We are adopting a kitten and are concerned about the furniture. Should we declaw?

We are concerned about the aftereffects on the kitten.
When a cat is declawed, the vet does not removed his "fingernails", the vet amputates his "fingers" at the first joint. Some people consider this a mutilation, and I think the ASPCA agreed with that assessment several years ago. Claws, as you know, are a cat's first line of defense, and also the way they catch their food: they snag it. When the claws are removed in declawing, the cat moves to his second line of defense: he bites, and declawed cats often become biters. So people then have them defanged. That may be okay for indoor cats, but indoor cats regularly shoot out an open door or meander out into a summer night through an open window and either don't or can't find their way home. A defanged and declawed cat without a home is a helpless creature who can neither defend himself nor hunt.

When cats "sharpen their claws", which is the thing they do to furniture that leaves it in tatters, they are not sharpening their claws at all. The claws grow from a cuticle at its base, just as do your fingernails. Only they grow faster, and the cuticle pulls at the claw as it grows. This is apparently an uncomfortable sensation, so the cat digs its claws into a treetrunk or an overstuffed chair, and pulls, to loosen the cuticle and free the claw. There is also an emotional clawing. You pull out a fun toy, or the cat hears your footsteps coming down the hall, and the cat excitedly digs in to the scratching post or carpet just inside the door.

You do not have to have your cat declawed to keep him from scratching the furniture. All you have to do is trim his claws--his front claws--once every week to ten days. There are cat claw clippers available at pet supply stores, and all the cat care books tell you not to use human toenail clippers, because they can split the claw. But I always used human toenail clippers. If you buy the professional ones, you can trim down closer to the quick, but I was always a coward about getting too close to the quick. I just took off the points.

Here's what you do: you sit the cat on your lap, and I do mean SIT him, with his backbone perpendicular to your pelvis and parallel to your backbone, and his back against your tummy. Then push in on the palm of his paw to express his claws, and just clip the points off his claws. If you train your kitten to expect this, he will never cause you a minute's problem. My cat used to sit like a gentleman in a spa for his weekly manicure. We did it every Sunday.

When you remove the points from your cat's claws, his claws cannot pierce your furniture, and if he should be playing with you and play-smack you on the face, his claws cannot pierce your skin, either.

Still, your cat does need to "sharpen his claws", so you should get him a scratching post, and because his claws are no longer rapier sharp, you need to get him a scratching post made of a material that his claws WILL be able to dig in to, so he can loosen the cuticle. So you get him a good, sisal scratching post. You can buy him the traditional, sort of phallic scratching post, with a nice wide base so he can get a good tug when he digs in to the vertical piece. But they also have these sisal--I don't know what to call them--humps, like an upside down, kind of flattened U. With a little effort, you can mount one of these on the wall just above the baseboard in the room he will haunt the most. In addition to the mainstay scratching post, I also bought a bunch of those cardboard, three inch wide cheapie scratching posts, and mounted them on doors, just beneath the doorknob (using double stick mounting tape) in rroms where he would do emotional scratching -- like on the entry door. Rub all the scratching posts with catnip so he smears his scent on them.

And that is how you avoid a vet bill for surgery and train your cat to scratch HIS furniture, and not yours.

It really, really works, too.
Declaw only if the kitten will be an inside cat. It is better to declaw as a kitten than later in life... they only declaw the front paws
If you are considering declawing your cat, please read this. It will only take a moment, and it will give you valuable information to help you in your decision.

First, you should know that declawing is pretty much an American thing, it's something people do for their own convenience without realizing what actually happens to their beloved cat. In England declawing is termed "inhumane" and "unnecessary mutilation." I agree. In many European countries it is illegal. I applaud their attitude.

Before you make the decision to declaw your cat, there are some important facts you should know. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your the cat's claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's "toes". When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing. Wheelchairs and bedpans are not an option for a cat.

