Here at St. Louis Pet Rescue we strongly encourage people to not declaw their cats. Declawing is not just removing the nails, but the claw, the structures attached to the claw, including a generous portion of bone and muscle.
Declawing is almost exclusively an American thing. The UK and many European countries have termed declawing inhumane, mutilation, and illegal.
Cats who are declawed develop behavioral issues. Declawed cats have residual paw pain. They often avoid the litterbox because of paw pain. They bite because they don’t have claws to give the typical first warning swat.
Declawed cats actually tear up furniture and scratch more because they are having to grip to keep their balance. Imagine walking without your toes.
Here at the Koerner house, we have 4 resident cats and 5 foster kittens, and 8 of those have all their claws. We adopted Chloe, a beautiful albino, in 2002 after being surrendered for biting the toddler. Chloe continued her biting behavior, biting Chris and I when she wanted to be left alone or was done being petted. She intermittently goes outside the litterbox, but right next to it, so we know she tries to be good. She is a lap cat, but digs her back claws in while on my lap. She also has scratched several tables while trying to get traction to run.
Why do we keep Chloe? Because her people failed her and we won’t do that to her.
She was a great cat when they took her home, but then they declawed her.
Sadly we have had numerous cats of our adopted and declawed. Many of them are returned for issues, mostly for not using the litterbox or biting.
Don’t my other 8 destroy the furniture? Don’t they climb the curtains?
No, they don’t. Seriously. If you provide the cats positive places to scratch (cat trees, scratching posts, etc.) and teach them to use those, they won’t have a need to claw the furniture. The 5 kittens I’m fostering actually took to the scratcher the moment I unboxed it.
If you’re still worried about your furniture or house being ruined, maybe a cat isn’t for you.