Declawing Cats: To Declaw or Not Declaw

I’ve become a big fan of Jackson Galaxy. His show “My Cat From Hell” is very educational. I am currently looking for a cat to join my two-dog family and one of Jackson’s episodes addressed something I’ve been wary of for years: declawing cats.

declawing cats

This close-up of a cat’s claw clearly shows the last joint that is painfully amputated when a cat is declawed. Image credit: Howcheng

People declaw cats because they keep them inside. Keeping cats indoors is best for the cat’s health and safety, but there are other options to keep your home in tact without declawing your cat. In fact, according to the Human Society of the United States, “Many countries have banned declawing. The Humane Society of the United States opposes declawing except for the rare cases when it is necessary for medical purposes, such as the removal of cancerous nail bed tumors.”

declawing cats

This beautiful Scottish Fold cat loves his scratching post. Image credit: Tata, aka: T


Start by getting your cat a good sized scratching post. If your cat wants to sharpen his claws on your furniture, use double-sided tape on those areas. He won’t want to get that sticky stuff on his claws and will leave the furniture alone. Also rub some catnip on the scratching post if your cat isn’t interested in it. That will draw him to it. You can make an alternative to the scratching post by nailing an old piece of carpet to a board. This gives your cat a different texture to scratch.

Keeping the cat’s nails trimmed dulls the nails and makes the scratching less destructive. There are also caps that you can get and put on your cats’ nails. This doesn’t stop the cat from scratching but it will protect your furniture.


Declawing cats is a brutal operation. The procedure consists of the amputation of the last bone of each toe. Imagine how you would feel with the tips of your toes cut off! Declawed cats can have medical problems, too. Declawing changes the way a cat’s foot functions. Again, think about how you walk and then how this would change without your tip toes.

If you are thinking of declawing your cat, please don’t! We hope the suggestions above give you steps to take to stop the scratching of furniture without declawing your cat. You can read more about this on The Humane Society’s website.

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