Upsides And Downsides Of Declawing Your Cat

Declawing cats has become less common in the veterinary community because vets have become more aware of the possible side effects. However, there is no one right solution. For some cats and their owners, declawing is still the best option. For others, there are better solutions — like keeping the claws trimmed or using claw caps. So should you have your cat declawed? Well, that depends. Take a look at the pros and cons of this procedure and decide where you stand.

Pro: Declawing reduces the risk of you being injured and infected.

Declawing ensures your cat cannot scratch you. If you are someone with an autoimmune disease or another condition that puts you at a huge risk if you were to be exposed to bacteria or suffer a small wound, then this may make declawing a good choice. Cats carry a lot of pathogenic bacteria on their claws. For the average, healthy person, this is not a huge deal as long as any scratches get cleaned and treated ASAP. But for an older person or someone with lower immunity, owning a cat with claws may be unsafe for this reason.

Con: Declawing can lead to litter box trouble.

After you have your cat declawed, it will take them a little while to recover. Their paws will be sore during this time, so they may not want to use the litter box. Unfortunately, that habit of going outside the litter box may then be retained, even after the cat recovers. This does not happen to most or even many cats, but it is a possibility to be aware of as you consider having your cat declawed.

Pro: Declawing protects your furniture and home.

You can keep a cat from clawing up your furniture by putting on claw caps, providing a good scratching post, and trimming their nails. However, some cats still do a bit of damage. If you have tried these steps and they have not been effective, having your cat declawed could be the solution that allows you to keep the cat without having your home destroyed.

Con: Declawing can lead to arthritis later in life.

Cats who are declawed walk a little differently than those who are not declawed. This can cause them to develop arthritis later in life. You can keep an arthritic cat comfortable with pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications, but this is still something to be aware of.

If you are still not sure whether you should declaw your cat, talk to your vet. They can help you evaluate your own situation and determine what's best.