Cat declaw is painful and can cause biting behavior in cats with that procedure. However, a lot of Americans won't adopt a cat without that option.

Declawing Cats: Removing Claws from Cats & PETA

If I never did a declaw again it’d be fine.

However, lots of folks won’t have a cat unless they can declaw it. So, I think we might mess it up if we didn’t declaw for folks – So, I declaw cats. At least a couple a month.

Here’s a “fun fact”: When the legislature outlawed de-claws in California quite a while ago, adoption rates dropped off. Not just a little. In fact for that period of time, without declaw as an option, they had to kill more kittens than found homes because people would not add a kitten to their home if they could not have it declawed. For a while, prospective kitten owners would carry their new family member over the mountain to Nevada for declaw. So, after the regulation was passed there was a frantic effort to have it repealed so that (even though declaw was repugnant) they accepted “that it was worth the price of admission to homes everywhere”.

Believe it or not, (but believe it) after reading that I have to perform declaws, some browsers have sent me notes wishing that I was dead. Several of the persons who wrote me such notes were members in good standing with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the organization that celebrated [with streamers, confetti, banners and horns] the shooting death of a University of Tennessee veterinary school dean.* 2 3 4 5 6 7

Several PETA members wrote me emails that said they wished I had cancer, and that they were going to stab my then-wife in both eye sockets and leave her in the wilderness to find her way home blind. Another PETA member named “Steve P” said that my children were never safe out of my sight because, unlike kittens, they had no compunction about raping and murdering small children on their way to or from school, for offenses like someone declawing cats. And the last PETA member that stopped by my office with pictures of my kids she had downloaded from my Facebook page, looked me in the eye and told me she was going to “kill all these kids, or bury them alive” if I didn’t stop doing declaws. “Keep declawing and find out which I do…” she said.

Every sane cat owner has an opinion on de-clawing and probably the majority would just-as-soon not have it. Millions of cat-owners have elected this procedure for their pet, while probably just as many have not. I perform this surgery with a very high degree of success, but there are alternatives to the de-claw procedure which also curb cat-destructive-behavior. These can be explained to you by myself or one of my technicians.

One method which carries chronic expense and labor is the use of Soft Paws, which are nail covers made of rubber and keep the nails from being destructive to the environment. They work.

Soft Paws for Cat Claws Protect Furniture

The de-claw procedure is performed under anesthesia and involves the removal of the nail and the “ungual-bed” from which the nail grows. In almost all cases, they bandage the feet and keep the pet under observation for 48 hrs to allow healing.

Other methods include “laser” declaws where an arc of electricity removes the tip of the digit and seals the wounds. They say that’s not painful either. Again, I think the kittens fake it well.

Declawing is painful. No one with any common sense would try to deny that. But with proper anesthesia, and prudent management after the surgery, many people are amazed to see that the pain does not SEEM to be significant. (I think they fake it well)
Animals return to normal ambulation almost immediately. Cats do not vocalize plaintively or go off feed. They accept attention and petting as if nothing had happened.

Granted, folks that disapprove of de-clawing certainly have valid points. However, universal claims that it is psychologically damaging are unfounded. Many veterinarians (and cat owners) are in agreement that if de-clawing is performed on young animals, ideally under one year of age, there are almost no instances of maladaptive behavior post-operatively. One note of caution is in order, however: If performed on older cats (2+ years), the result in some cases may be inappropriate elimination, spraying, destructive biting, or some other ill-mannered response.

Reasons to de-claw a cat are numerous: If you are concerned about destructiveness, or if you prefer not to be scratched during cat-bathing, you might be well-advised to have this done in the young cat.

Two good reasons not to de-claw would be if the cat is already a mature adult, or if the animal spends very much time outside.


An alternative to de-clawing, called “Digital Flexor Tenotomy” involves the severing of the tendons that flex the claws. Also done under anesthesia, the procedure yields good results and spares the claws. However, because the cat is forever-after unable to hone its own claws, your regular clipping of the claws becomes of paramount importance. Arthritis in the digits is also not uncommon because the digits can no longer be flexed and they may become stiff. The procedure has fallen from favor because of the stiffness and arthritis seen in the “hands” of DFT cats later in life. Nails also grow back into the pads because they can’t be managed normally by cats with DFT.

