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.