Cat Declawing - What's Your Opinion?

Cat Declawing In The UK:

by:Trisha Goodwin
(Oxford, UK)

Regarding cat declawing, which you asked for comments back on - I had never heard of this practice before, so asked the vet about it.

Apparently it is a banned practice in the UK, vets and cat owners can be prosecuted for allowing it/carrying it out.

It is likely that the cat would also be confiscated and an animal welfare charity involved, such as the RSPCA, Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals which is the biggest and most well known animal charity/welfare organisation here.

It must be something carried out elsewhere in the world, of course, and people must think they have good reasons, but it sounds very cruel to me, and probably done for the owners benefit, not the cats?

Comments for Cat Declawing In The UK::

by: Gail (Quincy, MA, USA)

Declawing is barbaric and against the law in the UK and several other countries. Unfortunately, it is still practiced frequently in the USA, of which I am horribly embarrassed.

Declawing isn't like taking a fingernail off. It is an AMPUTATION of digits of which the cat needs in order to walk properly, stretch its muscles, defend itself - the reasons are too numerous to mention in one post.

For anyone interested in learning the absolute truth about declawing, may I suggest you visit a fellow cat-loving website: - this site has a link about declaw with very graphic video and a groundswell of comments.

Declawing animals is cruel and nothing more than a greedy vet trick to line their pockets. It is a multi-BILLION dollar surgery in the USA. Some cats never recover - they're constantly in pain, have personality changes, become aggressive and/or litter resistent since it hurts to scratch the litter. PLEASE! Never ever declaw an animal, and if your vet performs this horrific surgery, find yourself another vet.

Declawing is Horrible!!!
by: Kim

I will never declaw a cat. How would you like it if someone befriended you and you woke up in pain and discovered that your friend had all your fingers amputated just above your nails?

It Is Indeed
by: Anonymous

What's more, it leaves the cat defenseless if he/she gets out of the house and I hear it often causes behavioral problems in cats. It is enlightened of the U.K. to outlaw it.

Comments for Cat Declawing - What's Your Opinion?

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Aug 17, 2017
cat declawing
by: Anonymous

I don't love the idea of cat declawing, but don't love the idea of my leather furniture feeling like sandpaper either... Anyone have any tips on how to keep a cat from clawing at the furniture around the home. I have tried scratching posts, etc. etc. She still prefers the leather couch.

Oct 18, 2016
I never thought I'd declaw, but...
by: Lynndsei

I'm firmly on the 'hell no' side of the fence when it comes to declawing cats. That being said, I did have a cat who was a one-paw declaw.

Yes, one paw only.

She was hit by a car and dumped at a no-kill animal shelter I volunteered for, with a note saying she'd been to the vet and had a pin put in her arm.

Well, that arm never healed quite right. Her poor paw was curled up all the time. Imagine your hand is a loose fist 24/7, and now imagine trying to clip your nails. We agonized about it, but ultimately it was better for her to have those claws removed, since they were constantly growing into the pad of her foot. :(

That's the only reason I could ever consider declawing a cat, and I'd call those some extenuating circumstances.

Sep 30, 2016
Some sad truth about why my cats are declawed
by: Anonymous

I'd like to start this off with the fact my cats weren't declawed the old way, mine were done via Laser(and cost me alot) but I don't regret it, it's not nearly as barbaric as normal declawing is done.

Heres a big issue, every rental property near me is owned by the same company, and when you move in, they require cats to have ALL CLAWS REMOVED, NO EXCEPTIONS. I tried to battle it for a while but they refused to budge, the most I was able to do as they allowed me to keep the back claws on, they couldn't risk the cats "Destroying the rental properties". So I had to declaw my Orange Tabby and Maine coon.. Some people end up forced to declaw because of this dumb requirement to be able to have a home.

