Growing up my two cats Boo and Tiger were declawed. While it was nice not to have to worry about getting scratched with their front claws, I have decided not to declaw any of my future cats. I have also decided, as a future veterinarian, that I will not declaw cats (except in instances where someone has an immunodeficiency disease and can’t afford to get scratched and declawing the cat is the only alternative for it going to a shelter). It took me a long time to come to this conclusion because I grew up thinking having a declawed cat was way better than having one with claws. There weren’t any complications with Boo and Tiger’s little procedure but that doesn’t mean other cats don’t have problems with it.
I know that the new laser method seems more humane, and it is, but if you watch the procedure and see the cat waking up afterwards with bloody paws it just gets hard to watch. Also too many people are irresponsible with their pets. How is a declawed cat supposed to defend itself outside? When I’m a veterinarian, I’m not willing to take the risk of an owners situation changing and a declawed cat ending up outside.
The declawing procedure is equivalent to chopping off the end of your finger, below the nail. If you wouldn’t have that done to a person you probably shouldn’t do it to your cat.
I understand that getting scratched hurts and is annoying, and furniture getting destroyed isn’t fun, but there are alternatives. I’m a big fan of Soft Paws/Soft Claws. You can see them in action on Maya’s paws here. If your cat has catitude, you will need a veterinarian or groomer to apply them for you. They run about $15-20 for a pack of 40 plastic nail caps and they come in assorted colors. They last about a month before the first ones start falling off (longer if they are a really good fit). I got Maya’s put on in July and she still has a couple left on.
Soft Paws work really great though; if kitty tries to scratch you it does no good. If you are thinking about declawing, try out the nail caps first. If you bring in your own caps to the vet/groomer it usually only costs about $15 each application. (If you are brave or have a good kitty you can do it yourself at home for free)
You can buy them at:
Give them a try!