Any tips on helping my 2 cats recover from front foot declaw surgery? I am having it done, but yet am very aprehensive.

Asked by Member 559472 on Jan 17th 2008 in Health & Wellness
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Best Answer

Morgana - forever my soul

It's good that you're nervous about this as it IS major surgery. Was it explained to you that declawing is not removal of their claws but the entire first joint of each toe on their paws? It's basically amputation of the end of each toe - maybe you didn't know. Many aren't aware of all that's involved. This site explains more & gives alternatives plus what to expect after surgery, if you get it done.

Rather than belittle you, it's better to educate a person on good alternatives. I belong to some Yahoo cat groups & have heard good things about Soft Paws that have helped many cats avoid being declawed.

It's also possible to trim your cats' claws regularly with nail clippers (clip sideways) so they're not sharp or long. I do with mine & never get scratched now. They can be taught easily to accept clipping. The 1st site has more info on this. I *hope* you decide that NOT declawing is better.

Morgana - forever my soul answered on Jan 17th.

Other Answers



I have 9 cats...each with all their claws...rarely do I have a problem with them scratching inappropriatly as they can be trained to use their scratching post...which they need!
Please read the links that have been posted for you.
De clawing isn't a simple manicure...It is an amputation.

Member 73926 answered on 1/17/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

John (1985-2002)

My mom declawed me when I was a kitten and she was a young college student who's landlord would only allow declawed cats. It was horribly painful for both George & me and I learned how to punish mom by peeing on her furniture when I was really mad. I didn't do it often, but I did it when I was really mad. Mom has never forgiven herself for this and is very embarrassed that she did this. She only writes this now in hopes that you will find another way with your kitties. Please consider both the clipping and softclaws mentioned previously and not enough can be said about offering scratching alternatives. We have several posts, some quite attractive, in all kinds of materials and the 4 living cats all use them. Please reconsider, you may never forgive yourself.

John (1985-2002) answered on 1/17/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

I won't preach to you. If you are apprehensive, you already know about de-clawing. When I did animal rescue work, I had to rehome many cats who were brought back because they scratched someone's $1000 ottoman to shreds. I shudder to think how many of our kitties were just thrown out to fend for themselves after they shredded something of their owner's. If you are declawing because this would be your situation, I guess it's the lesser of two evils, but don't do it because you think ALL cats claw furniture. Make sure you take them to a very reputable vet. Botched declaws can cripple a cat for life and cause fatal infections. Your cats will be limping for about a week and out of sorts. Use "Yesterdays News" or some litter that won't stick to their paws. You'll be given pain meds for them because they'll need it. Their paws may bleed, and dripping or trickling blood should be reported to your vet immediately, as should swelling or excessive chewing or licking. Watch them carefully.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


declawing is almost like having there whole paws removed. One cat that I had along time ago was already declawed when I got her,she was a good cat but she loved to go outside. And thats how she died some dogs got her because she could climb a tree or scratch the dogs. Declawing is very bad even if they scratch up everything you have, there are other ways to go.

Tommy answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Rockee Jones

We're a 7 cat family & ALL of us have our claws. I won't give you the speech about how painful declawing is for your cats (which it truly is), however, I can tell you why we never have a problem with any of us scratching furniture/carpet/ect.
1. Our claws are trimmed by mom and dad every 2 or 3 weeks.
2. We have 2 large cat trees with sisal rope as well as various cardboard scratchers throughout the house.
3. When it looks like we're going to start scratching on something we're not supposed to, mom or dad will pick us up & put us on one of our scratchers. The they both praise us like we just cured cancer & tell us how wonderful we are. In fact, we've so associated our scratchers with positive attention that sometimes we just go straight to them and scratch when we want special praise! MOL

Please, please, please rethink this procedure before you decide to go through with it! Good Luck!

Rockee Jones answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Echoing the previous answers. I would caution you, be wary of any vet whose first suggestion to any clawing problems was "no problem, we'll declaw them and that will take care of it" or who brought up declawing as "an additional procedure it is best to do while they are being neutered". They obviously would rather convince you to go ahead with an expensive surgery (it is a major surgery for cats, even if the laser method is used) than help you find something that works for both you and your cats.

Mom was told a while back that the best thing to do if that's the case is drop that vet and shop around for another one who cares more about your cats' well being than about lining his pockets with your money. I have never had any problems with scratching things up in my home, but that was because I was cat tree trained from day 1, but even older cats can be easily trained to use their own furniture to scratch with their claws (it is a natural need most cats have).

Boris answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Have you tried softpaws yet? They're little plastic nail trim the kitties nails and glue them on (they fit tightly) once a month. Generally, the kitty won't notice them and they last for 4-6 weeks. If you can apply them yourself it costs about $20 for four sets online, or you can take your kitty to the vet and have them applied there.

Hunter answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I do not recommend declawing. I had about 4 sets of Soft Paws, after which I learned how to better get along with my siblings. I had to get the Softpaws because I was new to the house and kept slashing my siblings faces. We have always been provided with lots of cardboard and sissel scratching options and have never clawed the furniture. I recommend books by Pam Johnson Bennett (do a search through Amazon books) in order to solve behavioral problems.

Chloe answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


My mom had me declawed when I was 6 months old. It's not all that bad really. I won't lie, it was painful when I woke up. I'm stricly an indoor cat and it really doesn't bother me that my front claws are gone. I don't think it's a good idea to take all a cat's claws, that is cruel. It leaves the cat with no defenses but it's teeth if it gets out. But it really isn't all that bad after it heals. Just keep them calm and quiet. No jumping or dashing around the house. and in 10 days or so they can go back to their normal selves.

