how old does a cat need to be to be de-clawed?

I will be getting a new kitten soon. I need to know how old she has to be to be de-clawed.We have very nice furniture in the living room and my husband will freak out if something bad happens. I want to get a kitten young enough to be trained but old enough to be de-clawed. Can you answer my question, please?

Asked by Member 791218 on Jan 12th 2009 Tagged claws, training, scratching, kittens, affectionate in Scratching
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!


Louie (1996-2013)

Declawing can be done at any time, but most vets will wait until your kitty is 4-6 months old, and some vets won't perform it unless you have a major behavior issue. Get your kitty first along with a cat post, a cardboard pad, and with proper training you may find you may not need to declaw.

Please, please, please try to find an alternative to de-clawing. It is major surgery, can be very painful, and can often change the personality of your kitty, including litter box accidents if the kitty doesn't like the feel on his paws. My boyfriend's parents did it to their sweet girl kitty to save their couch, and now she's a major biter! It's actually illegal in most parts of Europe and considered inhumane. Trimming claws works for me (only one of my 3 cats will even scratch furniture, and that's only an old chair), but you can try nail caps.

Please read this:

Louie (1996-2013) answered on 1/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Yeah, I agree above. Its achually quite unhumane and cruel to declaw your cat as she/he's not declawed in the wild and need their claws for a different reasons and is extreamly painful for them. It would be best to just get your cats claws trimmed every so often and your cat can be trained not to ruin furnature instead of declawing them. But the decision is up to you.

- Sarah & Bob.

Bob answered on 1/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


As an owner and breeder of purebred Maine Coons, I would advise you to consider a purebred cat. Why? Because good breeders keep their cats long enough (over 2 months) for the cat to learn correct behavior, including use of a scratching post/board. My three month old kittens have all learned the fine art of using vertical, cylindrical scratching posts of jute, and horizontal scratching boards of corrugated cardboard and carpet. The cats I got from my breeder also only use these scratching options. The only cat I have who occasionally scratches the sofa is a rescued feral. Rescuing a pound cat is a noble thing to do, but purebred cats from a reputable breeder (whose cats may be cheaper than you suspect) may have fewer behavioral problems. If your furniture is that important to you, starting out with a "safe" cat might be a good idea. Most cat enthusiasts will tell you that declawing is inhumane and unsafe for the cat. Please consider getting a purebred instead of mutilation.

Lola answered on 1/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Sassy (2001-2012)

The others are all right, declawing is cruel and you should find an alternative. At the ASPCA shelter I volunteer at they usually have one or two adult cats that have been declawed by their previous owners. So check that out if you have to get a declawed caty so at least you don't make another one suffer.

Sassy (2001-2012) answered on 1/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 3 Report this answer


Allow me to testify to the wonder of the Whisker City Corrugated Cat Scratchers. No cat has ever turned one away or prefered anything else to scratch in its place. Get one for every level of your home. Put one near your sofa and one near your bed. Make them more interesting by putting a little catnip on them.

Declawing a cat is equal to removing the tips of your fingers, the first joint in each finger. The truth is declawing does NOT stop a cat from the instinct of scratching. They will still do it and even leave behind some damage... not as extreme as with the claws but its there.

Go to PetSmart or even Target and buy some Whisker City cardboard scratchers. You'll be be more excited than Vince Offer in a Shamwow commercial.

Member 540615 answered on 1/12/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

I am neither for nor against declawing and I've heard many arguments in both directions. I have three cats and both leather and upholstered furniture and none of my cats have destroyed any of my furniture. I do have the corrugated scratchy boxes around my house rubbed with catnip frequently to keep them interested in the boxes, so maybe that's why. I'd suggest that you give your kitty a chance before you declaw and maybe she won't be a shredder. You can also discourage her from scratching/shredding furniture with a spray bottle...

