Please Don't Declaw Your Cat

This Is Moses

Moses is a cat without any claws on his front paws. That’s right. His owners declawed him, but you want to know the worst part? They throw him out of the house everyday while they’re at work.

I got to know about him because his "owners" live next door to my parents, who let him inside their house whenever they see him.

Moses is primarily an outside cat with only his teeth to defend him, should he happen to run into any unfriendly animals. As if it isn’t inhumane enough to declaw a cat in the first place.

Do You Know What Happens When A Cat Is Declawed?

What? Declawing a cat is inhumane? It’s just like clipping a human’s fingernails, right? Wrong! Cat declawing is major surgery, and the U.S. is the only country in the world that commonly practices it. England denounces it for being the inhumane practice it is, and Europe has completely outlawed it.

When a cat’s claw is removed, the vet must also remove the end bone of the cat’s toe because the two are attached. So, in addition to taking away the “toenails,” you are also removing the final, crucial section of the cat’s toes.

Think of it as having everything up to the first joint in all your fingers and toes amputated. That's right, amputated. Recovery from this surgery is slow, and it can be very painful for the poor animal, who has to keep walking (and relearn how to balance) on the injured feet until they heal.

Here's the proof that I know about scratched and mutilated furniture.
Here's the proof that I know about scratched and mutilated furniture.

But What About Your Furniture?

Believe me. I understand. I really do. I have two cats of my own, and look what's happened to my furniture at the claws of one of them.

Well, actually, the chair used to belong to my grandmother, who must be rolling over in her grave because of this. She had a cat in her house for years who was never declawed, but she always covered her furniture in plastic.

I don't believe in covering furniture in plastic anymore than I do declawing cats, so I just live with the scratched-up furniture.

There Are Alternatives to Declawing

If you're really worried about the damage your cat can do to your furniture, you might want to consider trimming its claws, rather than taking them away altogether.

There are also really fun claw caps on the market now called Soft Claws. Maybe you've seen them? You can get them clear or in a variety of colors. They will come off when your cat's nail grows out in about 4-6 weeks, but they're reasonably inexpensive - a lot cheaper than paying for the declawing surgery.

Take care, when buying these, that you get the correct size. The small fits a very young cat, one that weighs between 6 and 8 pounds. The medium fits a 9-13 pound cat. And the large Soft Claw will fit really large cats - 14 pounds and larger. For your average house cat, if you get the medium size, you should be just fine.

Here's one of those completely destructible scratching posts.
Here's one of those completely destructible scratching posts.

Or You Could Always Invest in a Scratching Post

And when I say scratching post, I don't mean one of those little dinky ones that get tossed around the house and come apart at the least little use.

You know the ones I'm talking about? Sure, you do. We've all seen them at Wal-Mart. And some of us have even been suckered into buying them.

But have you ever known one of these to stop a cat from clawing furniture? I sure haven't. My cats either completely ignore them or just stare at them in disdain and then turn their backs on them.

Now There's a Better Post

The Ultimate Scratching Post is 32 inches tall, so your cat can get a really good stretch, unlike the little 12-inch post shown in the photo above. The only way your cat can get a good stretch with that one is if you put it on top of a little stool. But then the thing would fall off right on top of your cat when the cat pulled on it because it's so flimsy - especially if your cat is over 10 pounds like mine are. This would absolutely not happen with the Ultimate Scratching Post. It has almost 20 pounds of heft to it, making it super-sturdy and virtually tip-proof.

This post is also virtually indestructible. It's made of sisal fibers, instead of the usual cheap carpet-like material that usually covers most scratching toys. Sisal is a really strong fiber that comes from the agave plant. No matter how sharp your cat's claws are, this fiber is guaranteed to keep looking great for several years.

Yes, the Ultimate Scratching Post is quite a bit pricier than other scratching posts, but the quality is so worth the price! Your cats will be much happier, and your furniture will be much safer.

One Final Plea

If you've been thinking about having your cat declawed, I hope this hub has helped you consider some other options that would be workable for you and your pet.

You cannot stop your cat from scratching. You just can't. It's instinctive behavior. And even if you declaw your cat, it will still want to go through the motions of scratching, anyway.

There are so many much more humane options available to you and your cat. But if you do declaw your cat, please, please don't leave it outside alone for any length of time where it will be totally defenseless. Your cat, like Moses, would be better off if you just gave it to another family who would keep it safely inside.

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Comments 31 comments

LennyP profile image

LennyP 5 years ago from Iowa

Great post. Hopefully someone may read this and realize just how cruel this procedure is and reconsider.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Thanks, Lenny. That's my hope, too!


truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

Declawing is so cruel. My cat loves cardboard, so I just put out the cardboard and she goes to town. Hope people read this to get educated about why not to declaw.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I have 2 Burmese cats and have now that they are old they mostly live indoors. This does mean that their claws get long, but I have them clipped. They can still balance - and indeed scratch, but it does cut 'wear and tear'. When they were young I did (mostly) train them not to scratch the furniture.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Thanks for reading, truthfornow and 2 patricias.


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Thanks for writing this workingmomwm - it amazes me that people still think that this is even an option, especially if you love animals and don't want to see them tortured! Amazingly I still hear of this happening -like no one explains what this operation really does to cats? Cats do scratch but as you covered there are other alternatives!!!!Good informative hub!


