that I"ll keep working with her and I'll never give up on her but it IS a lot of work that would have never happened if she hadn't been declawed by her previous owners.

    Teaching cats to use their claws appropriately doesn't take all that much time. It's nowhere near as much work or time as what I'm going through with these declawed cats. You got the scratching post, which is good but you actually need to SHOW THEM how to use them. Your cat is only 18 weeks old. She's only being a kitten. Of course she's scratching right now. She just has no manners. You just have to take a little time to teach her. So please, listen to everyone here.... please, please, please... For the sake of your cat.. Do NOT destroy what chance she has at being a cat and just spend a little time and effort training her proper manners. Good luck to you.

  • 10 years ago

    There are no pros at all for a cat being declawed but there are many cons as the actual process is the amputation of the last joint of the cats toes,the vet cuts or lasers through bone, tendons, ligaments and tissues and it turns a perfectly healthy kitten into a disabled kitten. Apart from the pain after the operation, declawing often causes many physical and mental problems to the cat as cats need their claws to exercise their leg, shoulder, stomach and back muscles.Because declawed cats can't dig their claws in, they develop stress illnesses such as eczema and cystitis, and also arthritis in later life.

    Your vet makes money from declawing so of course he won't refuse to do it ! But he was trained to help animals, not to harm them, so I'd be very wary about trusting him because declawing most definately does harm them !

    Your kitten is only 18 weeks old, naturally she scratches, she's just a baby.You need to teach her how to use a scratching post.You should have a tall strong one and show her how to use it by dragging your own nails down while she watches.Then gently lift her front paws up until she digs them in, praise her a lot when she scratches the post and give her a treat,After that, if she goes to scratch where she shouldn't, don't say a word, just lift her gently to her post and praise her when she uses it. She'll soon learn it pleases you when she's a good girl.

    Ragdolls are beautiful cats and it would be a shame to cripple your kitten for life rather than teach her where she can scratch.

    Good luck convincing your mom, I'm sure you can do it ! But if you need more help, get her to look at this page written by a very good vet:

    I think anyone seeing the pictures on there will never have their cat declawed.

  • 10 years ago

    When I was a little girl, my dad got me a kitten. He then decided to have her declawed. Throughout Suzie's lifetime, she had numerous abscesses, infections, bone chips that broke off, one claw grew back mal-formed and had to be removed again. She often ended up spending the night in the veterinary clinic. After a few rounds of this, my dad said that if he had it to do over again, he would not have Suzie declawed. We were lucky - Suzie's personality was so gentle and sweet-natured that she didn't become a biter like some declawed cats do. She did not develop the aversion to the litter box that some declawed cats get. She did not deserve all the pain she suffered, and knowing what I know now about how easy it is to train cats to use a scratching post, I am certain she would have happily used a post and not done any more damage to furniture and carpets that having four kids did.

    Whenever I hear of someone wanting to declaw their cat, I tell them Suzie's story, and advise that they make sure to budget for repeated veterinary visits and stays in the animal hospital in case their cat has similar adverse effects from the procedure.

    Try clipping your cat's claws. Get a professional groomer or vet. tech to show you how to do it safely, and then clip them every week or two. This will help cut down on the damage she can do. Or you can try putting Soft Paws nail caps on her.

  • 10 years ago

    Declawing (AKA: Onychectomy) is a surgical removal of the toes of a cat. Declawing is tantamount to slicing our own fingers off.

    Declawing side effects are summarized below:

    1- Hemorrhage damage

    2- Increased vicious biting

    3- Isolating from imaginary and real predators, due to lack of defense

    4- Improper defecation on house hold items and furniture

    5- Neuropraxia

    6- Arthritis

    (Many other malady's can occur)

    Declawing is certainly the expedient option for us, but to the cat it is depriving them of their unique tools in life. They need claws for; Scratching, defense, walking & stretching digging in litter, and moving point to point.

    Please do not declaw your cat, they need them for life, and I would not put a family member through just excruciating pain. Cats live in harmony with humans (with claws) everyday. Why should you be an exception?

    Try the following:

    1 - Add catnip to scratching post

    2 - Soft paws "Soft weight vinyl caps that go over the claws

    3 - Take her paws softly and touch the scratching post (it might help if you pretend to scratch it to)

    4- Every time she scratches softly say "no" and carry her to the scratching post.

    All scratching problems are 100% correctable, just takes time. The procedure is taking a scalpel Blade and cutting tendons&ligaments. Next they take a guillotine blade and vigoursley tear off the claw along with severing (blood cells, ligaments, tendons, and phalanx).

    It has been proven by recent studies that around 75% of all declawed cats exhibit physical and behavioral problems. I have been in a house with (5) declawed cats before. It was horrible... one was afraid to jump anywhere, another one was in a fight and was damaged in the neck area. The other ones didn't like to be touched.

    After reading what I had to say, think about your options. Declawing is a mutilation, and other humane alternatives are in consideration. It is best not to put our needs over our cats.

    We can not presume your cat would not miss something, they would other wise use everyday.

    Of course your vet thinks its "OK" 100$ for a 5-15 minute surgery gives him 100 reason to declaw a cat.

