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
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.

[ 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!"

[ 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.

[ 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.

[ Michigan Humane Declawing Information ]
This Michigan Humane Society offers information on legal action taken against the inhumane practice of declawing cats.

Articles on Declawing

[ TheSprucePets: Declawing Information ]

On this site, you will find lots of information regarding why you should not declaw your cat.

[ 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 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 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.

[ 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®.

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