by Nancy Brownlee
Outside cat scratching post - photo added by Michael and by cynicalview (Flickr)
I'm an American, though I've lived and worked in other countries. I've also always had cats- and frequently, dogs- but ALWAYS cats.
My cats are always rescues - and they've sometimes already been declawed when I got them.
Right now I have one happy, pudgy, HUGE neutered male mackerel tabby named Bix who was already declawed when I acquired him. I probably wouldn't declaw a cat, and certainly not an adult cat.
BUT - I do understand why it's done. And to the people who claim that you can "train" a cat not to claw the upholstery - I do say - (to the English) Bollocks, (To the Americans) Bullshit.
You can train them not to claw the upholstery when you're in the room. Maybe even, when you're in the house - that's about it.
They like the scratching posts, but I've never had a cat who'd confine itself to one. In preference to scratching posts my cats have shredded not just upholstery, but vinyl flooring, plastered walls, and feather bed pillows. I didn't love them less, but didn't love the destruction at all.
It seems to me that when cats are allowed free access to the outdoors, as is usual in the UK, they are a bit less destructive indoors, probably because of having the ability to strop their claws on trees - but then you have to deal with a decimated bird population and, for the poor cats, injury, disease, poisoning, parasites, all of which cat-keepers in the UK are happy to have their pets subjected to - because it's "natural".
That's right- all that's natural. So is early death.