Want to make a difference, we need it to be law to ban declawing. Simple

Sincerly, a Pissed off Renter with cats

Feb 16, 2016
To declaw or not? NEVER!
by: Debra Lee

I grew up with animals of all kinds in our home, from a chicken to squirrel babies to raccoon babies amongst the many dogs and cats. We lived in the city and our home was known as the "farm", and if a animal was found in our neighborhood that was injured in any way, it was brought to us. We had a great vet, Dr. Hefty and he worked with my mom and dad as to price because we brought so many of them (LOL)and because he knew how much we loved every animal we brought to him.

One evening, a couple of kids brought us a adult cat that had clearly been in a fight. This poor thing was bloody all over, and even though he was in pain and did not know us at all he let my mother check him over before she called the vet. She found that he had nothing to defend himself with. He had been declawed by his owners and had either gotten out of the house or had been dumped somewhere. My parents were livid, how could someone declaw a cat? I had never seen that kind of anger from my parents over this poor baby's situation, and I asked why.

Once the cat was taken care of and back home sleeping, my mother talked to me about how a cat would have his front claws removed. She told me why it was wrong and used Tom as a reference as to what can happen when a cat loses it's defenses. That stayed with me all of my life, and Tom lived with us from then on until his passing 8 years later. I have had many cats in my life, and would never do that to any of them. Even with a really difficult cat that wanted to scratch everything in my house along with all the scratch posts I had for him. But when you take on the responsibility of owning a cat or any other animal, you also take on the good with the not so good and some animals take more time and training. Plus, spending that extra time means you are forging a better relationship with that animal and that can only tighten the bond between the two.

Sep 23, 2015
Alternative to declawing
by: Keeker and Kricket's Momma

As has been mentioned throughout this forum, declawing is barbaric, inhumane, and absolutely unwarranted with the exception of severe medical reasons (which are rare).

Declawing is purely and simply animal abuse and I am ashamed that it is legal in the United States. However, I must say, it IS slowly becoming a trend for vets to refuse to declaw as more and more of the 'new' vets are recognizing it for what it is: Mutilation and torture!

Three major reasons I hear from people who are accepting of the practice of declawing and simple resolutions:

1. They ruin my furniture - if your furniture is more valuable to you than the health and welfare of your cat that you call a PET, then don't have a cat - get a damned goldfish or train your cat what it can and cannot scratch on. They ARE trainable!

2. My cat scratches me - if your cat scratches you, what are you doing to provoke it's behavior (petting, rubbing, taunting or otherwise touching it when it doesn't want to be? Or is there an underlying illness or disease causing the cat to feel pain and therefore defend itself against being touched?) and what are you doing to change it's behavior? Have your cat vetted to determine the cause of it scratching you, whether provoked or unprovoked. It could be a psychological or emotional issue. Have your vet refer you to a behaviorist. And don't put your hands where they don't belong.

3. Someone in the household has a medical condition that being scratched by a cat could exacerbate - if you or someone has a medical condition that could be worsened by being scratched, consider re-homing your cat or apply vinyl claw caps (regular claw trimming is mandatory!). I have a cardiac condition and am on blood thinners, but NEITHER of my cats is declawed!

Cats CAN be trained to use scratching posts or pads and not to scratch furniture (or people), but it takes time and effort on YOUR part to train them.

Furniture scratching can be deterred in several different ways:

1. Spritz some citrus spray on the furniture; cats hate the smell of citrus.
2. Spritz some feline pheromone spray on furniture or curtains (purchased at most pet stores). These also reduces the desire for the cat to scent mark.
3. Cover your furniture with a sheet or other material.
4. As soon as your cat starts scratching spray your cat (NOT in the face) with a stream of plain water from a bottle and give a firm (not loud) "No!".
5. As soon as the cat start scratching, slap a rolled news paper or magazine into the palm of your hand making a noise and give a firm (not loud) "No!"
6. Redirect your cat by tossing it a toy.
7. Provide alternative scratching posts/pads. There are several types available - carpet, hemp/sisal rope, and cardboard. There are also vertical scratch posts and horizontal pads. My two cats absolutely adore the (very inexpensive) corrugated cardboard pads from Walmart!

