By Jean Hofve, DVM
All reasons for non-medical declawing have non-surgical alternatives. There are many humane choices will still protect both human and feline health, as well as sofas and Persian rugs:
- Scratching posts, mats, corrugated cardboard, logs, softwood boards, sisal rope
- Training (yes, cats CAN be trained!)
- Regular claw-trimming
- Rotary sanders (Peticure, Dremel)
- Nail caps (SoftPaws, Soft Claws)
- Emery scratching boards (Emerycat)
- Double-sided sticky tape (Sticky Paws)
- Non-stick furniture protectors (Corner Savers, Fresh Kitty Furniture Protectors)
- Pet repellent sprays
- Access restriction (upside-down vinyl rug runner)
- Remote aversive devices (ScatMat, Ssscat)
- Phermones (Feliway)
- Furniture covers (blankets, towels—anything loose will not be appealing to your cat!)
- Those who absolutely insist that no cat of theirs will have claws, can adopt an already-declawed cat (there are many of them in shelters and rescues).
You may need to use more than one alternative for any particular cat. But the good news is that in most cases, other than scratching posts or pads and claw maintenance, you will not need to use them forever. Once a cat has stopped scratching one place and been trained to the right spot, you can remove blankets, tin foil, etc.
With a little effort, patience, and time, one or more of these alternatives will work for any cat; making it unnecessary and inhumane to use a radical, irreversible surgery to solve a behavior problem.