If you asked your cat if it would be okay to put her through 10 separate, painful amputations that would weaken her legs, shoulders, and back muscles, she would probably say “no”—and she wouldn’t be alone. Many veterinarians in the U.S. and abroad absolutely refuse to declaw cats. In fact, in Germany and some other parts of Europe, declawing is illegal. Cats who have been declawed experience extreme pain when coming out of anesthesia and have difficulty walking until their paws heal. Without their claws, cats are virtually defenseless, and this can lead to neurosis and even skin and bladder problems.
Cats can easily be taught not to scratch furniture with the aid of a scratching post and firm, consistent instructions on where they may and may not scratch. To learn more, please visit PETA’s declawing factsheet.