As a cat owner, respectful of the species, the choice to declaw a cat has never been an option. Cats were born with their claws for a reason and just because humans have an incessant need to protect their ‘stuff’ is no reason to have a cat’s claws removed.
Perhaps if people understood what goes into declawing a cat, they would change their mind about this painful procedure! The first thing to realize is that the operation can be compared to removing the finger to the first knuckle on a human hand! Ouch!
In addition, this procedure is considered inhumane in some countries since cats use their claws in order to grab and hold onto things. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) also considers the act as cruelty to animals.
Cats were born with claws for other purposes, too, like to scratch. Cats can be trained not to scratch furniture, carpet or other valuables, but they need their claws in order to properly survive.
Michelle C. Hollow of Pet News and Views stated the following five reasons why cats need their claws:
1. For Protection: If your cat ever gets outside and doesn’t have claws, he will be defenseless. Cats use their claws to climb trees, which can help them escape from dangerous situations. Without those claws, he has a greater chance of being attacked. Even indoor cats need their claws. I have a 9-year old, and when his friends come by they often want to pick up the cat. My cat likes some of the kids, and runs from the more aggressive ones. I am always on hand to make sure everyone is safe. In my house, everyone treats Earl, my cat, with respect. Don’t pick him up if he doesn’t want to be picked up. Earl is a sweetheart. However, he will show his claws if he feels threatened. He never struck anyone; yet it deters kids who can become overbearing.
2. For Exercise: They also use their claws for stretching their muscles.
3. Claws Mark Territory: Ever see a declawed cat scratch your furniture? It’s an inherent trait that marks a cat’s territory. They won’t scratch a particular item if you train them to use a scratching post. (In my house we avoid certain items, like tightly woven rugs and wicker furniture. They are just too tempting for my cat.)
4. For Balance: When a cat is declawed, it’s not at all like clipping nails. Declawing is amputating the claw and related bone and muscle tissue. Without that, balance is often affected.
5. To Catch Prey: Cats are natural hunters. My indoor cat has caught a few crickets that made their way indoors. He pounces on them and uses his claws to hold them in place.
Before you decide to get your cat declawed for your own purposes, check into the procedure, check with your vet, look into a trainer. There are other options available out there that will pose much less harm and pain to that furry fluff ball that you love! A few minutes of your time could ease years of pain and suffering for your cat!