Information about Declawing


See "Declawing and Humane Alternatives"

  • North America lags behind the rest of the world

  • Not medically necessary

  • What, exactly is declawing?

  • Long-term effects and declawing alternatives

Bottom line: Don't declaw! It is truly an unnecessary evil.

See "Cats International - The Truth About DeClawing"

A few excerpts from the articles:

The United States is way behind the rest of the civilized world in its attitude toward declawing of cats. Declawing has been illegal in England for several years. Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Wales, Finland and Brazil are among the many countries that either consider declawing illegal or inhumane, and only allow it under extreme circumstances. More and more savvy cat aficionados, Cat Fancy organizations, and veterinarians in the United States are mounting protests against declawing, calling it inhumane and unnecessary.  

The closest one might come to a "medical" purpose is to prevent the owner from having the cat euthanized because of destructive scratching. Some veterinarians will reluctantly perform this procedure for that reason alone. I consider this a form of extortion on the owner's part. The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights call it "being taken emotional hostage." It's a sad plight that many people will still insist on this surgery, simply because of their cat's "destructive clawing," without even trying the alternatives.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, author of "The Cat Who Cried for Help," and director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine has this to say about declawing:


The inhumanity of the procedure is clearly demonstrated by the nature of cats' recovery from anesthesia following the surgery. Unlike routine recoveries, including recovery from neutering surgeries, which are fairly peaceful, declawing surgery results in cats bouncing off the walls of the recovery cage because of excruciating pain. --   Declawing fits the dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint, and dismember all apply to this surgery. Partial digital amputation is so horrible that it has been employed for torture of prisoners of war, and in veterinary medicine, the clinical procedure serves as model of severe pain for testing the efficacy of analgesic drugs. Even though analgesic drugs can be used postoperatively, they rarely are, and their effects are incomplete and transient anyway, so sooner or later the pain will emerge." 

While declawing is a popular and lucrative practice in the United States, it is not practiced in European countries. It is, in fact, against the law, in many countries including England, Germany, and Switzerland

Cat Owners who elect to have their paws declawed generally do so with the belief that they will never have to deal with fabric damage due to destructive scratching problems. However, paw sensitivity resulting from the declaw operation may result in litterbox avoidance and urine-soaked furnishings or carpeting.

Without its #1 defense system many declawed cats resort to nipping or biting with very little warning. They often use oral means to express their insecurity and this may also result in destructive chewing problems.

Cats, like people, react differently to physical handicaps. Some appear to be unaffected and others become nervous and defensive. When a dramatic temperament or behavior change occurs, the cat owner often decides to take the cat to a pound or shelter or have it euthanized by a veterinarian. 

Destructive scratching problems are 100% correctable. Providing the cat with suitable scratching targets to satisfy this instinctive behavior and encouraging appropriate behavior is generally all that is required. Contact Cats International if your cat is presenting a challenging scratching problem. We guarantee success!