Get Control of Your Cat's Claws

Claws and couches are a bad combination, and every cat lover knows it. Upholstery is just too expensive to be used as a scratching post. So what's a girl to do when cushions meet cat claws? De-clawing is one option, and iVillagers tell their stories here.

"I prefer behavioral training, but I fully admit that it's time-consuming and can be difficult, especially with older cats who've had bad habits for years. You have to be ready to make a commitment." --paulajean2

"If you want a cat to stop biting, never declaw it. Declawing tends to increase biting because you've taken away his natural defense and he compensates by using his teeth more. Train him not to bite instead. When he bites, say 'Ouch' loudly and 'No.' Then stop playing with him. He should correlate biting to an unpleasant reaction from you (and being ignored)." --willed

"Utter nonsense! I've had 10 cats throughout my life who have all died of natural causes -- and I declawed all of them. They were not more prone to biting, nor did it affect their personalities in any negative way. They were sweeties before the operation and sweeties afterward." --grafixgal

"Cats who are declawed can no longer use their paws to pick up toys or climb their scratching posts. My cat used to love it when I rubbed his paws before we went to sleep. Now he won't let me touch them. He just pulls away." --frenchie_78

"Try an alternative procedure like a tendonectomy. It involves snipping the tendons between the claws and preventing them from extending. Cats seem to heal easier after this procedure because there's no bone removal." --CL-Miccee

"Because they live indoors, I had my two kittens declawed. I didn't really want to do it, but they came through fine. In fact, they've actually improved since they were fixed and declawed." --ladyhusky97

"Instead of declawing, you can always trim the claws. That's what we do (every two to three weeks). That way, she still has her claws, but they're just not as sharp. I know it seems like a hassle, but this way the cat will still have some defenses if it ever does get outside on accident." --moolynn2

"I have a wonderful Burmese who is the love of our lives. I declawed him, and guess what? He doesn't bite. He's a sweetheart and perfectly happy to be inside all the time with our other cat. Sorry, but I just don't buy the anti-declaw camp's anthropomorphic rhetoric." --grafixgal

"I agree that declawing is one choice, but whose choice is it? It's certainly not your cat's. I don't think it's in the best interest of the cat. Instead, that decision is motivated by money. I hope I never have a piece of furniture that's more important to me than my cats." --frenchie_78

"Declaw as last resort, if at all. Thought I'd pass along the advice I got at my local shelter when I adopted two cats last year. Most cats can be successfully trained to use a scratching post, and if you clip their nails regularly, they'll do just fine." --nicky_mom

What's your stance on the declawing issue? Visit the Cats message board and voice your opinion.

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