When to Declaw Your Cat
Knowing when to declaw your cat can be a difficult decision.
On one hand, you hate the thought of removing your cat’s natural defensive weapons.
But when those little weapons are used on your drapes, sofa, or, even worse, your skin, it’s time for a reevaluation.
The internet may rage with the debate of whether declawing is helpful or harmful. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to make a decision for you and your kitty. For everyday people with everyday pets, we’re presenting some questions to help you make a decision.
How old is your cat?
Usually, an owner is considering declawing their cat because their cat, well…scratches. Cats do scratch, but some do more than others. The trajectory of your cat’s behavior is probably calibrated during kittenhood.
If you can deal with this behavior now, while your cat is a kitten, you may never need a visit to the vet.
However, if your cat is older and has been allowed to scratch humans at whim, you’re dealing with a deep-seated behavioral issue. It’s going to be hard to ingrain proper cat etiquette for the first time. It may make life a little simpler if you declaw your cat.
Does your cat regularly interact with small children or the elderly?
We know how you love to bring your kitty with you for a trip to see your aging mom. And you wouldn’t leave your kitty behind and miss the joy on your nieces and nephews’ faces for all the world.
But a scratching cat can bring this fun to a screeching halt.
You don’t want your cat swiping the ear of your 2-year-old niece. And you definitely don’t want your elderly aunt contracting cat-scratch disease from your kitty’s ill-mannered swipe.
Does your cat live indoors?
If you are thinking about declawing your cat, you’ll need to consider what kind of life your cat lives. If your cat is constantly outside, declawing may not be the best option. Declawing will take away some of your feline’s ability to defend himself.
Declawing may remove some of her fun, too. She certainly won’t be able to give you that weekly present of a mouse on your front doorstep. Think hard about the life your cat will have to live after declawing.
What is your home like?
If you have plenty of cloth furniture, thick carpets, and long drapes…maybe you should consider declawing your cat. It depends on how important your current living arrangements are to you.
If you can’t see ripping your house apart to accommodate your kitty’s daily manicure, you may want to declaw your cat.
While declawing your cat is fully within your realm of options, it’s better to try some prevention first. Give your cat a scratching post and attempt to train him to avoid filing his claws on your couch. See if you can get to the root of your cat’s aggressive behaviors and fix them.
In the end, use your good judgment and make the best decision for both you and your precious cat!
Can you think of some other questions to ask yourself before declawing your cat? Write them in the comments section below!