Declawing Cats: An Inhumane Practice
“Help! My cat is clawing up my sofa, should I get her declawed? I hear it’s an easy procedure.”
Unfortunately, I have heard this statement more than once. People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cat is an easy fix for unwanted scratching. Some may think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat’s nails—the equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed.
Declawing is not a trim; it is the amputation of the last bone of each toe. On a human, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle. It provides no benefit to the cat and does much harm.
Declawing causes problems such as: pain in the paw, bleeding, infection, tissue death, arthritis, loss of balance, and back and foot pain. A cat often turns to biting aggression or may not use the litter box because of foot pain. Many countries and several cities in California have banned declawing except for rare medical reasons.
If you have problems with a cat that is inappropriately scratching, look at other more humane remedies for this problem. Scratching is a natural part of a cat’s life; you just have to understand what you can do to provide proper outlets for this behavior.
There are some great resources if you would like to find out more about declawing or how to solve the inappropriate scratching problem. Check out some of these sites.
The Paw Project is probably the best source on declawing information. Cat behaviorist Marci Koski wrote an excellent article on trimming cat claws and scratching. Marci has also done a podcast on declawing. The Truth About Declawing site talks about technical information about the declawing procedure and its repercussions.