Declawing Alternatives

“Declawing alternatives” is googled quite a lot. The simple, obvious, direct and slightly flippant answer is, “don’t declaw your cat”. And if that doesn’t rock your boat, then don’t adopt a cat – easy, really.

I expect, though, that people searching for answers to the question, “declawing alternatives” will be looking for a more refined answer. Please read and fully digest these pages first, before proceeding:

First we owe it to ourselves and our cat to have the right expectations. Caring for a cat requires our input, effort and acceptance that a cat is a cat, not that far in character, skills and physiology from a small wildcat. I call it expectation management and I cover this concept and more on this page: 15 ways to avoid cat behavior problems. We need to respect the cat. With that out of the way…check this out, please:

Recently declawed cat pictures – if you can still declaw after that you are thicker skinned than me…

Cats are digitgrades – they walk on their toes – do you really want to cut off all your cat’s toes? They are family members, remember…

Delawing agony of kittens – still want to go ahead and declaw…?

Complications of declawing – more blood, pain, terror and anguish…not convinced; want to read some more?

Declawing my cat 16 years ago is my biggest regret. Now you’ve changed your mind about declawing cats, join the club. If you are still looking for “answers”…

…some declawing alternatives all of which must, by force of logic, revolve around the cat keeping all of his or her claws:

1. On the basis that 99% of people who declaw their cat do so to protect their furniture, I would sit in a quiet room and think about life’s priorities…family, children, knowledge, what we do and say, our friends, our home. Furniture comes a long way down the list and can be replaced. To hell with it if it gets a bit scratched. A cat’s toes-vs-sofa, who wins? Think about it.

2. Get some “softpaws”. These are little slide on covers for each claw. I don’t think these are very clever, to be honest. A cat needs to use its claws for a start. They are useful in so many ways. A claw is meant to be sharp so that it can hang onto things.

Please read this page about softpaw covers: Claw caps not really any better than declawing.

3. Learn to trim cat claws. Cats can get used to this particularly if done at an early age. It can become part of grooming your cat and a loving moment but patience and gentleness is required. I trim my old lady cat’s claws not because I care about her scratching my furniture (I don’t care even if one chair cost £1,500!) but because she is old and they don’t wear down so much because of reduced activity. She hates it but it can be done and I do it.

Trim cat claws

4. Get a good scratching post and site it well. Finn is the expert and the other wonderful cat loving visitors to this site. Encourage your cat to use it.

Please see: Will my cat use a cat scratching post and;

Free cat scratching post

OK I am done with providing my answer to the google query, “declawing alternatives”.

I know some of the classy visitors will add a few comments some of which will no doubt improve on mine!


Michael Avatar

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

From declawing alternatives to declawing cats

Comments for
Declawing Alternatives

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Nov 24, 2010 Double-Sided Tape
by: Anonymous

I own four cats myself, and after relentlessly scratching at furniture, I decided to tape up the areas where my cats often scractched up with clear, double-sided tape. It’s hardly noticable and once it gets on the cats paws, they hate it and usually stop after a few days.

Nov 12, 2010 Thanks Leah
by: Michael

Thank you Leah. As you say there are many people with a brick where the heart should be. They also have cement between the ears!

Michael Avatar

Nov 12, 2010 Don’t do it
by: Leah (England)

I think the message is clear; if you don’t like claws just don’t get a cat.

Michael you are very articulate and I usually notice that you always get your point across without resorting to name calling or nastiness which is all credit to you as I know you get just as angry as the rest of us. I have to say though it’s nice to see an article that pulls no punches and directs people to the worst of declawing.

Anyone that goes ahead and declaws their cat after reading this is nothing but a moron and has a cold brick dangling on a piece of string where their heart should be.

I know where my priorities lie and its not with the sofa its with the happiness and welfare of my 2 cats. Oh and by the way they did scratch the sofa a little when they were younger because they knew no better but I bought them 2 scratching posts which I taught them to use(one of which is called a fat boy which is huge and very substantial. See? not rocket science is it? My advice is simple get of your backsides and do the right thing for your cat. Its easy to take them to the vet and have their toes amputated but it takes a little more effort to train them to use a scratching post, but when you have a happy healthy cat its effort that’s rewarded a hundred fold (thats if you actually care enough in the first place?)

Nov 10, 2010 Thanks Ruth
by: Michael

Thank you Ruth for your compliment and thank you for fighting so tenaciously and persistently on behalf of cats.