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Tokyo Japan Stephens

Most times, after 6 months. But please try clipping and nail caps first. Declawing is the equivalent of removing fingers up to the knuckles, think of how painful that would be for a human. Please don't declaw unless you absolutely have to.

Tokyo Japan Stephens answered on 1/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Declawing is horrible, you are effectively making your cat an amputee. If your furniture is so important to you that you'd chop off a cat's fingers to avoid it being scratched, how about you reconsider getting a cat? Scratching is a normal kitty behaviour, and most cats will at some point or another display a normal cat behaviour that you won't like. If you can't deal with a certain amount of that, don't get the cat.

Member 761877 answered on 1/16/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Don't de-claw PLEASE, that's just down right cruel. I have 4 cats none of them de-clawed. My furniture is in good shape but my scratch post are a mess & cat nip keeps them that way. It's cheaper to buy scratch posts than cat surgery. If you really think you need to de claw kitten maybe it's time to re-think this. Or adopt an adult cat. All my cats were adopted, all are cute as kittens (all over a yr old), all are indoor & still as playful as kittens. A program called MAMA Mature Animals for Mature Adults. "Aspen" was abused but is a great cats. Two are from SPCA & they're feral but still very affectionate (but on there terms) It took "Tini" 2 yrs to jump on my lap & is now a daily habit. Her sister will take naps with me. Its about patience & the reason you want a cat. Mine was for companionship. Please think of a better way to save your furniture.
P.S. I was never a cat lover until I got these cats. Try finding an Apt. with 4 cats almost impossible but would never give them up. C.C

Member 794641 answered on 1/20/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


It is not very difficult to train your cat to use a scratching post. The surgery is not simply a trimming of the claws, it’s an amputation of the distal phalanx, including bones, ligaments, and tendons! To remove the claw, the bone, nerve, joint capsule, collateral ligaments, and the extensor and flexor tendons must all be amputated. If you were to make a comparison, it would be like having the last joint of each of our fingers chopped off. So of course it is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery. There are often many complications in the healing process, including infection often from litter box use, resulting in a life-long aversion to the litter box. Other declawed cats that can no longer mark with their claws, will mark with urine instead, resulting in inappropriate elimination problems.

Please visit my blog for more information
my user name is FluffyandRomeo

Member 645922 answered on 2/24/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


You can de claw at 6 mounths some do it younger. De clawing IS NOT CRULE. My mom use to work for a vet I have whached lots of de clawed and it is no big deal 10 to 15 min and it is done. you can go to a shelter and find like a 6 mounth old kitten and have it declawed at any time good lukey with your new kitten

Member 758309 answered on 3/5/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'm not sure how old they have to be, as i am trying to find out for myslef but i do not think its inhumane. I had cats that were declawed when i was younger, we declawed their front paw but left them their back claws and they did just fine. They never had pain problems and they could still climb with their back claws. I now have four kittens i will be declawing and keeping as indoor cats

Member 1004540 answered on 9/16/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


People, the question was not "Hey, what's your opinion about declawing?" It was "How old does a cat need to be to be declawed?"

The answer is around 4 to 6 months. If it is done too early you may run into problems. There have been instances of claw regrowth due to incomplete removal of tissue which can occur if the procedure is performed too early.

Member 1013859 answered on 11/30/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I got my cat de-clawed, she slipped out of the house one day and the next time I saw her was in the mouth of the neighbors dog. She could not defend herself. Get her a scratching pole and she will not bother your furniture. I have never done that to my other cats. Useing a newspaper to swat will scare them from your furniture and make them mind you. Cats are really smart and you can train them.

Member 1037879 answered on 6/19/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I got my cat declawed when he was younger (maybe 4 months) and have never had any issues because of it. He will 5 years old (40 in cat years) next week and has been living life wonderfully.

He is strictly an indoor cat as well. I hear the younger in age they get it, the better. I knew someone that got their older cat declawed and that changed the cat a lot with personality and trust.

Member 1163482 answered on 4/5/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer