Can You Have One Cat With Claws And One Without?

Are you considering expanding your furry family with another feline friend? Maybe you already have a kitty with claws and are pondering whether it’s feasible to bring home a declawed companion. The burning question on your mind is – Can you have one cat with claws and one without?

It’s natural to feel hesitant about mixing cats with different paw preferences. But did you know that households with both clawed and declawed cats are more common than you might think? Although having cats with different claw needs under the same roof can pose some challenges, it’s not impossible.

Before making any decisions, it’s crucial to consider the potential complications that may arise when introducing a clawed and declawed cat. You’ll want to ensure that both kitties are comfortable with each other and don’t accidentally harm each other.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the reasons why some cats undergo declawing, the possible issues that may occur when introducing cats of varying claw status, tips for promoting a peaceful coexistence between your feline friends, and more. By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with knowledge on whether or not it’s feasible to have one cat with claws and one without in your household. So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

Reasons for Cats Not Having Claws

Cats are fascinating creatures that have a variety of physical attributes which make them unique. One of the most prominent features of cats is their sharp claws, which they use for various purposes such as hunting, climbing, and self-defense. However, there are some cats that do not have claws, and this can be due to a variety of reasons.

Medical Conditions

Some cats are born with congenital abnormalities that affect their claw development. Polydactylism, a condition where cats have extra toes, or ectrodactyly, where cats have missing toes altogether, can lead to a cat having no claws at all. Infections or injuries can also cause claw loss or deformities.


Cats can be prone to accidents, and if they get into a fight with another animal or get their paw caught in something, they may injure their claws to the point where they need to be removed. In such cases, the cat may require surgery to remove the affected digit(s).

Intentional Declawing

Declawing is a controversial practice where the entire first joint of each toe on a cat’s front paws is surgically removed. This procedure is usually done for human convenience or to prevent cats from scratching furniture or people. However, declawing can lead to long-term pain and behavioral problems in cats, making it an inhumane and unnecessary procedure.

Natural Variation

Some cats may naturally have weaker or shorter claws than others due to genetics or lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. While this may not necessarily require medical intervention, all cats should have some form of nail protection for their own safety and wellbeing.

Can You Have One Cat With Claws And One Without-2

It’s important for cat owners to understand that cats need their claws for various reasons; hence it’s crucial for their safety and wellbeing to provide adequate care and attention. If your cat is missing its claws, make sure you take extra precautions to ensure its safety. For example, keep your cat indoors, provide scratching posts, and monitor interactions with other pets or humans.

Declawing as a Last Resort

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that declawing is not merely the removal of a cat’s nails. Rather, it entails the amputation of the entire first joint of each toe. This is an invasive and painful procedure that can have long-term physical and behavioral effects on your cat. In fact, many countries consider declawing illegal or inhumane, including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and several European countries.

Moreover, declawing can lead to chronic pain, arthritis, and even litter box avoidance due to discomfort while digging. Cats rely on their claws for numerous activities such as climbing, self-defense, and stretching their muscles. Hence, this procedure can significantly impact their health and well-being.

So, what can you do if you have one cat with claws and one without? The first step is to regularly trim your cat’s nails. This can be done at home or by a veterinarian or groomer and can prevent damage to furniture while keeping your cat’s claws at a manageable length.

Another alternative is to provide scratching surfaces for your cats. Cats need to scratch to maintain healthy claws and stretch their muscles. By providing appropriate surfaces such as scratching posts and pads, you can redirect their behavior away from furniture and other items that you don’t want them scratching.

Coexisting Peacefully and Safely with Different Claw Statuses

Let’s start with declawed cats. It is important to understand that a declawed cat may be more vulnerable in certain situations. They may not be able to defend themselves or climb up to safety if needed. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them indoors and away from potential dangers such as other cats or outdoor hazards.

Providing each cat with their own space and resources is also key. This includes separate food and water bowls, litter boxes, and places to sleep. This can help prevent any potential conflicts over resources and establish boundaries for each cat. Giving them their own territory is important for their mental wellbeing as well.

Additionally, monitoring their interactions closely is vital. Keep an eye out for any signs of aggression and intervene if necessary. Separating them if they show signs of aggression or providing positive reinforcement when they interact peacefully can go a long way in maintaining harmony between your furry friends.

When introducing new cats, it is important to do so gradually and with supervision. Allow them to sniff each other out through a door before introducing them face-to-face. Keep in mind that this process may take days or even weeks depending on the cats involved.

It’s also important to remember that declawing should only be considered as a last resort – regular nail trimming or appropriate scratching surfaces are the way to go. Scratching posts and pads are great options for cats to satisfy their instinctual need to scratch without damaging furniture.

Providing Separate Spaces for Each Cat

Cats are naturally territorial animals, and they can become aggressive if they don’t feel like their personal space is respected. To avoid this, it’s essential to provide each cat with their own designated area for food, water, and litter box. This helps them feel safe and secure in their own environment and reduces the chance of conflict.

In addition to their basic needs, each cat should also have their own designated sleeping area. This helps them feel comfortable and relaxed, reducing any potential conflicts that may arise.

Vertical space is another crucial aspect when it comes to providing separate spaces for each cat. Cats love to climb and perch, so providing them with cat trees, shelves, or window perches will help them establish their own territories. With enough vertical space, your cats can feel like they have their own areas without invading each other’s territory.

Lastly, make sure to provide plenty of toys and play areas for both cats. This will keep them entertained and prevent boredom, which can lead to aggressive behavior. Interactive toys such as puzzle feeders or laser pointers can be especially helpful.

