Medium answer: Declawing robs cats of natural defenses, leaving them scared, in chronic pain, and mean.
Did you know that a cat’s claws are basically their fingers? Cats walk on their tip toes naturally. While they might not use their claws for walking, the claws are tied heavily to the nervous system in their feet. Taking even one claw can result in nerve damage that will never heal–but a full declawing removes ten. Imagine taking a hatchet to the first joint of each of your fingers–yikes!
Cat scratches can be annoying, sure, but declawed cats come with a far heftier list of complications. Because they are in almost constant pain after the operation, declawed cats tend to develop rather particular habits. Declawing leads straight to:
- Refusing to use a little box because the litter is painful on their feet
- Recurrent infections
- Spinal problems from being unable to walk properly
- Paranoid and scared behavior
- Biting and spraying to defend themselves
- Inability to scale vertical surfaces (like trees) to escape danger
- Death–even if you swear you will never let your cat outdoors accidents happen
Declawing your cat is the same as saying “I love my couch more than my cat.”
Remember: kittens will usually outgrow scaling the drapes. Most cats are drawn naturally to scratching posts, and if they aren’t you can add catnip and toys to entice them. There are more methods for stopping a cat from scratching your house to pieces–including a simple trim of their nails!