De-clawed cats seem especially able to sense and avoid trouble (fights and attacks) when they are left outside either intentionally or accidentally. They can also climb trees without front claws, simply by hugging smaller trees and shimmying up with the hind-claws.

One additional note: Most of the cats that pee in the owners house (that I have ever seen) was declawed. However, not every declawed cat ends up peeing in your house.

Every cat I’ve ever buried / cremated on behalf of my clients that was killed by dog(s) had it’s claws. Point being: Claws never saved a cat from dogs with intent to kill.

Enter your email address for a free PDF of this article including its images.

Enter your Email Address

My Favorite Amazon Recommendations

Items and content will not show in "Reader View" check your browser.

This is The LCD Screen Scope
We Did The Tutorial With. I did a twenty page tutorial (Here's the tutorial) with video, audio, images and even little parasite movies to show you how to use a microscope. 

This Filter is Good For BIG Dirty Tanks
I've been wrestling with water quality with the turtles. The sponges work GREAT, but in THOSE turtle systems where they eat MICE the poops are bulky. This filter can handle it. In "Tortu's" tank, it's got an 800 gph pump and it rocks. 

PraziPro for Flukes
They nailed it. Figured out the solubility and worked out the dosing. It works. 

Buy Some Good Koi?
No, this isn't really for the 'high end' collector y'all. But for someone who isn't near a decent garden center, here are "good-to-quite-good" Koi you will like at a very good price. I know these guys personally.

Best Food, Ever
It's made for (and I discovered it for) my Blood Parrots but the small size, intense color enhancers and excellent formulation make it superb young-Koi food. Oh, and it's AMAZING on color-cichlids like Flowerhorn and Blood Parrots. 

Pro Air 60 Aerator is a VERY high output air pump pushing my whole fish room (17+ drops), and I have one at home driving everything there, and I have one as a back up. 

Formalin Malachite (Not dilute)
There are formalin malachite preparations at 10%, 22% and 37%. There's economy in the concentrates. Hard to get Prime shipping because air transport is curtailed. This is a good value on 32 ounces. 

Topical For Koi and Pond Fish Ulcers
I like 7% tincture of iodine because it stains but it's hard to hurt anything with it. Used with a WOVEN gauze, this works well to clean and disinfect a wound. Only use ONCE. Do not 'repeatedly' scrub wounds. 

Confectioner's Glaze 
Is the way to bind a medication to fish food. Gone are the days of paste food and oil. The write up is done, it's RIGHT HERE.

Koi Health & Disease
Hopefully this link takes you to the newest edition by PRIME to get it to your house the fastest. 

I have over ten of these Titanium Heaters in my fish room and at home. They're a paradigm shift in aquarium heating. They're titanium and 400W for under $30! Whaaaaaaaaat?

CyroPro by Hikari is safe and easy for Anchor Worms and Fish Lice.

Whatever heaters you use, back yourself up with a temperature controller, it'll turn on, and off your heaters. If your heater seizes "on" at least the thermostat will stop a tragedy. 

LifeGuard by Tetra is a tablet version of a tame 'chloramine-t' or 'halamid' compound that's easy to get and good on bacterial infections, in baths. 

If you're making medicated feed for a larger group of fish, this will come in handy. Dosing is available in the site. 

For me, filtration-of-choice
For aquariums, even small Koi holding facilities or small ponds. These sponge filters are cheap, easy to clean, and they clear hazes very well when used with some Accuclear or similar.

Rubber sided, round, nettable tanks
Make great hospital or quarantine facilities. They SHOULD cost about $200-300 depending on size, but this, lower quality unit (while panned in some reviews) may be good. Don't overfill and make sure it's propped up.

1200 Watt heater, on a thermostat held securely above the waterline, works GREAT as a large tank heater. That's all I'll say because there's risk of electrocution and all that. But then, even in a bucket you could get killed. Sound like fun?
I have several of these ALLIED PRECISION stainless ones that are a couple years old. Working still. 

Potassium Permanganate 
500 grams could be a lifetime supply but it's 50% more than the 100g cost wise, for 500% more amount. Dosing is in the site and the book.

What Does Ajax Eat?
I looked for something well formulated, with meat as the first ingredient. Something UNDER $2/lb and something they could deliver for free. And this was it. He looks and feels great on it.