Selective Declawing in Polydactyl (Mitten-toed) Cats?

by Michael

Extra thumbs - photo by fingle (Flickr)

Extra thumbs - photo by fingle (Flickr)

Selective declawing is a relatively rare procedure so I thought I would write a short post about it. There is no need to declaw the extra claw or whole toe in polydactyl cats where the exit toe is a thumb (mitten-toed) that may be off the ground. The claw of the extra toe may not get the usual wear and tear. This results in the claw growing too long and it may grow into the paw pad. The claw may also snag on furnishings and carpet etc. because it is long despite it being off the ground.

A person has asked the question if it is sensible to selectively declaw the claw of the extra toe. By this she means remove the claw of the extra toe, the raised thumb. She has also asked if the entire thumb should be removed. She has tried trimming the claw of one paw with regular human clippers but feels that the "problem" is still present. She had difficulty in trimming the claw.

My suggestion is that there is no need to declaw. There is almost never a reason to declaw and certainly not in this instance.

The answer is in the question. This person has not tried hard enough to trim the cat's claws. It can be a bit tricky to trim a cat's claws. Clearly this person needs to try again and to perfect the process.

The answer to the question whether you should perform selective declawing on a polydactyl cat is, no. The cat's extra claws should be trimmed if they are growing too long. If the person struggles to do this task, a vet should do it and he or she might provide advice as well. The person should not ask for advice on whether to declaw or not! You know what the answer is likely to be...

Associated post: Declawing Cats.

The original post that asks the question.

Comments for
Selective Declawing in Polydactyl (Mitten-toed) Cats?

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Mar 19, 2012 No excuse to declaw NEW
by: Ruth

Poor little Dusty, the pain he suffered is what cats suffer in silence after declawing.
Vets try to promote laser declawing as more humane and some people believe them!
Anyone who has had a burned finger end knows just how burned flesh feels where there are so many nerve endings.
There is no reason or excuse to declaw a polydactyl cat or any other cat come to that, as it's cruel.
Vets break their oath to cause no animal to suffer, to make the money to pay for their fancy laser tools which more than likely they are not trained to use expertly anyway and the animal suffers from burns as well as amputations.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Mar 19, 2012 Bigfoot NEW
by: kathy W

I would never consider getting any paws on my poly dactyl cat declawed. She is so sweet and we regularly trim all the claws on all our cats. Mariel has like two paws on each foot with three extra pads. she also walks on all of them. She has been known to box one of the other cats with extreme force with those large paws. She is our bab y and will be keeping all of heer claws. One does try to grow into the pad but we keep an eye on it and trim regularly.


Mar 18, 2012 Re Polytactyl Cats
by: Lindy Fellober

Hi Michael

We have Bootsey alias Snowshoe and she has 7 claws on each foot and I certainly don't believe in declawing. Years ago we did it to one of our cats and I will never have that done again. When Bootsey went in with her sister Snickers last week for their needles the vet said wow look at those feet, she was shocked to see the 7 on each foot. Bootsey sure can jump with these feet of hers and straight up sometimes, its awesome to watch.

I have to tell you Michael that when I had my shih tzu in last year to get neutered by laser the vet called and said that the dew claws on two legs were just hanging and he said they should be removed as Dusty may end up catching them and ripping them off and really suffer. Well it was done when he was in for the laser and I'll tell you he cried every ten minutes that night through the night and I sat with him and he suffered, it was not nice. He was also on pain meds for this, dear little sweetie.



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