Should I declaw my cat? A cat owner in Lafayette posted that question on the Nextdoor app and was quickly schooled by other cat lovers.

Courtesy: Butler County (Ohio) Sheriff's Office/Facebook

I have to admit: before I knew, I didn't know. I had heard of declawing cats but had no idea that the procedure was considered inhumane. The first time I had any idea that declawing a cat was a bad idea was when I saw a friend's cat with claw caps/covers. I inquired, she informed, I got schooled.

In this instance, a cat owner (innocently enough, I am certain) asked for a recommendation on the Nextdoor app for a veterinarian who would declaw her cat. Though she did get a few recommendations of which vets in the Lafayette area would perform the procedure, the overwhelming response was "don't do it".

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With over 60 comments on the post, I didn't notice if the OP ever responded to any of the comments, as I was too engrossed in the "don't do it" responses.

Here's how the thread started:

Nextdoor App

The first response was nicer than some of the later responses, as it came with a short explanation and offered an alternative. Other responses were a little more to the point.

Nextdoor App

Cutting bones. Removing the joint. Amputation. These terms, I would think, should give any cat lover reservations about having the declawing procedure done on their cat(s).

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One Nextdoor user replied with a "water is wet" comment, saying that if you don't want your furniture scratched, then don't get a cat.

Nextdoor App

Plants are great, too (until you realize that one of your potted plant holders had a seep/leak and has been staining the cabinet your sig-o inherited from her grandmother! Other than THAT, plants are great).

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Here are some more in-your-face responses, followed by the one user whose cat had "no problem" with being declawed 20 years ago:

Nextdoor App

One user commented that the procedure is "very painful", and the following comment begged to differ:

Nextdoor App

It was great to see some of the comments trying to steer OP away from declawing AND offering tips on how to try to keep the furniture protected.

Nextdoor App

Later in the comments section, someone referenced an article from Popular Science that directly addresses the issue of declawing a cat, and offers alternatives to the procedure.

The article also cites a study that showed that many declawed cats experience difficulty walking after the procedure, develop a tendency to chew at the area where the claws/bones were removed, and are prone to develop temperament issues.

Instead of resorting to declawing your cat which, as evidenced above, is believed to be cruel and inhumane, training your cat to not scratch your furniture is a reasonable alternative.

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The article suggests purchasing or making scratching posts for your feline friend and place them near the furniture they are accused of scratching. It is also suggested that you "bait" the post with catnip or some other item to attract your cat and give positive reinforcement each time your cat uses the post.

Let's hope that OP realizes that the physical and psychological damage that the cat might experience as a result of the declawing procedure isn't worth the risk. Besides, she'll need a new sofa in 20 years anyway, right?

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