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Products Offer Options to Declawing

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Declawing is the removal of a cat's front claws so it can't scratch furniture or people. Declawing is very controversial. Some people believe it's inhumane to declaw a cat because the surgery causes needless pain and suffering. They compare declawing a claw to amputating a finger. If you buy a purebred cat from a breeder or adopt a cat from a rescue group, you may be required to sign a contract that forbids declawing.

Those in favor of declawing believe a cat is only uncomfortable for a few days after the surgery. They also point out that some cats will continue to reject scratching posts in favor of destroying furniture despite all efforts to train them properly. Declawing a cat is certainly better than dropping her off at a shelter because she's ruining your furniture.

Once in a while, declawing leads to negative behavior. Some cats start to bite after they're declawed. Others start to eliminate outside of their litterboxes because using the litterbox hurts their paws.

Try other alternatives before you declaw your cat. If your cat is scratching your furniture, buy a good quality scratching post. Dangle toys and treats from the post and spray it with catnip. Place the post in an area where the family gathers, so the cat doesn't have to go off by herself to scratch. Cover the furniture the cat is scratching with slip covers, if possible. Your cat won't be able to grip the furniture if it's covered.

If your cat still scratches the furniture, try clipping her nails or try a product like Soft Claws® Cat Nail Caps that allow you to place plastic caps over your cat's trimmed claws.

Always talk to your veterinarian before you decide to declaw your cat and never declaw a cat that's allowed outside. A cat's nails are her best defense against a dog or wild animal.

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