When you introduce your cat to the scratch post/pad try applying a bit of catnip on it and rubbing it in to activate it. Scratch the post/pad with your own nails so your cat can see and hear what you are doing. Gently take your cat's paws and make scratching motions on the post/pad to show him how to use it. Then REWARD your cat! Give it a few treats and a gentle petting, and praise him/her with your 'cat voice' ... "Good kitty"! Be consistent!

Never yell at or punish your cat for scratching. They don't understand it and will often interpret it as an attack which promotes aggressive behavior.

Don't mutilate your cat for the sake of YOUR CONVENIENCE and VANITY! It is natural for a cat to scratch!
As pet owners, it is OUR responsibility to do what is right and best for THEM!

Aug 18, 2015
Addendum: Legitimate reason
by: AnonymousKeeker's and Kricket's Momma

As I was reading through more of the posts here, I came across one from 3 years ago from someone who was in favor of declawing because of medical issues she and her husband had. Her concern was that cat scratches could become life threatening to them due to poor immune systems.

To that I say, "Bull Hackey"!

If you (or someone in your household) have a medical condition that could potentially become life threatening secondary to a cat scratch - DON'T HAVE CATS!

If you feel that you must have cats, then you have the option of applying Soft Paws (vinyl claw caps) as opposed to mutilating your pet for YOUR comfort!

There is absolutely NO justifiable reason to declaw a cat! NEVER!

Aug 18, 2015
Legitimate reason?
by: Keeker's and Kricket's Momma

Someone mentioned above that they would never have it done "unless there is a legitimate reason". What, may I ask IS a 'legitimate' reason??

There is none! It is unwarranted brutality!

I had a visitor over one time who said to me, "OMG! Why don't you get your cat declawed? It's destroying your furniture"!

My response was, "Honey, I have a hell of a lot more invested in my cat than I do my furniture - and furniture can be replaced. But let me SHOW you why I will NEVER declaw my cats"!

Then I Googled Cat Declawing and showed her pictures and videos of the procedure. Need I say, she watched dumbfounded and sobbing!

FYI: I have found that Microfiber material shows very little or no damage on the rare instances my cats decide to sharpen their claws on it. They truly much prefer the corrugated cardboard scratch pads over anything else!

Jun 28, 2015
Many reasons not to declaw
by: Charles

We run a small private non-licensed rescue. We get cats from all sorts of circumstances. Some are owner turn-ins, some show up at our rural mountain side house, and sometimes I get calls to come a get a cat that has taken up somewhere and the property owner does not want it there. We have had severely injured kitty's show up. Our vet says that one cat's injuries were probably sustained from being thrown from a moving vehicle. I pay the vet bills from my own money, and don't charge an adoption fee. I do carefully screen each prospective adoption. Every cat goes to a home as an indoor kitty. I average placing four cats a year, with excellent success. We currently have seven cats, and three dogs. Two of our cats were declawed prior to them coming to live with us. We have never had a cat declawed. One declawed cat is an elderly female who has special needs and will never be adopted. She will live her life with us. The other declawed cat is a purebred Maine Coon male who was an owner turn in. This kitty came with his registration papers, breeder information, and vet records. Both cats have disabilities from being declawed. When cats are declawed, they loose their primary defense mechanism. Declawed cats will often turn to biting in place of scratching when threatened. They can jump, however not having their front claws predisposes them to injuries, because they are unable to grasp an object. Cats can be psychology traumatized from the process. Sometimes they become angry and bitter. They can develop aggressive tendencies, loose interest in using the litter box, or spray your furniture when they are unhappy. Our older declawed cat refuses to use a litter box and is generally has a sour personality. She and I have come to a compromise. She will use news paper, so I always make sure that she has plenty of clean news paper for her to choose from. The younger Maine Coon cat, does OK. I have seen him slip when jumping though. Trimming your cat's claws is not difficult. All you need to do is barely clip the ends off so that the claw is flat and blunt instead of sharp. The claws will grow back out in a week or two, and your kitty will have them sharp again in no time. Use trimming time as a time to interact with your kitty. Cats learn fast from repetition, and if you don't hurt them they will calm down and let you do more with less of a fight. After a short time your cat will probably let you trim his or her nails without any problems at all. I combine gentle brushing with nail trimming, and our cats will lay still and purr through the whole process.

