We are Sioux Empire TNR Coalition are firmly against the declawing cats, a position supported by many major national animal welfare and veterinary associations. Some major organizations that are against declawing include:

Kitten Scratching A Post

What is Declawing?

Traditionally a cat owner would have their cat declawed because they wished to save the furniture in their home from damage or prevent a cat from scratching other people and pets in the household. There are many much more humane alternatives to prevent these problems from happening. Few cat owners understand exactly what a declaw surgery actually entails and the negative effects it can have on a cat.

Declawing is not simply removing a cat’s nails but actual amputation of the joints. It would be similar to having someone remove the last joint on each of your fingers.

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Source: St. Louis Pet Rescue, https://stlpetrescue.com/

Negative Side Effects of Declawing Cats

Post-Op Pain – Cats have a painful recovery period to endure as they cannot get away from having to use their feet to move about. Owners may report that their cat seemed fine afterwards however it’s well known cats are very stoic about showing pain and illness. Cats can experience other complications from the surgery including nerve damage, infections, and even potential for death.

Long-Term Pain – Because the removal of the first joint results in a change in how a cat moves, this causes long-term muscle and skeletal pain from moving in an abnormal way. This long-term pain can lead to an increase in fear, shyness, aggression and refusal to use the litterbox. Physically it can lead to lameness, neuropathic pain and infection. In some cases it can even lead to paralysis. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that up to 50% of declawed cats experience acute complications and at least 20% experience long-term physical complications. (JAVMA, Aug 1, 1998, Jankowski)

Behavioral ProblemsThe Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 33% of cats that were declawed have at least one behavioral problem related to the surgery. (JAVMA, January 1, 2001, Yeon et al.) Typical behavior problems associated with declawing include increased biting, fear and refusing to use the litterbox. Cats who no longer have their claws to defend themselves will resort to biting, or may retreat and become more fearful. Cats may also find using the litterbox, specifically the feel of the litter on their paws, to be too painful and will avoid using the litterbox altogether


Source: AniMeals, https://www.animeals.com/

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Source: Pictures Of Cats.org, Michael Broad

Humane Alternatives to Declawing

Nail Trims – Regularly trimming your cat’s nails will significantly reduce damage in the home. If you’re having difficulty with trimming, speak with your veterinarian or with a SETNR volunteer for help learning how to do it. If you trim your cat’s nails regularly (every few weeks) you will not find scratching to be an issue.

Scratching Posts – Scratching is a natural behavior for your cat and it provides them with a valuable enrichment outlet. Providing scratching posts and boxes around your house, and redirecting your cat to them if they go for furniture, will teach them where it’s acceptable to scratch.

Furniture Protectors – There are many products you can buy to protect your furniture, such as double-sided sticky tape and cat furniture covers. Placing a cat tree or scratching post near your furniture will also redirect your cat to a more suitable space for them.

Nail CapsSoft Claws and Purrdy Paws are examples of products that are designed to cover your cat’s nails and reduce scratching damage. The paw covers are made of plastic that can be placed on your cat’s nails by a veterinarian or you can do yourself. They allow the cat to engage in natural scratching behavior which is important to the cat’s health while keeping the nails from actually damaging anything in the home.

Where is Declawing Illegal?

Declawing is illegal in 42 countries, including England, France, Wales, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand and Israel. It is illegal in most provinces in Canada. In the United States, declawing is illegal in Denver, CO; Austin, TX, St. Louis County, MO; Pittsburgh and Allentown, PA; Madison, WI; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood and Berkeley, CA; and is banned in the states of New York, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. We expect the trend to ban declawing will move throughout all 50 states in the future.

If Declawing is So Bad, Why Do Vets Do It?

Declawing is an elective surgery that brings in considerable income to many veterinary practices. However more and more veterinarians are abandoning the practice and refusing to do it on moral grounds, a trend we heartily support!

Jackson Galaxy on Declawing Cats

Dr. Karen Becker on Declawing Cats

PSA by the Paw Project

The Truth About Declawing Cats: What a Vet Wants You to Know