De-clawing .com
A Directory to Every Major Declawing Site on the Net
cat mouse
© Gary Dorr
Cats Need Claws
Declawing is much more drastic than the name implies. Claws are one of a cat's most distinctive and valuable assets. They're also quite magnifcent when you look at them closely. All cats use their claws practically every day of their life. Practically every waking hour, in fact. Cats use their claws for scratching, climbing, balance, defense, playing, kneading, and even self-expression. Claws are amazingly engineered and well-crafted tools and cats know how to work them with finesse. From a cat's point of view, claws are not optional. Claws are an integral part of a cat's "catness." No cat wants to be declawed.

Declawing is Harsh
Declawing not only removes all ten front claws, it also removes part of the paw itself. What an extreme penalty to pay for merely engaging in natural and beneficial scratching behavior. Cats walk on their paws, they need the whole paw, they're not born with "extra" paw that can be cut off.

The U.S. and Canada are the "Odd Men Out"
The U.S. and Canada are the only countries where declawing is commonplace. In many countries declawing is illegal or is considered inhumane, and you would be hard-pressed to find a veterinarian who would agree to do the operation. In the U.S., it's quite easy to declaw preemptively, i.e., even in the absence of any scratching problem. We've turned medically unnecessary amputation, done for the convenience of the human, into something routine. But it's not fair to pin all the blame on veterinarians who declaw. If nobody requests that their cat be declawed, the practice will die out in a few years.

The Solution
The most effective antidote to declawing is information -- about the procedure itself and about the wide array of humane options for managing claws. You can use this site as your home base for learning about the value of claws, the problems with declawing, and cat-friendly ways to deal with claws.


Web Sites about Declawing

declawing.com
Written by veterinarian Christianne Schelling, this site explains exactly what the declawing procedure entails and the various negative impacts it can have on your cat. The site provides information you can use right away, such as the basis of scratching and how to trim your cat's claws. Everything on the site is easy to understand; it's a great introduction to declawing and alternatives.


[ Amby's Cat Information Site ]

This is a great site! It contains a ton of information about declawing, as well as possibly the most extensive collection of "do it yourself" cat furniture plans on the Internet.


max

Max's House is not strictly a declawing site; it's an "everything" site about cat health and cat care, as well as the home base for a wonderful animal rescue organization. You could easily spend weeks perusing all the useful articles at Max's House. The declawing section illustrates the surgery in detail, and warns of the many physical and emotional problems that can occur when cats are deprived of their first line of defense and everyday mobility aid.


[ LisaViolet: Educate!!! Don't Amputate!!! ]

The LisaViolet declawing site and web ring are unparalleled at providing in-depth coverage of every facet of declawing. If you are considering declawing, or want to learn more about the procedure and its effect on cats, or about claws in general, you really should visit this site. Highly recommended.


[ The Paw Project ]

The Paw Project's mission is "to educate the public about the painful and crippling effects of feline declawing, to abolish the practice of declaw surgery, and to rehabilitate big cats that have been declawed." The Paw Project also rehabilitates lions, tigers, and other big cats that suffer from declawing. The mere thought of amputating these mighty cats' toes is horrifying, and the effects of the surgery are debilitating. This is a wonderful and educational organization, headed by veterinarian and animal advocate Jennifer Conrad.


[ Good Cats Wear Black ]

Annie Bruce, cat care consultant, author of "Cat Be Good," and pro-claw activist, makes a strong case that declawing correlates with increased house-soiling. As evidence she cites studies and her own well-documented record. By a wide margin, it's her clients with declawed cats who are faced with the most challenging, seemingly unsolvable litter box problems. As Ms. Bruce states, "Urine runs deeper than claws. With claw damage you can reupholster/recover or hide. With urine damage, you may have to throw it away. In some cases, even floorboards are replaced, security deposits and leather sofas are lost. This extensive damage typically does not occur with owners of clawed cats!"


[ Pawprints and Purrs / Clawed for Life ]

Cat lover and adamant pro-claw advocate Susie Bachman devotes a portion of her site to educating people about declawing and pleading with them not to declaw their cats. The site provides extensive descriptions of how cats use their claws and detailed instructions on how to trim them. There is also a link to extremely graphic step-by-step pictures of the declawing surgery.


[ Declaw or No? ]

Jacqlee the Cat Lady speaks with eloquence and passion about cats. She devotes a large section of her site to educating people about two sides of the same coin: 1) the numerous advantages that accrue to a cat from having his/her claws, and 2) a whole range of physical, psychological, and philosophical problems with declawing. She then moves on to explain the reasons cats scratch, and how you can accommodate this innate activity in a manner that pleases both kitty and you.


