The Physical Consequences of Declawing Your Cat


()   Declawing changes the way the cat’s paws function, and this creates stress on the joints of the paw, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and spine. The cat’s gait changes, as weight is shifted backward from the toes to the large rear pad of the paw.

Research has demonstrated that, after declawing, cats shift their entire weight more toward the hind legs. This is quite a feat, considering that the front legs normally bear about 60% of the cat’s entire weight.

Within 6 months or so, normal weight distribution among the four legs is restored to pre-surgery values. However, changes and stresses within the paw persist and may even worsen due to normal contracture of the severed tendons due to scar tissue formation.

Over time, this altered stress can contribute to the development of arthritis.

In most older declawed cats, the toes are completely “frozen,” immovable even under deep anesthesia.

Declawing causes observable changes to the cat’s anatomy that are not only visible on radiographs (x-rays) but are obvious to anyone who cares to see them.

Here is what it looks like:




It would be interesting to hear what the orthopedic specialists make of these changes. Can the veterinary community continue to deny the reality that declawing causes serious long-term consequences to the cat?


5 Responses to The Physical Consequences of Declawing Your Cat

  • Slow week? Who the fuk cares?

  • Thank you for sharing this article. Although Mr. Bill (prior posting) is not very nice for commenting, the rest of the world can learn a lot from reading this. My website is also full of information about declawing. I hope one day to end these needless, elective surgeries on animals that only benefit their owners. These cosmetic, unnecessary operations are forced upon the unwilling pets with no thought to the life-long consequences that the animals are forced to deal with. What is even more heart-breaking is the reactions the owners give the pets when the animal tries to convey his discomfort – abandonment at the local kill shelter. Shame on the vets for breaking their oath to protect all animals.

  • Thank you for posting this article. Everyone SHOULD care about this- cats are suffering in our country (declawing is illegal in most others) and they need our attention. You may think this isn’t a big deal but try walking on just your heals for a few minutes. Now picture having to do that for the rest of your life.

  • I just had to thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting this video. So if you truly love cats and want the best for them- please use alternatives to declawing. With so many available, and with just a little patience cats can be “trained” to use scratching posts and cat trees. Learning how to clip cat’s nails is relatively easy- again with patience and care. Your vet tech or vet can teach you how to do it- and if you have a kitten- it is a lot easier to start them out when they are very young.

    Thank you for passing on this vital information to anyone who loves cats. Since the majority of vets don’t share all the information about what is involved, and tell you it’s not a biggie- people just don’t understand what this horrific surgery truly entails.

  • I regret ever having my cat declawed 13 years ago. I was ignorant, uninformed and didn’t do my research. My poor baby! 🙁

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