We do not recommend declawing and here is why.
A cat’s claws are very important to a cat, both physically and psychologically.
Physically, the cat uses the mechanical action of extending his claws to stretch and exercise the muscles in his whole arm. He can no longer do this efficiently after the claws have been removed, although he will still try. Scratching is necessary for the cat to shed the old nail growth and polish the new growth.
Psychologically, the cat uses the scratching action to work off excess energy and cats seem to find it a comforting, relaxing action.
Also, it is important to realize that declawing a cat is NOT just a different form of manicure. It is a serious operation in which the end of each of the cats’ toes is cut off, including the bones, nerves, tendons and blood vessels, the same as cutting off the ends of your own fingers. This can be done with a scalpel or a laser, but the operation is the same. Many young cats can tolerate this procedure adequately, but older cats often have a much harder time accepting it. It is not uncommon for a cat to become withdrawn and antisocial and some have become biters afterward. People with severed limbs may suffer from “phantom pain” and other unpleasant sensations, and it’s not unreasonable to assume cats may suffer similar problems.
For this reason, we try to educate each adopter regarding the many methods available to cat guardians for preventing damage to furniture, etc. and we ask that each adopter save declawing as a last resort after all other methods have been given a fair trial.
Because any cat that has been declawed is essentially defenseless, our contract states that the adopter must agree to keep the animal strictly indoors.
We often have declawed cats brought to us at the shelter, so if you must have a declawed cat, we greatly prefer that you select one to whom this serious procedure has already been done.