Should I Adopt A Declawed Cat?

If you’ve thought about adopting one of the cutest felines on the market, you should first consider the fact that all cats must already be declawed.

Since they’re so tiny, they effortlessly fit into households of every size. However, If you have any question about whether to adopt such a cat, we’re here to help.

So, should I adopt a declawed cat? You may think that declawed cats are less playful and affectionate than other cats.

However, this isn’t true in most cases. In fact, declawed cats are perfectly capable of playing and cuddling with their owners just like any other cat.

However, in some cases, a cat’s personality may change after being declawed. This is because they naturally scratch and claw on objects to find relief from itching and pain.

After the procedure this natural process is suppressed. Therefore, some cats may develop behavioral problems such as excessive scratching and biting.

However, this is rare and many declawed cats adapt well to life after their procedure to keep them as active as possible.

Should I Adopt A Declawed Cat?

Declawed cats face problems, such as more behavioral issues than non-declawed cats do.

Rescuers have advised against declawing cats for years, but as more people and organizations attempt to ban declawing across the United States the movement is picking up steam.

Declawing a cat is illegal in about 20 U.S. states, including California.

On the flip side of the coin, it’s also illegal to declaw a cat in New York City and the state of Rhode Island has outlawed the practice as well

However, the states that do not have declawing bans still permit the cat declaw procedure by law, which is why it is a a heated debate across the country.

Over time, you may be faced with the decision to get a cat or a dog, and if you are a novice pet owner you may not know which animal will be best for you and your home.

What Is Declawing?

Declawing is the surgical removal of the last bone in each toe of a cat’s paw.

A scalpel blade, a guillotine-style nail cutter called an emenaculum, or a scalpel blade with an electric current applied is used to remove the claw.

The cats are then expected to walk, run, and climb on these paws the way a cat would be expected to walk on paws without claws.

During the surgery, there are risks of complications, such as bleeding and infection.

What Challenges Will Cats Face After Declawing?

Balance Is Disrupted

Declawed cats might have a decreased coefficient friction on their paws and this can cause them to lose hand or paw coordination.

These cats may have trouble climbing and jumping on things and even walking up sloping surfaces.

The surgery may also cause some cats to develop more behavioral problems such as excessive scratching and biting in order to compensate for the loss of their claws.

Inappropriate Climbing Frequent scratching and clawing can cause damage to the furniture in the house and in some cases to electrical cords or carpets.

Cats walk at a digitigrade pace, which indicates walking with long strides compared to the horizontal plane of a horizontal surface, and the heel in particular touches the ground first.

Claw Growth

The declawing process is performed with great precision to detach each claw plate from the bone base while leaving the tendons and nerves intact to let the cat regrow the claw.

This especially holds true for cats that engage in heavy exercise like running and jumping, for cats that habitually climb trees, or which perform other strenuous or dangerous activities.

Your cat may be in discomfort due to arthritis that inhibits his movement.


Declawed cats usually take a few months to recover fully from the procedure if they do not suffer from any lingering complications afterwards.

On its front paws cats have five toes on their fore feet and four toes on their hind feet.

It won’t be pleased if you play with its paws, or even pet it gently; it could resent you for this and scratch or bite you, even if it never did before.

Be patient with your new declawed cat; give it time to see people coming and for it to feel secure when it is petted or stroked.

Litter Box Training

Declawed cats often have trouble using litter boxes due to changes in the way their paws interact with the surface of the box, and possibly due to changes in their sense of smell and touch sensitivity.

Litter boxes are a very easy training tool for cats, and it only takes a few minutes to explain to a cat how to use a litter box properly.


An animal without claws is essentially defenseless against predators in the wild, which is why domesticated cats have never been found living in the wild.

A feline without claws won’t be able to defend herself in a dangerous situation, and may be easily destroyed or killed by an animal of prey.

Can Declawed Cats Live Outside?

Declawed cats cannot defend themselves against attacks from wild animals and can suffer serious injuries if attacked, even if they are not killed outright.

Even for indoor cats, having claws serves no other purpose except to protect the paws from sharp objects in nature.

Without claws to scratch on trees or other objects for relief from itching and pain, they may be more prone to develop health-related issues or behavioral issues later on in life.

If you’re considering adopting a declawed cat or kitten, there are a few things you should know first.

If you’re still on the fence about adopting a declawed cat, please contact an animal shelter in your area and ask to speak with someone in charge about adopting a cat with a physical defect or disability.

How To Help Your Cat Adjust To Life Without Claws?

Declawed cats may develop discomfort or pain from improper litter box use, frequent licking and biting at themselves, and extreme itching and scratching at themselves.

Inspect your cat’s paws every day for cuts or wounds, or torn or stretched skin, which may signal that your cat is uncomfortable or in pain.

Provide her with plenty of exercise and toys to keep her occupied and happy.

A declawing procedure will not cause a cat to urinate on your den or bed or your sofa and chairs in the house because cats are very clean animals by nature.

However, if your cat is already a habitual urine marking cat, it may continue to do so even after the procedure.

Cats can relieve their stress by scratching any surface in their environment, and domesticated cats tend to use sofas, beds, and countertops as scratching posts.

Also See: Can You Declaw A Maine Coon Cat?


So, should you adopt a declawed cat? The answer is yes! As long as you realize that some cats may react differently to being declawed than other animals in your household then you’ll be fine! Just remember that following good practices after the procedure can help your cat adjust to everyday life easily!

Additionally, if you adopt a kitten or cat from a shelter and you don’t really need it in your house in the right way, then consider donating it to your local animal shelter and adopt another pet instead!