Jun 06, 2015
Cat declawing
by: Anonymous

Hi! I think that unless you have a legitimate reason, you should not declaw a cat. It is painful and mostly unnecessary. Also I just like cats claws for some reason.

Oct 27, 2014
Cruel to declaw a cat.
by: Anonymous

It is very cruel to declaw any kind of cat or kitten. The pain they go through is terrible, just to justify someone is afraid of being scratched. Cats can be trained to be gentle and not scratch anyone, with a little patience to train them properly and adequate scratch posts around the house. I think anyone who does this is Very Cruel and does not deserve to own a cat !!

Oct 15, 2014
Madame Furie
by: Patricia

I was adopted by Madame Furie, a four year old rescued twice Maine Coon. The first individual who rescued the cat had her declawed (I truly want to hate this person forever) and when she died, her widower would kick the cat around. Hence this cat was rescued by some folks. She came to me for a babysitting visit for two weeks in 2009 and has been here ever since.
I love Madame Furie (she was named binky when she first moved in). However, she hates to be brushed, held or cleaned in anyway. She will bite because that is her only way to defend or complain about a situation. She must study a chair for a bit then take a few hesitant moves to jump up on a chair then do it. Please do not declaw an animal they need their claws for a healthy long life.

Sep 23, 2014
Declawing Cats in General
by: Le Chat

I am not generally in favor of declawing cats, however, we did declaw one for the following reasons:
1. He decided we made great cat toys and would sneak up behind us, take a flying leap and attach himself to a thigh as though we were a clawing post. It was very painful and nothing we did discouraged him. And the bigger he got, the more it hurt.
2. Also, we had two older dogs who were trained to treat him gently. But he would come up, stand on his hind legs in front of them and roundly cuff their faces with claws extended. We could see it was only a matter of time before he hooked an eye and we did not consider that acceptable.
So after a full year of working with him, we finally had him declawed. Not our first choice, but we felt it was needed for the health and safety of our dogs, as well as our own comfort in our home.
And yes, we trimmed his claws and he had a scratching post which he also used regularly. In fact, he continues to "claw" the furniture and us even in the absence of claws. The dogs are long gone, but they definitely appreciated not having their faces clawed.

However we have recently acquired a stray Maine
Coon mix and would never even consider declawing her. She is very sensitive and easy to train and declawing would be terribly traumatic for her.

My point is simply that completely outlawing all declawing could be counter productive at times.


"Le Chat"

May 17, 2014
Declaw my boys?
by: Anonymous

Not going to happen, not even considered! I know they may get the furniture or even me once in a while with their claws, but I won't even consider declawing them. I know what it does to the cat's feet, and to think of it, how would you like your fingers cut off at the first joint, or your toes? I love my two maine coon's way too much to even consider doing this to them.

Apr 24, 2014
by: Patricia - Guardian to Madame Furie

Binky was a Maine Coon that came into my life already declawed in the front paws. I think this is a brutal, unnecessary procedure that should only be done on the humans that think it is ok to do. I renamed Binky, Madame Furie, a loving nickname that reflects her nature. She is a biter who is slowly (after 5 years) not biting at every upset. I feel so bad for her that I can't get angry when she uses the only defenses she has.

Sep 06, 2013
by: Cat W.

Snowshoe was a rescue is is somewhat smaller than the standard for a coonie. Just from the look of him though I believe he has some coonie in him. He has the sweet personality that they are known for. He never scratches anything but his post and seems to take great pride in showing me that he can do it. He will allow me to flip him over on his back and trim his claws--all four. He'll even let me give him an occasional bath. He never bites and is never, ever aggressive. He is very playful and funny. All cats are different but I think you might need a visit to the vet to see if you can find what's bugging him.

Sep 06, 2013
by: KathyB.

Saved 2 kittens from HELL HOME, about 6wks old. My friend took 1 & I the other. Amma was very active, bite, clawed us & furniture, never covered his bm in litter box. Well we tried water spray- he loved it. We both work gone all day, but give Amma lots of, play and affection. Amma was neutered all behaviors stayed the same. Running from across 2 rms. to grapple our legs & bite our ankles or calfs. Now at 14mos. his bites on my calfs are so wide & deep that the front teeth are on one side and back teeth on the opposite side. Does not cover bm, he places front feet out front and backs up to go? Our new furniture is clawed down to the wood. on all corners even though I keep it covered w/a sheet. I don't want to de claw it is mean but the new furniture looks like it came from someones outside 2yr garage sale. I feel like going to Home Depot and covering all the corners w/wood & staining it, but what if it continues? When we pet him he likes it, pet- pet- pet= fast deep biting on hands and arms? What is up here? Now people say it is a Maine coon & they are all like this & my friends cat is the same, just crazy??? Any answers?

May 26, 2013
Gentle Giants
by: Anonymous

I have one of these gentle giants, and he is the BEST cat I have ever had, and I have had quite a few. He is NOT declawed; this was the agreement made with the breeder. And he has not needed this procedure. He has a scratching post that he uses quite a bit, but I have never had him claw me or anyone else. He is so lovable and kind and gentle. I LOVE this breed!

Mar 20, 2013
Kitty comes first!
by: Anonymous

There is NEVER a valid reason to declaw a cat. If you find their claws unacceptable, then you shouldn't have one. Its that simple.
Thankfully this hideous practice is illegal here in the UK, as it should be everywhere. People who declaw are just proving that their sofa/ carpet means more to them than their pet does.

Feb 08, 2013
Only good medical reasons should be considered
by: RiotSloth

There should only be good medical reasons to declaw a cat, e.g infection. There are NO OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES where declawing is OK.

Your sofa getting scratched? Too bad. I find it sickening that there are people out there dumb enough to be allowed to own pets and mutilate and torture them in the name of vanity.

Jan 01, 2013
I am not a cat person - BUT
by: Suzanne

My cat Ninja (pretty sure he is a Maine Coon - he's huge) who came to me in August when I was looking for a dog after I lost my 17 year old Tibetan Spaniel is a classic example of why cats shouldn't be declawed. He is a love bug 98% of the time, but sometimes he just gets crazy and bites me, hard. He was declawed when I got him - I have fallen in love with him and wouldn't trade him for the world - what is wrong with people? I would never do this to a cat!

Dec 14, 2012
by: Deborah Denton

I think declawing is cruel and inhumane. That is not even an option for my boy.

Nov 06, 2012
Claws for Snowshoe
by: Cat W.

I was owned by a cat who destroyed carpets by clawing...when we moved to a new house, I had him declawed (front only). I did it for my convenience of not having brand new carpets destroyed. I had no clue about how invasive and cruel this surgery was. Catty lived to the ripe old age of 17 but suffered from several health issues which all began immediately following the declawing. It took several years for me to recover from his passing. When I was ready to adopt I did a huge amount of research and decided on the Maine Coon as the feline child for us. No declawing! I trim his claws myself and he is very patient with me. He has several scratching posts and appears to take great pride in showing me that he can scratch them. He is happy and healthy and fully clawed. He is the sweetest kitty ever. It makes me sad to think about how Catty must have suffered because I was lazy and careless. I promise to never, ever declaw another cat.

