Q: Do you perform declawing surgeries on adoptable cats?
A: The HSSA neither performs declawing surgeries, nor do we recommends them for behavioral modification.
Q: Isn’t a declawing procedure just a simple matter of removing the nail from the cat’s paw?
A: The feline claw is actually a part of the bone structure in the paw. The declawing surgery not only removes the claw, but actually amputates the tips of the cat’s toes, comparable to removing the first joint of a human’s fingers. Not only the claw must be removed, but also nerves, bone, ligaments, and tendons.
Q: What are possible health and behavioral complications from declaw surgery?
A: The declawing surgery consists of a lengthy and painful recovery process for the cat. While they are recovering, they will still need to use their paws for mobility and litter box procedures, among other things. Lameness, timidity, aggression, litter-box issues, and loss of self-defense in case of escape are all possibilities for your cats should they be declawed.
Q: Are there other options to keep my cats from destroying things with their claws?
A: There certainly are more humane options available! Soft Paws are vinyl covers that are glued to your cats nails in between trimmings to prevent them from scratching destructively on furniture.
Proper and regular trimming of your cat’s nails will also lessen damage done from use of claws in unacceptable areas, and lessen the need for your cat to exercise its natural instincts to scratch and shed the outer layers of its claws.
A variety of aversion training methods are also available, from strategic placement of scratching posts to use of undesirable textures on or near surfaces you wish to keep the cats from scratching. More detailed training methods are available in our behavioral problems section.