If you are considering declawing your cat, please read this. It will only take a moment, and it will give you valuable information to help you in your decision.
First you should know that declawing is pretty much an American thing. It's something people do for their own convenience without realizing what actually happens to their beloved cat. In England, declawing is termed "inhumane" and unnecessary mutilation.
Before you make your decision to declaw your cat, there are some important facts you should know. Declawing us not like a manicure. It is a serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your cat's claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint in your cat's "toes." When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery your cat would still have to use his feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box, regardless of the pain it is experiencing. Wheelchairs and bedpans are not an option for a cat.
No cat lover would doubt that cats-whose senses are much keener than ours-suffer pain. They may, however, hide it better. Not only are they proud, they instinctively know that they are at risk when in a weakened position, and by nature will attempt to hide it. But make no mistake, this is not a surgery to be taken lightly.
Your cat's body is perfectly designed to give it the grace, agility and beauty that is unique to felines. Its claws are an important part of this design. Amputating the important part of their anatomy that contains the claws drastically alters the confirmation of their feet. The cat is also deprived of its primary means of defense, leaving it prey to predators if it ever escapes to the outdoors.
I have also had people tell me that their cat's personality changed after being declawed. Although the medical community does not recognize this as a potential side effect.
Okay, so now you realize that declawing is too drastic a solution, but you’re still concerned about keeping your household furnishings intact. Is there an acceptable solution? Happily, the answer is yes. A big joyful, Humane YES! Actually there are several. The following website "Cat Scratching Solutions" provides many solutions as well as an insight into the psychology of why cats scratch. You can teach your cat to use scratching post (sisal posts are by far the best). You can trim the front claws. You can also employ aversion methods. One of the best solutions I've found is Soft Paws. Soft Paws are lightweight vinyl nail caps that you glue on the cats front claws. They will need to be replaced as the cats nails grow. You need to remember, though that the caps and nail trimming should only be used for indoor cats who will not be vulnerable to the dangers of the outdoors.