Declawing Your Cat: Pros and Cons

Today, the practice of declawing domestic cats is a controversial and hotly-debated topic. Some argue that it is inhumane and cruel to the animal to remove the claws. While many veterinarians prefer to leave a cat’s claws on the animal, it is ultimately the owner’s decision whether or not to have the procedure performed. The veterinary professionals at Avery Ranch Animal Hospital encourage you to consider the following pros and cons of declawing your cat.


Medical Reasons – Sometimes, a claw is damaged, and it may be safer and more humane to remove the claw altogether. There is also the possibility that a claw may contain a tumor or other malady, in which case it is beneficial for the affected area to be removed.

Owner Distress – Some people simply should not be exposed to a cat’s claws. People with suppressed immune systems, blood disorders, and the elderly can’t always deal with a clawed animal—not only do the claws tear the skin if the cat scratches a person, but the claws have bacteria on them that may have harmful effects on certain individuals. Consult both your medical doctor and a veterinary professional at Avery Ranch Animal Hospital to discuss the medical implications of a clawed or declawed cat.

Cosmetic Reasons – The most common reason that people have their cat declawed is to prevent the animal from tearing up carpet or furniture. If your cat doesn’t have claws, it can’t destroy anything with them.


Unnatural for Cat – The fact is, cats are born with claws, and many see removing them as a disruption of nature’s order for the animal. Removing a cat’s claws effectively removes its defense mechanism, its way of grabbing and holding things, etc.

Painful for Cat – Declawing is surgery, and surgery is painful. Cat’s claws are not like toenails; they are like fingers, and removing them involves the cutting of tissue and bone. It is extremely unpleasant for the cat, especially when they have to walk after the surgery.

Possible Complications – Infection is a possibility in any surgery. Sometimes claws can even grow back if the surgery isn’t performed correctly, although they will not grow back properly, causing further problems.

Keep this in mind: some people, even if they are opposed to declawing, would contend that it is better for a cat’s owner to declaw the animal then give it away or euthanize it. At Avery Ranch Animal Hospital, we recommend calling and discussing the options with your Avery Ranch veterinarian. Talking with a professional will help you decide which option is right for you, your family, and your cat.

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