    Regards, and good luck


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  • 10 years ago

    Personally, I truly believe that furniture is far less important than the welfare of a cat. The Humane Society hits the nail on the head with their description. Most vets don't fully disclose the way in which declawing is done, nor do they talk about the frequent side-effects which are far worse than a scratch on the furniture. Declawed cats often resort to biting, inappropriate elimination around the house as they refuse to use the litter box because it is too painful to their "mutilated" paws.

    Talk to reputable Ragdoll breeders. They will totally advise you NOT to declaw your kitty. In fact many breeders ask for a buyer to sign a contract that the cat will never be declawed.

    The type of scratching post is very important. The texture must be rough, and the post must be tall enough for the cat to be able to stretch out its entire body. Cats don't sharpen their claws on posts, they clean their nail sheaths and leave their scent marking. Try different types of posts and get a cat tree that is really high with shelves and little tunnels on it. Impregnate all of these products with cat nip that is an added attraction.

    Learn to trim your kitten's claws as well.

    My vet refuses to do the procedure anymore. She thinks it is totally inhumane and cruel. You have some excellent answers that go into great detail about this. The procedure is already banned in many California cities now by the way and is also banned in over 37 countries around the world as it is considered cruelty to animals.

    While rather graphic, this does show how the procedure of amputating the last joint on each toe. There is nothing simple or safe about this surgery, actually, and the cat has horrible pain, sometimes forever.

    I cannot speak about any "pros" for this brutal surgery. As far as I am concerned there is no reason to have it done. Cats can learn to use scratching devices happily. Our furniture has not been touched, with the exception of one of my cats rubbing his chin on the side of it to mark his territory. He far prefers his posts and trees for his "claw cleaning".

    Hope this helps and that you can convince your mom not to have this done. It is far too risky no matter how you look at it.


    Owned by cats for over 40 years

    Never declawed one

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    DO NOT get your kitten declawed.

    That is like you having all your fingers amputated. Would you like that?

    Basically, they just cut off the claw. It is very painful afterwards, sort of like ripping your nail past the nail bed, but the pain is 20x worse.

    Kittens need to be taught that they can't scratch the furniture. It will take some patience and persistence, but it is possible.

    When you catch her doing it, make a loud noise to scare her away.

    Oh, and she's probably not using the scratching post because she doesn't understand how to use it. Show her by gently pushing on her paws to extend the claws, and scratch the post with them. Praise her when she uses it by giving her a few of her favorite treats.

    Good Luck!

    Source(s): Two 9 month old kittens with claws intact, and no clawing issues.
  • 3 years ago

    I have had 4 cats each lived to be 15-16 years. All had their front paws declawed. After just a couple of days where they laid around in recuperation, they never had ANY of the problems I have been reading about. My cats were inside/outside cats, they ran around, jumped over fences, climbed up onto the roof, climbed trees with no problems. And as far as protection, cats fight with their back claws, they hold onto the other cat with their front legs and claw with the hind claws. We now have 2 kittens that will be strictly inside cats because of where we now live, a problem with coyotes. They too will be declawed, neutered and spayed. I know they will be fine. If you don t agree with this, fine, just get your facts straight.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Pro- cat won't claw the furniture

    Con- takes away your cat's natural defense system

    -if your cat escapes they will have no way to defend themselves

    -painful for the cat, personally I think it's cruel but not everyone agrees

    I would suggest first trying to correct the cat's behavior. Cats are extremely intelligent and they can be taught right from wrong, but it does take patience and consistency.

    For instance - my cat was about 11 when we moved out of my mom's house into an apartment. She used to claw on doors whenever they were shut. If she had done this in my new apartment, I would have lost my damage deposit, so we needed to break her of this habit quickly. So, I went to the local dollar store and bought a spray bottle. Every time I heard her clawing on something, I said "No!" very clearly and firmly. If she continued to scratch, she got sprayed. It took surprisingly little time before she learned not to claw - we're talking only a few days. I'm in a much nicer apartment now and she never claws - and she knows what "No" means. :)

    You could always give it a shot. I felt bad spraying my cat with water but really I only had to do it a few times before she learned. Just remember, be consistent - and if you're going to correct behavior with a spray bottle you have to do it right as the cat is clawing and do it every time, otherwise the cat will get confused.

    Good luck, and hopefully you don't have to declaw your kitty.

  • 10 years ago

    Don't do it!

    Declawing is a very grisly and gruesome process. Sadly, I had my cats declawed. When they came home, their paws were bleeding and mutilated (sorry). They flung their paws as if they wanted them to come off and they yowled in pain for days. Try and correct your cat's behavior, and if you can't, just learn to accept that cats scratch. Declawing is heartbreaking.

    The actual process is what the Humane Society says it is. The vets go inside the cat's claw socket and rip out their claws. It is the equivalent of chopping the first digit off of your fingers.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    a pro is that the furniture wont be scratched up, but the cat has no protection so if you get it declawed, make sure you a close eye on it and keep it away from other cats.

    if you dont buy it a piece of furniture it can scratch up

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