No cat lover would doubt that cats--whose senses are much keener than ours--suffer pain. They may, however, hide it better. Not only are they proud, they instinctively know that they are at risk when in a weakened position, and by nature will attempt to hide it. But make no mistake. This is not a surgery to be taken lightly.

Your cat's body is perfectly designed to give it the grace, agility and beauty that is unique to felines. Its claws are an important part of this design. Amputating the important part of their anatomy that contains the claws drastically alters the conformation of their feet. The cat is also deprived of its primary means of defense, leaving it prey to predators if it ever escapes to the outdoors.

I have also had people tell me that their cat's personality changed after being declawed. Although, the medical community does not recognize this as potential side effect.

Okay, so now you realize that declawing is too drastic a solution, but you're still concerned about keeping your household furnishings intact. Is there an acceptable solution? Happily, the answer is yes. A big, joyful, humane YES! Actually there are several. The following website "Cat Scratching Solutions" provides many solutions as well as and insight into the psychology of why cats scratch. You can teach your cat to use a scratching post (sisal posts are by far the best). You can trim the front claws.
We have a kitten to and he isn't declawed. Every time he scratches the furniture we spray him with water from a spray bottle. Doing this helps to teach the kitten that if it does something to the furniture he gets sprayed so he doesnt do it.
no no no! thats inhumane and cruel, and has been outlawed in many countries already (unfortunately, not in the US). don't do it. there are so many things you can do to keep the claws out of your furniture, like bitter apple spray. training with a scratching post, etc. please, for the sake of your cat, do anything besides declawing. my cats are not declawed and they're just fine with scratching up stuff we give them for scratching.
Declawing is inhumane and definitely should not be done. There are several solutions costing anywhere from just a little attention and time to a few dollars. You could consider caps for their claws, you could trim them, train them to use a scratching post, you could teach them not to scrath furniture by spraying water on them, the possibilities are endless. Just make sure, for the sake of your kitten, that you don't declaw him.
Please don't resort to declawing. It's illegal in the UK, most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand purely for the fact that it is classed as animal cruelty. The law actually refers to it as "mutlitation" which I think says it all. There are literally millions of cat owners worldwide who have managed to train their cats to behave with their claws. If we can do it, I'm sure that you can too. Just to make sure that you fully understand exactly what declawing involves - please take the time to look at the web site below. It also has testimonials from owners and carers of cats that have been declawed. If you love your kitten, please for his sake, make the time to ensure that you know the truth about this cruel practice.


Scratching is a perfectly natural behaviour for cats, and the most effective way to train them not to scratch where you don't want them to, is to offer them an acceptable alternative. If you're worried about his future potential to scratch furniture, then now is the ideal time to train him to use a scratching post. The web articles below offer advice and suggestions which will help you train him.


Please remember that he is still a baby and is bound to make mistakes whilst he's growing up. It's up to you to teach him good manners. With patience and kindness you can do this.
DE CLAWING DOES NOT HURT THE CAT. I was concerned about this with my cat, so I asked my vet, who I trust a ton, and he said in no way does it hurt them! You could teach your kitten no to claw the furniture. but it is only necessary to de claw the front claws. Also, only declaw if he's an INSIDE ONLY cat!!!! outside cats need claws to protect themselves!
My cats did not claw up any furniture, but months later we decided to declaw and one had no after effects but the other took a while for him to trust us again. BUt it all depends on the cat. If your cat is sweet then it will have no problems.
Last May, I adopted a 2 month old kitten and a month later we got her declawed (just the front paws). She is an indoor cat, so she does not need her front claws to protect herself. After getting her declawed, she was sore coming back from the clinic, but within a couple of hours she was playing with her toys, running all over the house. The only disadvantage was that, for about a month, she would nip and bite while we were playing with her. This habit has been outgrown and she won't bite but kind of nip when she gets excited.