Avoiding Potential Conflicts Between Cats with Claws and Without

Potential conflicts can arise, but there are steps you can take to avoid them.

Introduce Slowly and Carefully

Introducing cats with claws and without can be a delicate process. Start by keeping them in separate rooms for a few days so they can get used to each other’s scent. Once they seem comfortable with this, allow them to interact under close supervision. Remember, patience is key. If there are any signs of aggression, separate them again and try again later.

Provide Separate Resources

Cats are territorial animals, and having their own designated areas can help prevent conflicts over resources. This means separate litter boxes, food bowls, and beds. Providing each cat with their own space and resources ensures that they feel secure and comfortable.

Enrichment Activities

Another way to reduce potential conflicts is by providing plenty of toys and enrichment activities for both cats. Interactive toys, scratching posts, and window perches are great options to keep them occupied. Cats love to play, so providing them with plenty of toys can help keep them happy and content.

Avoiding Aggression

Aggression is a common issue between cats with claws and without. The cat with claws may feel threatened by the declawed cat and resort to aggressive behavior such as biting, scratching, or hissing. In contrast, the declawed cat may feel vulnerable and try to avoid the other cat altogether. To avoid these conflicts, it’s essential to watch for signs of aggression and separate the cats if necessary.

The Benefits of Having a Cat with Claws

Let me tell you, there are plenty of benefits to having a feline friend with sharp claws.

Firstly, cats with claws are natural defenders. Whether they’re indoor or outdoor cats, having sharp claws gives them an extra layer of protection against potential predators or other animals that may threaten them. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your furry friend can take care of themselves if need be.

But that’s not all. When cats scratch, they’re not just being destructive – they’re expressing natural behaviors and marking their territory. Providing your cat with an appropriate scratching post or surface can help redirect this behavior away from furniture and other household items. This will keep your furniture in good condition and allow your cat to maintain healthy and strong claws.

In addition to providing protection and natural behavior expression, having a cat with claws can also provide you with a sense of security. In the unlikely event that someone tries to break into your home, your feline companion would be able to defend themselves and potentially scare off the intruder.

Of course, proper nail care and trimming is necessary for cats with claws to prevent overgrowth or damage to furniture. But overall, the benefits of having a cat with claws far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

To recap, here are some of the benefits of having a cat with claws:

  • Natural defense against predators and other animals
  • Expression of natural behaviors and territory marking
  • Added sense of security for you and your home

The Benefits of Having a Cat Without Claws

However, the benefits of having a cat without claws go beyond just protecting your belongings.

Firstly, declawed cats are less likely to cause injury. Cats are known for their playful and curious nature, often leading them to scratch or bite their owners or other animals. With their claws removed, they are unable to cause as much damage with their paws, reducing the risk of injury. This is especially important if you have children or other pets in your household.

In addition to physical safety, having a cat without claws can also contribute to their emotional well-being. Cats use their claws for defense and to mark their territory, and without them, they may feel vulnerable and stressed. However, if the declawing procedure is done properly and the cat is given enough time to heal, they can still lead a normal and happy life.

Apart from emotional benefits, declawed cats are also less likely to destroy furniture and other household items. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch, and without proper training or scratching posts, they may turn to furniture or carpets as an alternative. A declawed cat will not be able to cause as much damage with their paws, making them easier to manage in a household setting.

It’s important to note that declawing is not recommended for all cats. It is a surgical procedure that involves amputating the last bone of each toe, which can cause pain and discomfort. In some cases, it can also lead to behavioral issues such as litter box avoidance or aggression.

Before deciding if declawing is right for your pet, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and consider alternative solutions. Providing your cat with appropriate scratching surfaces and training them from a young age can help prevent furniture damage. There are also nail caps and other non-surgical options available to reduce scratching.

Considerations When Deciding Whether or Not to Declaw Your Cat

But when it comes to declawing, it’s important to carefully consider all the potential consequences before making a decision. Declawing is not a simple procedure, but rather involves amputating the last bone of each toe. This can have serious implications for your cat’s well-being.

One major consideration is the potential for behavioral problems. Scratching is an innate behavior for cats, and without their claws, they may become anxious and frustrated. This can lead to destructive behavior such as urinating outside of the litter box or damaging furniture. Furthermore, declawing can alter a cat’s gait and balance, which can contribute to further behavioral issues.

Another significant consideration is the potential for health problems. Declawing can cause complications such as pain, infection, and even nerve damage. These issues can lead to chronic pain and discomfort for your cat, and may even require additional surgeries to correct.

So what alternatives are available? Providing your cat with scratching posts and other appropriate surfaces to scratch can help redirect their behavior. Additionally, regular nail trimmings can keep your cat’s claws at a manageable length. Soft plastic nail caps that attach to the claws can also be used as a temporary solution.


In summary, the question of whether to have one cat with claws and one without is not a simple yes or no answer. It requires careful consideration of the potential challenges that may arise.

It’s crucial to understand the reasons why a cat may not have claws, including medical conditions or past declawing procedures. However, declawing should only be considered as a last resort due to its painful and invasive nature.

Instead of declawing, cat owners can opt for regular nail trimming and providing appropriate scratching surfaces for their furry friends. When introducing cats with differing claw status, it’s essential to do so gradually and under supervision while ensuring each feline has their own space and resources.

Ultimately, both cats with claws and without have their own unique benefits and considerations. Cat owners must weigh these factors carefully before deciding on declawing their pets.