Why Cats Scratch

cat scratching
All the reasons cats scratch. Also how and where they scratch. Scratching is, among other things, fun and good exercise for your cat, and this site shows how you can enjoy your cat's scratching activity as much as he does.


[ Max's House: Feline Scratching ]
Why cats scratch, and how to design an appealing scratching area for your cat. Informative and easy to understand. ©Max's House®/S.T.A.R.T. II® http://maxshouse.com.


[ Feline Owners Manual and Maintenance Guide Ch. 3: Claws ]
About Cats Guide Franny Syufy explains how scratching helps keep your Cat in tip-top condition. She also shows how to encourage scratching in the appropriate places, and discourage it in out-of-bounds areas.


[ Living with Claws: Smart Solutions for Cat Lovers ]
Pet care author Amy Shojai explains the integral role of scratching in a cat's life, and focuses on several ways to gently redirect this innate and useful activity.


[ Understanding the Motivation of the Scratching Behavior ]
Veterinarian and cat behavior expert Nicholas Dodman tells us why cats scratch -- it's more than conditioning claws. He also shares his wisdom about claw management methods that preserve both the claws and the furniture, and avoid the "travesty of declawing." ©Max's House®/S.T.A.R.T. II® http://maxshouse.com.


[ Stop Your Cat from Scratching Your Furniture--Without Declawing ]
This Michigan Humane Society article offers a multitude of suggestions on how to get your cat to scratch in all the right places.


Articles on Declawing

[ About.com Cats Site: Declawing and Humane Alternatives ]

In this article, part of the vast About Cats library, guide Franny Syufy eloquently lays out the case against declawing and defends a cat's "right to bear claws." The article compares the attitude to declawing in the United States with the rest of the civilized world; it also cites a growing number of organizations opposed to this medically unnecessary procedure. Franny also clearly but succinctly shows how to prevent furniture damage without declawing.


[ Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR): Position on Declawing ]

AVAR is opposed to unnecessary surgeries on animals, including declawing. They consider declawing to be an extreme measure and liken it to cutting off a person's finger at the last joint. This online brochure (also available in hardcopy) examines the declawing procedure, describes non-invasive options to declawing, and articulates AVAR's philosophical objections to declawing, particularly when it is imposed as a condition of adoption.


[ Cat Fanciers Association (CFA): Position on Declawing ]

The CFA is in solidarity with the vast majority of shelters and rescue groups in the U.S. in their opposition to declawing. In this Guidance Statement, the CFA states that declawing is without benefit to the cat, and may cause short- and long-term medical and behavioral problems. The article points out the physical and psychological advantage of claws, the importance of early training, and the risks associated with declawing.


[ From a Veterinary Technician: So You're Thinking of Getting Your Cat Declawed? ]

A description of what your cat will go through if you declaw him, from the person who will be preparing your cat for the surgery and putting on his bandages afterword.


[ My Two Cents ]

In this essay, the author reflects on her own experiences with claws, and informs us of some dangers of declawing that we might not have considered. She also wonders what kind of lesson declawing teaches children.


[ Declawing Horror Stories ]

Some of these are just sad. If you think declawing doesn't cause problems, or is a reasonable way to prevent unwanted scratching, please read these accounts from cat owners, rescue workers, and breeders who have seen the lives ruined in declawing's wake.


[ Pictures of a Declawing Surgery ]

From the LisaViolet site: "Warning: what follows are pictures taken during an actual declaw surgery. If you are disturbed by graphic photos, these may not be to your liking." At the end of the surgery, kitty's claws are in the trash, and what's left of her paws are bandaged.


[ Declawing! What You Need to Know ]

This article is courtesy of the All States Burmese Society and the amby.com Declawing Cats: Issues & Alternatives site, a valuable resource for declawing information on the Web. The article describes the important role of claws in a cat's anatomy and daily life, and explores various harmful consequences of declawing.


[ Declawing As Seen by a Shelter Volunteer ]

Colleen Patrick guest-authors an article for the About.com Cats Site in which she describes how she's forced to deal with the victims of declawing. She points out with dismay that many declawed cats show up at the shelter; she attributes both the declawing and the subsequent rejection to a lack of commitment by the owner. She also laments the unrealistic expectations that some people have of their pets.


[ Feline Future: Declawing ]

Feline Future is an in-depth source of information about cat nutrition and care. In this discussion, the author explains the declawing procedure and counters several of the common (but quite inadequate) defenses of declawing. The article exhorts us to accept -- even anticipate -- normal cat behavior, and concludes that "no one has the right to mutilate another, for their own personal gain."


