Cat Declawing for an Older Cat archived

Has anyone had to declaw an older cat? If so, did it change your cat's behavior and personality? Looking for advice on this issue.

We have a 13 year old indoor cat and a 20 month old son. Our son loves the cat and can get too aggressive, and so far he has been sliced pretty bad across the face twice. The first time almost got his eye (he was luckily blinking). We have tried cutting the cat's claws and keeping distance between the two, but it has proven to be difficult. The cat is very outgoing, lies across the middle of the floor, and refuses to back away when our son gets near. Our son doesn't yet understand to leave the cat alone, so we are faced with a difficult decision. I would rather declaw than have to give him away (the cat, that is), since we may not be so lucky if the cat gets him again.

Please let me know if you anyone has had a similar experience. Also if you have a good recommendation on a vet that is will do a great job with this surgery. Thanks.

please do not do it. if i knew what declawing is i would never have done it to miracle. there are these little tips you can put on your cats nails instead. i know you will get betteerr more detailed responses.

We declawed both of our cats when they were, at the time, about 2.5 years old and never noticed a change in their behavior. They are now 10 years old and happy, fat cats. I know there is some controversy on this topic, but I personally don't see it is a cruel thing to do. To each his own, though.

It is my understanding that declawing a cat means amputating the last bone of their digits (think of removing the end of each of your toes and fingers.)

Know anyone who has had bunion or other foot surgery? I had bunion surgery and a toe shortened several years ago. I delivered a 9 1/2 lb baby and a 10 lb 13 oz baby well before my foot surgery and NEVER knew pain like I did after the surgery! I was flying on pain killers for 2-3 days and felt immensely better day by day, but was in extreme discomfort for about 2 weeks. Now, I'm perfectly fine, and in no pain, which is better than the daily pain I was in which made the surgery necessary. Has it permanently changed my personality? I doubt it. However, I have a new respect for people with broken bones and I will NOT have surgery on my other foot, which has an ugly bunion but which doesn't hurt very much on a daily basis. You couldn't pay me to have my left foot made as pretty as my altered right foot.

Here is a link that MAY help with your decision. It obviously is biased, as am I based on my personal experience, but you seem to want to make the best decision for your cat and situation, so I hope it is helpful.

I would avoid it. I know you have said the cat is an indoor cat. Ours are too, but every now and again, one of them slips out for the night. On more than one occasion, our cats have returned with battle scars from encounters with God-Knows-What. Our cats had claws. Without the claws, they would be defenseless.

I agree you shouldn't do it I had a cat that was declawed it does change there temperament. They become very skittish and will hide. You should try to teach your son to be nice and gentle showing him how to pet the cat the right way. If the cat is aggressive a water bottle is a good trick for teaching the cat not to go after your son. Cats will challenge for superiority you need to show it that your son is superior with love like having him feed the cat or give it treats. Cat seldom bit the hand that feeds them. I can grab my cats anyway I want and give them baths they will never scratch me unless by accident like falling off my lap.

I am against declawing - I had my first cat declawed 20 yrs ago (he was a kitten) and I would never do it again. My friend is a vet and she told me that it is much worse (pain, healing, adjustment) for older cats - I would be concerned about any type of surgery for a 13 yr old cat because of the risks involved. Have you asked your vet for suggestions in dealing with kitty's behavior? I have a rascal of my own, but we don't have kids. We know we have to keep him away from children who visit because he will swipe at them. It won't be too long before your son is old enough to learn to stay away from kitty, so maybe you just have to get through the short term?

The only reason they swipe is they think that's pray or to defend themselves. If the cats have lots of toys they will be to tired to bother anyone.
Mine sleep most of the day and freak out about 8pm its normal a dusk every cat I had did the 8pm freak out its kinda weird..

Please don't declaw your cat - it really is a barbaric procedure. As Pdg said, declawing involves removing the claw AND the entire bone attached to the claw.

It's akin to taking off a human fingertip down the the first joint.

When I was little, we always declawed our indoor cats, after I worked in a vet's office 20 years ago I reconsidered and decided after seeing the operation that it was unkind to the cat.

Cats use escalating levels of defense when they're threatened:

Most cats will first hiss, THEN swipe lightly with claws retracted, if they still feel threatened, they intentionally scratch and the very last line of defense is biting.

FYI - sometimes declawed cats get MORE aggressive sans claws and go straight to biting people.

Good luck with whatever you decide - no judgements here from me.

It's horrible to see your baby get scratched - it sounds a little bit like your cat is in competition with your son - maybe try giving the cat more attention and catnip to mellow him out.

Or just keep him in the attic for a few months (the cat, not the child:winkoh oh

Why not give these a shot?

If you clip your cat's nails every month or so, you just glue them on afterwards. We found it useful to wrap the cat in a towel and just have the paw sticking out. One person to hold the cat, one person to clip and apply the nail tips.

Good luck.

years of cat experience here!! Please dont declaw the cat, train the child!! My first batch of cats were declawed(3) and they became biters as a result! The cat has no defense BUT to bite!!


I've never used softpaws, but one of my co-workers did after his first child was born, and he absolutely loved them.

An added bonus is that they also help save the furniture.

True, my cat became a biter as well. There are also products like the felaway plug-in or putting a little rescue remedy in the cat's water that people say have a calming effect. As kitty is probably still adjusting to your son, maybe a felaway plug-in is worth a shot.

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