Michael Avatar

Nov 10, 2010 Just say NO
by: Anonymous

My mom has a small cat that was given to her because the owner was put into a nursing home. The cat was very small but was full grown. She was very healthy and had all of her shots but the poor little thing had been declawed. Not just her front feet but also her back feet. I do not know who did it, but half of Miss Kitties feet are gone. She just has little nubs. I would like to know who the doctor was that did that. He or she can not be a person that loves animals. This kind of surgery is too cruel. I would not want my nails cut off to my knuckles and neither would anyone else! They are innocent little creatures that want to be loved and as a pet owner if you can not do that then PLEASE DON’T get a pet!

Nov 09, 2010 what I do
by: Kathleen

In addition to trimming our cats’ claws, my husband and I have decorative throw blankets draped over the arms of our new couch, which is the first item of furniture our furkids have ever been tempted to scratch. Haven’t had a problem since. The blanket helps prevent the cat from getting a good purchase on the furniture with the claws, and it will also slide and move with them, making that surface unsatisfactory to the cat. Double-sided sticky tape also works well because most cats dislike the feel of the tape on their paws, but if the humans don’t like the look of the tape (which usually only needs to be used temporarily), then a throw blanket can be a more visually attractive alternative.

Nov 09, 2010 How can it be improved ?
by: Ruth

Michael I don’t think anyone could improve on the comments, advice and links you have already given !
In my opinion you are as much an expert now as the rest of us who have deeply studied declawing and know the cruelty of it and the effects it has on cats.
I think anyone visiting PoC could find out everything they want to know on this topic here and I know for a fact that PoC has saved a lot of claws.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

3 thoughts on “Declawing Alternatives”

  1. I have to put in my 2¢ here. I don’t normally comment on these sort of things, and for the most part I agree with this post on the stance of not declawing cats, because I COMPLETELY regret having my cat declawed 21 years ago(when she was a kitten, she passed a year ago at 20)! But, I was a child at 15 and my parents didn’t know any better either. Now, of course with my new kitten I know the horror that goes on when they preform this grotesque procedure on kittens/cats and would NEVER do it again!! BUT, I am appalled that you would make people feel horrible for looking for an alternative to declawing. 1. Because if they are “googling” this subject it means they love their pet and are looking for a way to keep them happy and healthy and also still keep their home in a tidy manner without sacrificing either of them! 2. Because you make people feel like any alternative means they don’t love their pet enough to have one in the first place, and that their pet should come before ANYTHING. Now DON’T GET ME WRONG, I love my fur baby to the moon and back, but hell be it if there is a humane way for me to have her claws intact, and my furniture not be shredded, then by God I would/will find a way. Which is how I’m sure most people feel (at least I would imagine). Which leads me to 3. Telling​ people that claw covers are just as inhumane as declawing. ARE YOU SERIOUS?? Have you actually done any personal research on them, or are you only going by what people have told you, or the ONE article you read?? This is a great alternative to declawing, if they are applied and cared for properly the kitten/cat is easily able to use their claws as intended and can scratch, climb and play just fine. All while saving your home, furnitures and sanity! I have been using them properly on my cat for almost 8 months now with absolutely no issues what so ever. I would be ashamed of myself if I were you; you think you are informing people of a important matter, yet after making them aware of the issue you turn around and make them feel bad for trying to find a alternative measure so they DON’T HAVE TO DECLAW! Make up your mind, not everyone has $$$ to throw down the drain on furniture just because we love our pets, AND I DO LOVE MY CAT, so we do have to do our best to find a middle ground for the cat and us. If sometime is fine with just trimming their cat’s nails and that works for them, GREAT. But, truthfully, I feel like if I’m rescuing a cat off the street and having her spayed, and she is now loved and cared for and I’m putting on claw covers, which in YOUR opinion is just as inhumane as declawing, you are the one who needs to sit and think about priorities. Just like kids, I don’t let them determine how my life or house is run, neither will my animals… and I love them both more than life!

    • Thanks for commenting Katie. The claw cap article was not written by me and is the opinion of someone else. I am happy to make people feel bad about declawing. I have a black and white purist attitude to declawing. If you consider your furniture more important than the claws of your cat and the health and wellbeing of your cat then you are not suited to having a cat. Don’t adopt a cat if you want to declaw him/her. Yes, initially there will be more unwanted cats but in time there won’t be and there will be millions of happier cats with their claws. Declawing is barbaric. My mind is fully made up thank you. Don’t declaw every unless it is absolutely necessary for the health of the cat.


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