Sep 05, 2012
Believe It or Not, There Are Valid Reasons To Declaw Any Feline . . .
by: Anonymous

I have owned cats for the past 35 years. All the cats I have owned have been rescue cats and have never been allowed outside. Period. The last 2 cats my husband and I have owned have been de clawed. Our Turkish cat who we had for 18 years never went outside and therefore used the litter box inside. He was declawed only in the front.He passed away from natural causes in 2008. When our hearts were ready to bring a new cat into our home, we again went to a local shelter and were introduced to the precious breed known as a Maine Coon! He immediately adopted us! That was when he was 1.5 years old and already a healthy 11 lbs.We have never had a problem with cats destroying fabric, furniture, etc. What we do have a problem with is the fact that both my husband and I have auto-immune medical issues, his being inherited from his grandmother and mine the result of mercury poisoning. Our resistance to any type of introduced bacterium or a trace of feline fecal matter under the nails of our cats was incredibly debilitating when they jumped from our arms, lunged off our tummies or chests and subsequently left claws scratches that invariably induced blood. Not only was it painful, it was potentially life threatening to both of us. After much thought and considerable research, plus meeting in person with both of the vets at the facility we have used in excess of 20 years, both vets agreed that our Maine Coon should be declawed of ALL claws - including his polydactyl extra digits. He is now almost 3 years old and nearly 14 pounds. The potential for a healthy life staying indoors is that he may grow to 20 or 30 pounds. I cannot endanger my life or my husband's life with a potential wound that could result in any medical emergency. Our cat is groomed, well fed, has regular vet visits, and loved more than life itself. My husband works from a home office and our Maine Coon has been the epitome of the perfect companion for long hours at the computer and we adore him. We feel it is barbaric to allow any cat outdoors ever - no excuses, we feel it is irresponsible and reprehensible not to neuter any animal that is not specifically professionally bred under professional circumstances. When other allow their cats outside and they enter our property and leave their scat in the grass, etc., we take the chance of contracting infection if we even walk barefoot in the grass. There are always 2 or more sides to any story and you may well be surprised to learn of special circumstances that require declawing.

Jul 10, 2012
i have alot of cats
by: Anonymous

all of my maine coons have claws, yes they need to sharpen them, but i have two or three of the claw scratchers boards that they use, cats like people are not perfect, it does suck to have the cats ruin come of my furniture, but not all the cats claw the furniture. i am working on what else to do. they seem to need the claws especially to itch. no one should let these cats outside. it is way to easy to contract feline leukemia. then they are also at risk for other insect problems.

Jul 01, 2012
Never Declaw Your Cat
by: Tilly

Declawing is comparable to docking and cropping the ears and tails of horses and dogs. These methods, while cruel, had some sense, historically at least - to save time, prevent tail entanglement, prevent injury to the tail, etc.

Declawing, however serves none of those purposes.

The only caveat should be if one has absolutely no choice - aggression issues, safety issues - and even then, be aware of how much more work one would need to care for the cat. Declawed cats can NEVER leave the house, need extensive post-surgery care, and need to be properly accomodated. These cats are no longer independent creatures. To declaw for any other reason is to mutilate and willingly handicap another creature simply for vanity.

As a cat owner, I find it incredibly insulting that someone would ask to have a well-bred, well-raised, quality cat declawed. It implies that, one, the breeder has been lax in training the cat - which should never be so, when buying from excellent, reputable breeders - and two, the owner can neither be bothered with nor has the time to follow on with the same training.

And as a human with severe foot and nerve issues that prevent me from walking, running, or even simply moving properly, I cannot help but sympathise with declawed cats, and I am beyond appalled that there are people in favour of declawing.

Mar 08, 2012
Mark, Father Of Chipper
by: Mark DiBois from Georgia

Never..Never..Never..declaw a cat..

I have 8 cats, all neutered and speyed. All spoiled rotten

They need their claws... that's why cats have climbing gear

Mar 08, 2012
Maine Coon Cat Declawing - Don't Do It
by: Bill Christenson from Dunnellon, FL USA

Our first Coonie was declawed. For the most part, he was OK, but there were definitely times when his paws bothered him.

Occasionally he would not use the litter box and I believe it was because his paws were tender. He died of hydrotrophic cardiomyopathy, but that is a whole different subject.

Our new little guy will not be declawed. Given plenty of scratching posts and pads, he's learning quickly where to fill his need for something to scratch.

Make no mistake about it, declawing is mutilation and it affects your kitty for the rest of his/her life and not in a good way.

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