Kanika answered on 1/18/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 5 Report this answer


My brother and I have been declawed since we were kittens and have never had any problems. We were brought into a home with an elderly cat and my parents didn't think it would be good for both of us to have our claws and our new friend didn't. We are both extremely friendly and have never relieved ourselves anywhere but our potty. We also NEVER go outside. If you are going to declaw your cats, then keep them from jumping too much while they heal and watch their paws to make sure they aren't bleeding. Also, change the kitty litter to newspaper. Kitty litter can be very painful to tender paws.

Tasha answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


Hey there!

I understand how you would feel apprehensive. Maybe it's because you know deep down that you don't really want to have them declawed?
Just think about it. If they got loose, how would they defend themselves? How would they get food? How would they climb a tree if they were being chased?
If you're worried about being scratched, just clip their nails every week (I like to do it when they are asleep) and it shouldn't be a problem. If they are scratching your furniture, then get them a scratching post and put them near it every time they scratch something they are not supposed to.

Please, PLEASE reconsider. I know that the choice is up to you, but think about it. It would be like having your finger nails removed. Just do what's best for your cats. :)

Chase answered on 1/19/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer

Cole ~ Always Loved

I know some may say you are being cruel, but what is MORE cruel??

......Declawing your cat so you can give it a loving home indoors for the rest of it's life, OR....Abandoning it to a life outdoors full of danger because it's shredding everything you own?

All four of my cats have been declawed and I wouldn't have it any other way regardless of what others may think.

Your cats shouldn't have any problems after the declawing procedure. They may limp slightly or they may not. Two of mine limped after the procedure and two did NOT even seem bothered by it. Age plays a large part in this. The older and/or heavier the cat, the more soreness they might experience.

Just be sure to use shredded newspaper OR "Yesterday's News" in their litter box for a week or two. You can buy Yesterdays News at your local pet store. I bought mine at PetsMart. It's kind of costly, but better and cleaner than plain shredded newspaper.

Good Luck!
Mom to Cole, Kayleigh, Tag & Kassidy

Cole ~ Always Loved answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


My sister Calle and I have no front claws. Ours were removed when we were kittens. My Mom was really sad after mine were done. Mine were removed the old fashioned way but I did bounce back pretty quick. My sister Calle had hers removed by LASER. There was no blood afterwards and very little pain. She also got pain killers and antibiotics for a few days. Calle bounced back real FAST. Since having our claws removed we are problem children. We are still sweet kitties and are are not mad at our MOM for doing it to us.

Bella answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I got front declawed the same day I got neutered. They had done bloodwork before to see if I could possibly have a bad reaction to the anestesia (sp?) Mom was worried tat my paws would hurt when it was time to take me home ( the next morning) so they gave her a liquid perscription. Turns out i never needed it. I came bouncing out of the carrier, running around playing with my toys. Mom dint even know there were different kinds of declaw at the time, but she thinks i may have had it done with a laser. There was no blood, but she thinks that i may have had a tiny tiny bit of surgical glue on my paws when i came home. You might want to start transitioning to alitter like yesterdays news because its supposed to help prevent infection and be softer on paws, i hated it so mom stuck with our regular litter. mom also put my bed, food, water, and litter close together the first couple days in case my paws really did hurt, i wouldnt have to go far

Harley answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Maybe you're apprehensive because you know how cruel it is?

Declawing is mutilation. We here in this household firmly believe that anyone who'd have it done shouldn't own a cat. There's a reason why this torture is illegal in most of the developed countries of the world.

Please rethink your decision!

Pantera answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


This is your decision and should be made according to your needs. Others shouldn't try to make you feel guilty if you make the decision to declaw.
We have had 3 kitties that were declawed and they did great. One was even feline leukemia positive and she had no problems at all.
My mother had a Siamese that was declawed in front and she could climb a wood post in the basement quicker than scat. She was also very good at catching mice.
The antibiotics are given as a precautionary measure since all kitties must use their tootsies in the litter box. Use the newspaper litter and that should be no problem either.
We have a kitty now that has all his claws but he still goes outside and needs them for defense since we have stray cats around. He does ok with his scratching post.
Good luck with your decision.

Tuffy answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Cherry Berry

I know you only want the best for your cats and are researching this surgery because you love them. I worked for a vet and witessed first hand, the pain the kitties were in after the surgery. They stayed at the vet until the bandages were removed. Please listen to your heart on this and reconsider.

Cherry Berry answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

(In Loving Memory) Enoch

Hi! We are new on Catster. I happened to see your question, and I wanted to reply. Others here seem to have already given you lots of good information, so I won't repeat anything. Declawing is indeed a painful and very debilitating operation. A lot of vets won't do it, and it's actually illegal in some countries, including Great Britain. For a human, it would be exactly the same as cutting off all his fingers down to the first joint! Believe me, I truly understand that you value your furniture. But sometimes it just boils down to the fact that you can either live in a showplace home--OR you can have animal (and even human!) friends whose presence will eventually takes its toll on the chairs and sofas. Pieces of furniture are just objects. They're not alive. Your cats are living, breathing, loving creatures who can suffer both physical and emotional pain. I know they're your good friends! I hope you'll reconsider putting them through this surgery. Thanks!!!

(In Loving Memory) Enoch answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Roger Bleu

*sigh* It's kind of unheard of where we live and the city right next to us has made it illegal for vets to perform this very harsh and painful operation. It's so simple to just keep our claws covered with those cute claw tips you can easily get in pet stores, or keep our claws clipped a bit - you are basically taking away such a vital part of our nature as well by doing this, for we love to have a nice stretch and scratch on our scratching posts - we have several. I hope you will rethink this, and we were sad to see this when we logged on today.

Roger Bleu answered on 1/20/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer