Declawing is a violent, invasive, painful, and unnecessary mutilation that involves 10 separate amputations—not just of cats’ nails but of their joints as well. Its long-term effects include skin and bladder problems and the gradual weakening of cats’ legs, shoulders, and back muscles.
Declawing is both painful and traumatic, and it has been outlawed in Germany and other parts of Europe as a form of cruelty. Many veterinarians in the U.S. refuse to declaw cats, who experience extreme pain when they awaken after surgery and have difficulty walking until their paws heal.
Without their claws, cats are virtually defenseless. Some stop using their litterboxes. Sensing their vulnerability, some cats become paranoid and develop neuroses. Others who escape the safe confines of home are left completely vulnerable to predators and abusers.
Scratching does not cause a problem if cats’ nails are trimmed properly. Scratching posts and consistent guidance about where they may scratch also help cats learn not to scratch furniture or other inappropriate items.