Choose from the top declawing cats alternatives

The most probable reason why people come looking for declawing cats alternatives is to save their cat from the excruciating pain of claw removal. It’s very important to understand that scratching is a part of the natural behavior of cats, not an offensive tactic, and declawing them for that would be a way harsher punishment. It is to save its dangerous impacts, we are going to tell you safer alternatives to declawing a cat.


About declawing in cats

declawing cats alternatives

The process of declawing the cats entails the surgical amputation or removal of the primary knuckles of toes that leads to the stoppage of the growth of the cat claws further. This can be simply understood as cutting off the top joint of the toes or fingers of an animal. The entire autonomy of the paws is altered which casts an irreversible impact on the physical behavior of the cat as they have to change their natural behavior like walking pattern, scratching, and grooming urges.

Need for declawing

Some cats tend to show severe scratching tendencies that may go up to the level of putting the surrounding lives in danger too. However, all the checks are made and alternatives to declawing a cat are listed before going for this method since it has a lot more repercussions than positives. It is primarily made sure that the cat doesn’t end up deserted because they become fully dependent and most owners try to get rid of them later.

Reasons why declawing is a bad idea

Declawing only makes things convenient for the pet owner but it is in no way good for the pet. Here are some of the major impacts it makes on the cat:

  • The biggest repercussion of declawing is the chronic pain that the cat suffers. Although they would hide the discomfort and pain since they are masters at it, their misery would make them unhappier forever.
  • Alteration in the autonomy changes the natural gait and this puts greater discomfort on the paws.
  • Declawed paws increase the risk of arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases in cats.
  • The inability to scratch comes with an inability at stretching the tendons and muscles too that puts a long-term impact on the overall fitness of the cat.
  • It makes the paws of the cats weak and tender due to which they face severe difficulty in walking.
  • They lose their natural defense mechanism abilities as well as hunting skills.
  • Mostly, they become dependent and indoor-ridden since they can’t move around mostly on their own.

Top alternative things you can try for declawing a cat

As awareness is rising among the people, declawing is now being called out for being highly destructive, cruel, and inhumane practice for the physical and mental impact it casts on the cats. This, then, gives way to the rise in alternatives to declawing a cat that you can opt for instead of putting your cat through so much pain. Let’s see what all alternatives are available:

Regularly trimming the nails

Proper grooming of the cat must involve nail trimming done at a regular gap of 2-3 weeks. It may sound like a task but you can get a vet or groomer to do so too. Watch how to trim the claws properly when doing by self.

Inserting nail caps

You can fix blunt vinyl nail caps on the claws of cats that are great alternatives to declawing and also lower down the damage risk from scratching. Professional groomers can help in fitting these up and replacing them when the nails overgrow the caps.

Use scratching dedicated objects

Now that you know that scratching is inevitable, you can try installing dedicated objects in your house that let the cat scratch on it. Things like scratching post, sisal, wood, and corrugated cardboard can be a good option to try as they give a full spot to the cat for relieving themselves of their scratching urges. Make these objects more luring by coating them with some catnip.

It is a safer, more comfortable, and more convenient option for both you and the pet.

Deterring them from scratching

Other than giving them a good spot to scratch, you can magnify the effect by making the other places uncomfortable enough for them to scratch. Try covering the spots with tin foil or tape to make the claws feel rough so that they don’t scratch on these spots anyways.

Trying attractants to help the scratching needs

We know that cats scratch for different purposes like marking their territories, releasing stress, etc. Whilst scratching, they release a pheromone from the area between the toes that helps them mark that area for a later visit or further scratching. Things like Feliway/Feliscratch can be a great alternative to declawing when applied to the desired surface lure the cat to scratch on them only or even feel relaxed without scratching too.

Medical alternatives

A new surgical procedure called Tendonectomy has come up that is recommended by the vet experts. In this process, minor incisions are made at the backside of the claw for snipping the tendons. As a result, the cat cannot extend the claws fully for scratching.

This is yet better as the claw remains intact and there are no significant repercussions. However, it exposes them to arthritis and toe-curl issue in the longer term.

Training the cats

For the longer-term alternative to declawing, you can start with training the cats from younger stages to shape their scratching behavior and activities rightly. Provide them with scratching dedicated objects from the very beginning and they will never go to the furniture again. Reward them for good behavior as all of this stays in their memory as per which they behave later.

Giving them proper care

Cats can get bored easily or feel deprived too when their needs aren’t met. This can increase the risk of destructive scratching in them; however, you can control it by giving them proper resources for their natural requirements and control their social behavior. Give them good food, freshwater, litterbox, good bed, and familiar territory.

Taking them to animal behaviorist at last

If no effort from your side works out, the last resort you may have to try is taking your pet cat to a professional animal behaviorist. They can help you with the proper assessment of the temperament, history, and stimuli of your cat and understand the needs of your cat accordingly.


This was all about declawing cats alternatives which must be the primary option for everyone looking for ways to preventing their cats from scratching excessively. We believe that you wouldn’t want your feline friend to be miserable and thus, keep declawing out of ambit altogether.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.