Humane Living

Declawing: An Inhumane Choice

Declawing of cats continues to be a controversial topic. For years, declawing was viewed as a common medical procedure for domestic cats, and often was even recommended.

However, as more cat lovers become educated on the lasting effects of this invasive and typically unnecessary medical procedure, declawing is performed less and protested more.

Many people mistakenly believe declawing is a simple nail trim or nail extraction. The surgical procedure of declawing, an onychectomy, actually involves removing part or all of a cat’s third toe bones and the attached claws. The American Association of Feline Practitioner’s website explains that the surgery causes a higher level of pain than spay or neuter, and cats can suffer from post-operative complications including hemorrhaging and infection. Long-term problems, such as debilitating arthritis and chronic pain, may also ensue. Guardians report that some declawed cats seem to associate the pain in their paws with the burying practices in litter boxes, which leads to elimination in other less desirable places.

As more cat guardians become aware of the problems resulting from declawing, a growing number of cities in the United States and around the world are banning the practice. To date, seven California cities prohibit declawing surgery.

Experts offer various humane alternatives to declawing, including training techniques for teaching your cat to scratch on appropriate surfaces. PAWS doesn’t perform declawing surgery, and we encourage guardians who may be frustrated by their cat’s clawing behaviors to visit paws.org and catbehaviorassociates.com for advice on how to manage these natural scratching habits.

Sign Up for PAWS E-newsletters!

Contact Information

* denotes a required field

Which regular PAWS Newsletters would you like to receive?

Please check all that apply

E-mail this Page

E-mail this Page

Like what you see? Send a link to this page via e-mail. We respect your privacy. Neither you nor your friend will be added to PAWS’ mailing list.

Security Code

Thank you!

Your message has been sent.

Note: We will do our best to respond to your email on the next weekday. For an immediate answer, please give us a call.

Error

I'm sorry, your message was not sent. Double-check your security code. If this error persists, please contact us at (425) 787-2500 or info@paws.org.

Fatal Error

I'm sorry, there was a fatal error sending your message. We cannot process your request at this time. please contact our support team at (425) 787-2500 or info@paws.org.