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Exactly, chatkath. I don't understand why people get cats only to mutilate them - just never will get that. Maybe one day it will stop!


JD Barlow profile image

JD Barlow 5 years ago from Southeast US

Great hub. I agree that declawing a cat is very cruel.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Thanks, JD.


Purple Perl profile image

Purple Perl 5 years ago from Bangalore,India

Thanks for creating the awareness. Really inhuman to treat cats that way.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, Purple Perl. :-)


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

I love cats and hate the thought of declawing cats! Thanks for a good article. One of the best scratching pads I've found is the Turbo Pad, a round pad that lies flat on the floor. It has a ball in a groove around the edges that many cats love to bat around. My cats absolutely love this scratcher and use it to clean their claws every time they come out of the litter box as well as other times.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Hi, Stephanie. Thanks for the recommendation. I actually have one of those, and my cats don't scratch on it at all. They love playing with the ball, and so does my 2-year-old, so I keep it around because of that. :-)


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

Go figure...cats are such individualists!


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Stephanie: Yes, definitely!


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

"expletive" your furniture. Cat's have more rights than furniture.

Great hub.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Ha! Agreed. :-) Thanks, Wesman Todd Shaw.


ii3rittles profile image

ii3rittles 5 years ago

THANK YOU FOR THIS! In my opinion, if you want a cat you train it to not touch the furniture and give it its own scratching area. It's cruel to rip out their nails because your worried about a couch. If you love your furniture more then an animals feeling you shouldn't have a cat in the first place. I will NEVER EVER de-claw a cat because it isn't right. That poor cat was outside defenseless. How mean. That's like taking out a persons teeth and saying here, eat this apple. What's wrong with people! I love cats and understand them. They don't feel complete without their nails or their whiskers. Most people that have a cat who is declawed did it to them at a young age, which is horrible but what's worse is when people do it when they are 2 or 3 years old! They get depressed just like we do so YES they have feelings! The guy that lives downstairs from me got a cat. She was 3 years old. He declawed her and she ended up getting depressed and peeing on his couch so he got rid of her in a matter of months. How mean! If I didn't already have two cats up here, I would have taken her in. The poor thing is damaged for life now.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Hi, ii3rittles. What a sad story! Some people just shouldn't have cats. Period.


ThebeautysInside 5 years ago

If I ever saw somebody declaw a cat after they read this with no regrets, I think I might just go over there in a black cat-burglar outfit myself and steal the cat. i would be a much better owner dont you think? bad humour I know. My cats are perfectly fine scratching at my strong persian rug, for about 8 years now it's still in almost perfect condition (almost).


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Hi, beautysinside. Thanks for reading and commenting. It sounds like you probably would be a better owner to the poor cat! :-) Not that I advocate stealing on any level ... Just put a dish of cat food and bowl of milk outside and ALL the cats will come to you on their own! ;-)


Jeff_McRitchie 5 years ago

Great Hub. Declawing is incredibly cruel. People who want to declaw their cats to save their furniture shouldn't have cats. At all.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Agreed! Thanks, Jeff.


Jessica Brock 5 years ago

Who ever thought of declawing a cat in the first place is just cruel. I'm so glad we don't do it here in the uk, I never even knew about it until now! I hope it's not a popular thing where you are. But your ideas are great and more people should give them a try before they declaw a defenceless animal!


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Hi, Jessica. I'm not exactly sure how common the practice is in the whole U.S., but it's pretty popular. Those people who own and declawed Moses have another cat they did the same thing to. She doesn't live with my parents, though, because she's afraid of their dog.

It looks like people are starting to wake up to the fact that declawing a cat is actually a cruel thing to do, so hopefully the U.S. will soon follow the rest of the world and get rid of the practice entirely!


flowergirl* 5 years ago

Hey! My old cat was named Moses! How funny! He did die, which was sad. Back when I was 4 years old, we got my cat scarlet declawed. It is now seven years later, and she is urging to scratch. I feel so bad for her! Do you have any ideas for how I could help her? Is there any fake claws we could put in or something? My parents are planning to declaw my cat Lightning now! I will tell them no, and the advice you gave me! Thank you so much!:)


flower girl* 5 years ago

My parents chose not to declaw lightning! I talked to them.


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Hi, flower girl. That's great news! :-)


kartika damon profile image

kartika damon 4 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

It's wrong to declaw cats! And, it is against the law in some European countries, as well! Scratching posts and training work - so does nail trimming. Thank you!


Sawfishlagoon profile image

Sawfishlagoon 4 years ago from Shallow, brackish water

"They throw him out of the house everyday while they’re at work."

That's the problem. Cats decimate wildlife. Why don't people love wildlife as much as their pets. I do.

Please don't let your cat do this.

http://youtu.be/dPOEEsj7Dxo


workingmomwm profile image

workingmomwm 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA Author

Sawfish: Humans do more harm to wildlife than cats do...

http://www.operationsafe.org/freeroamingcats/truth...

And these cats who have been declawed aren't doing much damage at all because of the mutilation they have faced. You're completely missing the point of my article.

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