Surgeon to declaw a cat

The 3 declawing procedure’s and how to avoid them.

The 3 declawing procedure’s and how to avoid them.

Before I overview the 3 declawing procedures.

I want to begin the discussion with my take on declawing your cat, for whatever that may be worth. I don’t judge and no one really should. Yes, it’s traumatic for the cat, but the question one should ask is, why declaw in the first place? Why are you having your cat declawed? Is the cat hyper-aggressive? Or extremely destructive? Is someone or you susceptible to a potential danger from being scratched? Perhaps you have a weakened immune system or have a severe allergy to whatever those claws might possess.

How valid are these points, being in favor of declawing? I don’t know. What I do know is that you should be well-informed before you take the step to have your cat declawed. Therefore, I’d like to provide you with what’s involved with the standard procedure, alternative procedure and alternatives to not requiring the procedure. Hopefully, it will cause some to avoid the procedure, especially in cases where it may not be required.

What’s involved in the 3 common *procedures?                                                               

(Listed here in descending order, of intrusiveness and consequential trauma)


  1. The first method is to remove the nails and distal toe bones using the guillotine method.  This is done using a guillotine nail clipper.  The goal is to fit the clipper around the distal bone and sever the tendons, holding it on without damaging the middle toe bones.


  1. The second method is the blade method.  This method uses a scalpel blade to sever the tendons holding the distal toe bone in place.


  1. The third method is the laser or radiosurgery method. This method utilizes either a CO2 laser or a radiosurgery unit to cauterize and sever the tendons holding the distal bone in place, and to cut through the minimal skin needed to access the distal toe joint.


*(I am deliberately avoiding posting images here, as they are ghastly and add dramatic visuals. To what should be a decision based on rationale and reasoning.  


Here are some alternative measures you may consider to eliminate the need to intervene surgically.  


  1. Get a scratch pad or post and position it near the furniture or objects the cat has been scratching. Be sure to make the scratching apparatus obvious and encourage your cat to use it.
  2. Communicate with the cat. Sometimes a kind and gentle nudge, along with some affection does the trick.
  3. Clip your cats’ nails often.
  4. Teach your cat with a little, very little, deterrent such as small squirt of water from a clean spray bottle. Accompanied with a snap of the fingers, or better a clicker.

You would hope that with repeated occasions to squirt, accompanied with a snap or click your cat would learn. This could take time, but it is well worth the long-term benefits for both you and the cat. With any luck, the squirt alone might leave a lasting effect.


Remember to start any training, if required early and don’t wait for an occasion, such as furniture scratching, before get an appropriate alternative. Nip it in the bud, by getting a scratch pad or post, on day one. However, you approach this, be sure to start early.

If everything seems to be failing, talk to your Vet.


Good luck to you and the cat too.


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