Quotes on Declawing and Litter Box Aversion

This is a list of quotes from vets, scientists and specialists on one topic: Declawing often leads to litter box aversion. The quotes come from the Save Our Paws website.

“In some cases, when declawed cats use the litterbox after surgery, their feet are so tender they associate their new pain with the box… permanently, resulting in a life-long aversion to using the litter box.” — World Small Animal Veterinary Association – 2001

“declawed cats are more likely to be relinquished than normal cats…Unwanted behavior is a major factor in relinquishment of cats to shelters. House-soiling, aggression…..Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM

Declawed cats frequently become biters and also stop using litter boxes… William Lombardi shelter director, Gloucester County, New Jersey.

”Almost all of our hotline calls are declawed cats with litter box issues,” says Pat Rock of the Oshkosh Area Humane Society in Wisconsin.”

“A survey by a Delaware animal shelter showed that more than 75% of the cats turned in for avoiding their litter boxes had been declawed.”

In my own three-year experience, 95% of calls about declawed cats related to litter box problems, while only 46% of clawed cats had such problems—and most of those were older cats with physical ailments…..Annie Bruce, cat consultant & author Cat Be Good

Behavioral problems frequently haunt declawed cats. By far, the commonest thing we see is cats not using the litterbox…Dr. Harrison, DVM.

“De-clawing a cat is like cutting off the end of your finger. When you de-claw a cat, you remove digits. When the cat gets older, it stops using the litter box because the litter gets stuck between its toes and the cat doesn’t like it. — St. Louis, MO humane shelter

…more quotes below Ruth’s poster……

Litter aversion by declawed cat

Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra


Search results on PoC for “declawing”


“Many cats find it painful to use the litter box, develop a conditioned aversion to using the box, and become un-housebroken. — Dr. Michael W. Fox

“I’ve counseled too many cases when these cats becoming biters and/or develop litter box problems due to painful paws” Amy D. Shojai, IAABC Certified Animal Behavior Consultant

“…Colorado Humane Society and SPCA Inc. in Englewood and sees many cats come into the shelter because of litter-box issues. Frequently, the cat has been declawed, making the act of using the box painful.

“…Delaware Humane Association…Declawing also can lead to litter box problems…75 percent of declawed cats in shelters are there because they had issues using their litter boxes.”

33% of 39 cats that underwent onychectomy developed “at least” one behavior problem immediately after surgery, with the most common problems being litter box problems and biting. …study published in the January, 2001 JAVMA,

“year after year, the declawed cats that I see in my practice have higher rates of litter box issues such as inappropriate elimination”…Dr. Susan Swanson, DVM, owner of the Cat Care Clinic in Mahtomedi, Minnesota

Based upon conversations with our customers who bought Feliway because their cats were peeing outside of the box I’d say that at least 60%, if not closer to 70%, of these people had cats who were declawed…” — Cat Faeries

cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) have also been linked to the stress of declaws…consider the possibility of post-surgery behavior problems – especially litterbox issues and aggression.. — Karen Overall, VMD, PhD

“Chronic physical ailments such as cystitis or skin disorders can be manifestations of a declawed cat’s frustration and stress.” David E. Hartnett, DVM (cystitis causes peeing outside the litter box)

“deprived of their primary form of defense, declawed cats become nervous, fearful, and/or aggressive, often using their only remaining defense, their teeth. Some cats stop using their litter pan. This may be associated to the discomfort of scratching in the litter after the surgery” — East Bay SPCA

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Quotes on Declawing and Litter Box Aversion — 5 Comments

  1. So sad – its heartbreaking. A friend of a friend adopted a rescue cat – declawed front paws only – the cat bites the whole time and its a problem but they are not going to give up in him. They didn’t have him declawed. So awful. Bites everyday apparently very easily.

    • Yes it’s heart breaking Marc, that poor cat, I think I would cry a bath full of tears if I ever saw a declawed cat in reality, seeing pictures is upsetting enough.
      How can anyone be so cruel!

  2. This will be a very valuable article in educating about the cruelty of declawing, thanks Michael.
    I’ve shared it with the face book anti declaw groups as members often use my posters from there and all the quotes you have written on here must surely convince more people not to declaw their cats.

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