Why Not to De-Claw a Cat

Why Not to De-Claw a Cat

At first, declawing a cat might make perfect sense to you. They can’t scratch or otherwise harm you with claws they don’t have. Cat’s aren’t able to fight successfully with other cats without their claws or dart out of corners to scratch dogs.


On the other hand, the harm may be much greater than the benefit!

You Are Removing Bone when DeClawing a Cat

While a portion of a dog’s claws are vascular and contain nerve endings, a cat’s claws are literally made of bone! De-clawing a cat literally involves amputating the distal phalanx. Imagine cutting off the very last bone of your fingers, the one with your fingernails, and this would be the equivalent of de-clawing a cat.

Walking on Wounds

You might not think docking a dog’s tail is that bad. Dog’s don’t need to walk on their tails continuously, and won’t be placing pressure on their wounds every second of it. This increases chances for serious problems:


  • Bacterial or viral infection

  • Tissue necrosis (death)

  • Lameness

  • Back Pain

No More Climbing

Cats are natural climbers, their claws curved to assist in climbing! They love to hide away in those tall perches, surveying the landscape around them. It gives them a sense of security and accomplishment!


Not only will it be more difficult for your cat to reach these perches, but the possibility of fall-related injury also increases exponentially! This is so common, veterinarians have a specific name for it: High Rise Syndrome.


  • Increased likelihood of falling from high perches

DeClawing a Cat Eliminates a Means of Defense

Outdoor cats rely on their claws as a first-line means of defense. A cat without this protection is at a severe disadvantage during a standoff with another cat! That being said, an outdoor cat without claws could easily wind up injured or dead after a confrontation.

Is it Cruel to DeClaw a Cat?

Most owners de-claw their cat for human convenience, although not always. Considering the discomfort, increased possibility for injury, the potential for infection, and decreases in the quality of life, this could be considered animal cruelty to many pet owners.


Understand, a cat’s claws are a huge part of his being and contribute to his lifestyle. In fact, a cat instinctually relies on his claws on a daily basis. Taking those away would be like taking away each of a human’s fingertips, literally.

Previous article Why do Cats Knead
Next article Cats and Human Emotions