The issue of cat declawing continues to be a subject of debate.
For outdoor cats claws are a necessary means of defense. It is not recommended
to declaw outdoor cats because it leaves them unable to fend off a neighborhood
dog or climb a tree to safety. For indoor cats some believe scratching
and clawing is problematic enough to warrant declawing, which requires
the amputation of the tip of the cats toe.
In some cases it appears that declawing can cause significant
pain for the cat and that it may affect the bond the cat has with its owner.
It is hard to know how any one cat will or has been affected by declawing
surgery, however there are alternatives to declawing.
One of the best alternatives is training. Scratching is a normal
part of being a cat, so the goal is to redirect scratching to appropriate
places such as a scratching post. While this can take time it is effective.
Keeping claws trimmed also helps with scratching problems. Finally, there
are caps that can be put on cat's claws if scratching problems persist.
These are essentially 'Lee press on nails' for cats that cover the sharp
tip and need to be replaced when they fall off. It's a good idea to consider
all options before going forward with elective surgery on a pet.