Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Chicago Suburbs
Confessions of a former declawer
Five cats have graced our home, two in Pet Heaven, three still making our lives wonderful.
I never had cats growing up, but had heard of declawing. My partner Brad had cats, and his Mom always did an all four declaw. So when we adopted our first boys, Phantom and Phoenix in 1998, we did a front declaw (humane society wouldn't allow all four) and never had an issue. Did a front declaw on our girl Phoebe Jean in 2003 as well after Phoenix died. All were done at about 3-4 months of age.
My sister Diana aka White Kitties began to educate me on declawing after adopting her girls Fern and Fergie, and I began to look into it. I was a bit offended initially that she was telling me I shouldn't do it for any future cats! In my mind, all our cats were fine and had never had any issues. I did observe though that nothing in Diana's house was damaged or torn, thanks to diligent claw trimming and scratching posts.
When we adopted our new Bengals Phineas and Phaelan last fall, I decided I did not want to do any declaw, and convinced Brad as well. The clincher was interacting with the boys as kittens, and seeing how they used their claws! Hanging from cat trees, playing with toys, etc. It was amazing, and something we had never observed before. I felt that front declawing these beautiful purebreds would be like buying a Ferrari and replacing the front tires with spare donuts.
I apologize to Phoebe Jean regularly for taking her front claws away. We trim the boys claws regularly (Phaelan is not very cooperative) and have scratchers around the house, and after three months with Bengal kittens, have yet to have anything damaged.
So that's my story...never again a declawed cat in our house, and I now enjoy educating others on why it's totally unnecessary.