If you are thinking of declawing a cat or a veterinarian suggests declawing at the same time as neutering, you may want to consider these arguments against the procedure. It's a life-altering surgery for your pet, so it's important you have all the facts before making your decision.
- 01 of 09
- 02 of 09
Declawing is Painful Surgery
Think of it as 10 amputations (if only the front feet are declawed). Pain meds may help initially, but phantom pain may last for weeks or months as nerve endings heal. While a cat will likely bounce back quickly from surgery after neutering, the pain from declawing can be excruciating for the animal, and lead to serious behavior issues.
- 03 of 09
- 04 of 09
Declawing Robs a Cat of its Chief Weapon of Defense
A typical counter-argument is, My cat is indoors only. Even indoor cats sometimes manage to escape. A declawed cat does not stand a chance against a large dog, a bigger cat, or a predator. Although it still has teeth, a declawed cat would need to get close to a predator to bite it, at which point it may already be too late.
- 05 of 09
Declawing May Lead to Litter Box Problems
Cats naturally are inclined to use their claws to bury their waste, which is why most take to using a litter box relatively quickly. Digging in litter or any other substance is painful for a declawed cat, and they'll likely associate the pain with the litter box itself. That may mean they avoid using the litter box altogether.
- 06 of 09
- 07 of 09
Cats Need the Exercise Their Claws and Toes Provide
Watch a cat stretch, whether horizontally on a carpet or vertically with a tall scratching post. It will grab the carpet or sisal with its claws, using the resistance to pull and stretch its muscles. Cats' claws actually play a large and positive role in their muscle tone and agility.
- 08 of 09
Altering Your Cat's Gait May Lead to Later Joint Problems
Domestic cats are digitigrade, meaning they walk on their toes. Removing the toe's first digit will alter the way your catwalks and may affect the joints in its leg. This may eventually lead to your cat developing arthritis in its hip and other joints. So removing its claws can be seriously detrimental to your cat's long-term health.
- 09 of 09
There Are Humane Alternatives to Declawing
If you're still unsure about whether to go through with declawing consider this: there may be more humane alternatives. It's your decision, but please take your cat's needs into serious consideration before making such a drastic and permanent choice.