[ You Can't Declaw with Love ]

Veterinarian Paul Rowan and cat expert Carol Wilbourn explain how declawing is done, and the numerous short- and long-term complications that can arise from the procedure. The authors urge you to use gentler, alternative methods to manage claws. The article is included as part of the Little Shelter (Huntington, NY) web site. This marvelous shelter is brimming with love and useful information about caring for your animals.


[ Declawing Cats: Making a Humane Decision ]

Holistic veterinarian Dr. Jeffrey Feinman points out the medical and safety risks associated with declawing, and provides helpful advice on scratching posts and claw-trimming. He also reminds us of the value and versatility of a cat's claws.


[ If You Love Your Cat... Don't Declaw! ]

That's the message from The Cat Practice, a veterinary clinic in New York City. Claws are a cat's all-purpose tools for daily activities. But when a cat loses her claws due to declawing, she loses more than mechanical dexterity. An inability to use claws has an emotional cost, too.


[ The Truth About Declawing ]

Cats International is well known for its cat behavior knowledge and educational programs. Here they lay out some of the ways that declawing deprives a cat of beneficial and enjoyable activities, and how a cat's attempts to compensate for loss of claws may damage more than just the couch.


[ Declawing... Information Alternatives ]

Feline Rescue, Inc. (St. Paul, MN) asks all prospective cat owners to PLEASE not declaw, and to consider all the ethical and physical problems associated with declawing.


[ Columbia-Green Humane Society: Declawing Myths and Facts ]

The Columbia-Greene Humane Society (Hudson, NY) explores common myths about declawing and claw management. The author reminds us that cats come with claws, and compares declawing a cat to removing the voice box of a bird who chirps or "de-toothing" a dog who chews shoes.


[ Cocheo Valley Humane Society: No-Declaw Policy ]

The Cocheo Valley (New Hampshire) Humane Society explains their policy of not allowing any of their adopted cats to be declawed. They enumerate several of the physical and emotional problems caused by declawing, and memorialize some of its victims.


[ Declawing Your Cat: Information on the procedure and other options... ]

Lucky Ones SPCA (Maryland) considers declawing to be a disfiguring and unnecessary surgery. On this web page, they talk about the value of claws and scratching, and some of the many less risky, less invasive options.


[ Declawing Cats: Manicure or Mutilation? ]

This page from the Pasadena SPCA web site describes some of the harmful effects that can occur from declawing, such as a claw growing back in a deformed way or less traction when the ability to grasp with claws is gone. The second half of the page gives excellent advice on how to train your cat where to scratch (e.g., periodically "refresh" the post with a sprinkle of catnip).


[ Declawing Cats: Making a Humane Decision ]

The Massachusetts SPCA encourages cat owners to seek alternatives to declawing, and provides information about the procedure, its medical and safety risks, and some much less drastic ways to manage claws.


[ The Royal Humane Society (British Columbia): Declawing Alternatives ]

This article makes us aware of the diversity of safety, health, and psychological problems that may be caused by declawing, and provides a common sense plan for humanely managing your cat's claws.


[ To Declaw is to Amputate ]

This Canadian site asserts that the term "declawing" is a misnomer, as it actually entails amputation of the toe from the last joint. The site talks about the medical complications and emotional/behavioral changes that declawing can bring on, and includes a well-written primer on how to trim cats' claws.


[ KittenCare.com: Claws! -- The facts of & alternatives to declawing ]

Simba is an expert on claws and is very pro-claw. On this page, Simba talks cat owners out of declawing, and into alternatives that let kitty keep these vital tools.


[ The Facts about Declawing -- and the Alternatives ]

This white paper, written for the Partnership for Animal Welfare, examines many aspects of declawing: why it is unfair to your cat, why cats claw, the surgery, the after-effects, buying and situating scratching posts, trimming nails, and applying SoftPaws®.


[ Skittlescam: Declawing Cats ]

Skittle's human "parents" discuss declawing and explain how they taught Skittles where to scratch, even though training didn't start until she was an adult. They reason that part of making your pet a family member is not surgically removing her claws if she scratches in the wrong place.


Questions or Comments about the web site? Please feel free to e-mail me.
Dr. Christianne Schelling     Copyright 2006, All Rights Reserved



Declawing Sites on the Internet

Declawing in General

Trimming Claws

Why Cats Scratch

SoftPaws® -- A Humane Alternative

The right type of scratching post for your cat

Related Articles

Non-Declaw Veterinarians