S.3 E. 2 Perched Kitty Show, Declawing-Weighing in on the evidence


By Patricia Saunders

March 9, 2019

According to most sources, yes, declawing can be beneficial to you and your furniture. The reality is though, in most cases, cats groom their own nails and shed the outer layers to make way for sharper nails. I came across this topic in a facebook group. The topic did give me pause to take a look at the issue as a whole, including how declawing is perceived amongst animal professionals.

“A team of researchers has found that declawing domestic cats can lead to some unexpected adverse outcomes. A retrospective study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery reported that declawed cats have an increased risk for back pain and behavioral problems after declaw surgery.Jun 3, 2017.”

The first thing to arise is the differing opinions on declawing. We can establish that , yes, trimming the nails every few weeks is humane. Removing your cat’s nails permanently, perhaps not so humane.

Veterinary News published an article which provides a positive look at declawing, however, some of the information in the article is not well researched.  I also found that some studies were overtly biased in favor of or against, depending on who published it. Most recently published by the American Veterinary Association, there is the growing concern that declawing may bring about more serious health complications later in life.

The only pros to declawing are that your kids will be safe from those nasty little cat scratches and your chairs and sofa will last much longer than anticipated. The cons for the cat, in my mind, outweigh the benefits for my furniture.

Cats are not like dogs, they will never be like a dog. They will climb your furniture, and your curtains. The will kneed your new carpet like a fresh fine dough, and rip at your linoleum.

The bottom line is that if you are highly concerned about the damage a cat may do with their claws, you might want to consider another kind of animal as a companion, and leave the cats to those of us who don’t mind covering the furniture, or making the house cat friendly. I covered my sofa for years, no one ever got sick or even complained and most notably, the cats liked the plushy blankets all over the place.

  • Cons
    There is no medical benefit to the cat
    May cause significant personality changes including biting behavior.
    Painful arthritis in the paws later in life. Painful arthritis in the spine.

Imagine having you finger cut off at the second knuckle.

  • Pro
    Provides for the safekeeping of my furniture

My children don’t accidentally or otherwise get scratched

It is now illegal to declaw a cat in most Canadian provinces.


Link to References