Declawing is not a way to solve behavior problems though, and can lead to aggressive behavior, including biting. The operation is also ideal for 4-5 month old kittens, as they will adjust earlier than older cats. Older cats also tend to be more sore after the operation.
I would not recommend it. Basicly it would be like putting you under, breaking your fingers and pulling out the bone up to the first joint. kittens can be trained to use scratching posts to sharpen their claws. The reason they sharpen their claws is that they walk on their claws not their feet. If this is a real concern to you perhaps you should choose another pet that more fits your lifestyle, they will be a part of your family for a long time.
DO NOT DECLAW! if the kitten gets lost it has no way to help it self it would not surfive. if you are worryed about the furniture then just put the sticky side of tabe on the furniture where it may claw it and the kitten will not not like how it feeels so it will not do that again.
Buy a scratching post, show it how to use it (don't laugh) it works.
My cat is declawed and she has nothing wrong with her. She is a very happy cat and I have not seen anything wrong with her like people would say what would happen to a declawed cat.
My cat has not had any of these when she was declawed.
no behavorial problems
no bitting problems
No balance problems
can jump up and down from furniture
no personality problems
no litter box problems
she can play with her toys
The kitten would be put alseep and the kitten would not feel it and there is a special kind of litter you would use after the kitten would have the surgery. the kitten can get declawed at the age of 9 weeks.
You'll get a lot of answers saying, "ZOMG! Don't do it! It's cruel! BLABLABLA!" The fact of the matter is, if you have an indoor cat, it's NOT cruel. Yes, it will hurt recovering from the procedure...for a little while. Then they'll be fine. You're giving that cat a good home and taking care of it, where it otherwise may die. You should at least have the knowledge that you and your posessions will be scratch-free. Problems do arise if your cat is an outdoor cat, however, because they won't be able to defend themselves properly. Still, my two cats both spend some time outdoors (they're inside the majority of the time, but sometimes spend entire days outside) and are not only fine, but bring back dead mice all the time, showing that they are sufficiently protected, even without claws. I would say go ahead and declaw.
Before you declaw, think how you would like to have all your fingers cut off to the first joint. That's what declawing is, and it can change their personality and prevent them from using the litter box. Walking on litter with parts of you paws cut off hurts.

If you are that concerned about your furniture you need to look to adopt a cat that has already been declawed or consider adopting another pet.
NOOOO!! that's so cruel!! get a scratch post or an old bit of carpet!!

Thank you.
The procedure does not take long to do and is done under anesthesia; a surgical "superglue" is often used rather than putting stitches in. The cat would also recieve pain medication. Often, the pet is also fixed at the same time. Your kitty's feet will be sore for a while, so you'll be instructed to use shredded paper in the litterbox for about 2 weeks.
The younger the cat, the quicker the healing occurs.
Cats don't even realize they don't have those claws anymore.

Side effects aren't unheard of, but I personally have yet to experience anything drastic. Swelling of the paws may occur; be sure to contact your vet if this does occur.
Few people report behavioral changes.

The biggest thing isn't about the procedure - it's the ethical part. I see absolutely nothing wrong with a 2-paw declaw for indoor kitties (if they're indoors, why would they need claws anyhow? And they still have their voices, teeth, and back claws - they still have ways to defend themselves). I do not agree with 4-paw declaws under ANY circumstances.
Firstly, if your main concern is the FURNITURE I don't think you should be adopting an animal.

Declawing a cat is like removing fingernails on a human. It's painful and un-necessary. Cats claws are an extension of their bones and this procedure can leave their paws deformed and sore.

We have two indoor cats and we have minimal problems with the furniture. We have provided them with two scratching posts and we clip their nails on a regular basis. If we catch them scratching the couch we simply CLAP really loud and say 'No'. We also pick them up and move them to the scratching post. We haven't had many problems, and the scratching post gets a good work-out!

PLEASE please please don't de-claw. It's mean, painful and barbaric. As someone said it is illegal in most countries.

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