Why Should You Not Remove Cat Claws?

Claws are an important part of a cat’s anatomy, and removing them can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing. In this article, “Why Should You Not Remove Cat Claws?”, we will explore why it is important to keep your cat’s claws intact and how it can benefit them. We will also discuss the risks associated with declawing cats and the alternatives that are available. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of why you should not remove your cat’s claws.

What are Cat Claws?

Cat claws are the retractable nails that cats have on their paws. They are made of keratin, the same material as human fingernails, and they help cats to grip surfaces and climb. Cats use their claws for a variety of purposes, including hunting, self-defense, and grooming. Removing cat claws is a controversial practice that can have serious consequences for cats’ health and wellbeing.

Anatomy of a Cat Claw

Cat claws consist of three parts: the nail bed, the quick, and the claw itself. The nail bed is the fleshy part of the paw that holds the claw in place. The quick is a blood vessel that runs through each claw and supplies it with nutrients. The claw itself is made up of layers of keratinized cells that grow from the nail bed.

Function of Cat Claws

Cat claws serve several important functions:

  • Climbing – Cats use their claws to grip surfaces when climbing trees or furniture.
  • Hunting – Cats use their claws to capture prey.
  • Self-defense – Cats use their claws to protect themselves from predators.
  • Grooming – Cats use their claws to groom themselves by removing dirt and debris from their fur.

Reasons Not to Remove Cat Claws

Removing a cat’s claws is an increasingly popular procedure, but it is not without risks. There are several reasons why removing a cat’s claws should be avoided, including pain and stress, risk of infection, and behavioral issues.

Pain and Stress

The process of declawing cats can cause them significant pain and stress. Cats must be anesthetized for the procedure, which carries its own risks. The declawing process itself involves amputating the last joint of each toe on the front paws and can take up to two weeks to heal. During this time cats may experience significant pain and discomfort.

Risk of Infection

Removing a cat’s claws also increases their risk of infection. Cats use their claws to groom themselves, so when they are removed cats may have difficulty cleaning themselves properly. This can lead to skin infections or other health problems that can be difficult to treat.

Behavioral Issues

Declawed cats may also develop behavioral issues as a result of the procedure. Without their claws cats may become more aggressive or anxious due to feeling vulnerable or defenseless in certain situations. Additionally, declawed cats may become more prone to biting as they no longer have their claws as a defense mechanism against predators or other animals they perceive as threats.

Alternatives to Declawing

Declawing cats should be avoided, as it is a painful and unnecessary procedure. Fortunately, there are alternatives to declawing that can help keep cats and their owners happy.

Trimming the Claws

Trimming your cat’s claws is a great way to keep them from damaging furniture or other items. It is important to use the proper tools when trimming your cat’s claws, such as sharp nail clippers and styptic powder in case of accidental cuts. Additionally, it is important to get your cat used to having their claws trimmed from an early age so that they are more comfortable with the process.

Soft Paws and Nail Caps

Soft Paws and nail caps are plastic caps that fit over a cat’s claws and can be applied at home or by a veterinarian. These caps last for several weeks before needing to be replaced, and can protect furniture from scratches while still allowing cats to scratch on appropriate surfaces.

Scratching Posts and Toys

Providing cats with scratching posts and toys is another great way to keep them from damaging furniture. Scratching posts should be tall enough for cats to stretch out while scratching, as this helps them mark their territory while also keeping their claws healthy. Additionally, providing interactive toys such as laser pointers or feather wands can help keep cats entertained without damaging furniture or other items in the home.


What to Do if Your Cat is Already Declawed?

If your cat has already been declawed, there are some steps you can take to ensure their comfort and well-being. Declawing a cat can cause physical and psychological stress, so it is important to provide them with the proper care and environment.

Provide Soft Bedding and Carpeted Areas for Comfort

Declawed cats may experience pain or discomfort when walking on hard surfaces, so providing them with soft bedding and carpeted areas can help ease their discomfort. Additionally, adding a scratching post with a soft surface can help provide them with an outlet for their natural scratching behavior.

Monitor Behavior for Signs of Stress or Anxiety

Declawing a cat can cause stress and anxiety, so it is important to monitor your cat’s behavior for any signs of distress. If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior such as increased vocalization, aggression, or hiding, it may be a sign that they are experiencing stress or anxiety.

Provide Appropriate Toys and Activities

Providing your declawed cat with appropriate toys and activities can help keep them mentally stimulated and physically active. Try offering interactive toys such as feather wands or laser pointers that encourage them to move around without putting too much strain on their paws. Additionally, providing them with plenty of playtime and affection will help keep them happy and healthy.


Declawing cats is a controversial topic, but it is important to understand the risks involved and explore alternatives before making a decision. Cats are natural hunters and climbers, and removing their claws can cause them physical and emotional distress. Alternatives such as nail trimming, scratching posts, and Soft Paws can help cats keep their claws while still protecting furniture from damage. Ultimately, the decision to declaw a cat should be made after careful consideration of all the risks and alternatives.

Understanding the Risks Involved with Declawing Cats

Declawing cats has been linked to serious health risks including chronic pain, lameness, infection, tissue necrosis, and behavioral issues. It is an invasive procedure that requires amputation of the last bone in each toe. This can lead to long-term pain in the paws as well as difficulty walking or jumping. Additionally, removing claws can cause cats to become more aggressive or anxious due to their lack of defense against predators or other animals.

Exploring Alternatives to Declawing Cats

There are several alternatives that can help protect furniture from damage without having to declaw your cat. These include:


It is important to keep your cat’s claws intact for their health and wellbeing. Removing them can be detrimental to their health and cause them pain and discomfort. There are alternatives to declawing cats that can help keep your furniture and other items safe from scratches, such as nail trimming, scratching posts, and nail caps. At A Pet’s Home, we have a variety of products that can help you keep your cat’s claws intact while protecting your furniture.

By understanding why it is important to not remove cat claws, you can make sure that your cat stays healthy and happy.

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