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What is declawing and why do rescues forbid it?

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

You might be tempted to declaw you cat in an attempt to prevent scratching, but it's important to know what it even is. Declawing is a very painful amputation of not only the cat's claw, but also most of their toes. Imagine having all of your fingers and toes amputated down to your first knuckle -- that's what declawing is.

Unlike most mammals that walk on the soles of their feet or paws, cats walk on their toes, so as you can imagine, this makes the process much more painful and cruel. The physical risks of declawing include:

nerve or tissue damage

chronic pain



paw pad atrophy


painful regrowth of the deformed claw

weakening of the cat’s muscles



Not only can it cause pain for your cat, but declawing can inevitably lead to behavioral problems in 33% cats. Here are just a few issues that correlate with declawing:

  • 18% show compulsive biting

  • 17% suffer wounds reopening

  • 15% will not use the litter box (because it is so painful to walk on)

  • 11% suffer from lameness

  • 30% suffer from Osteomyelitis (a painful bone infection)

Ultimately, your cat's personality may suffer if they feel increasingly nervous, scared or aggressive after their defense mechanism has been taken away.

As cat lovers, we obviously, we do NOT allow our cats to be declawed. This practice has become outlawed across the world and several states as well with hefty fines for anyone who does try to declaw in those areas. Sources:

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