Here is a note I received from an awesome cat owner. She truly cares about the welfare of her cats and just uses commonsense and care when it comes to her health conditions and living with her cats with claws.
I have heard some pretty ridiculous reasons for why people declaw their cats. Compromised immune systems, furniture, behavioral issues… all of them being listed as “good” reasons to declaw.
I have two autoimmune diseases: inflammatory bowel disease and endometriosis.
I have contracted MRSA and c. diff twice, my second home is the hospital, and I get sick very easily. Last year, I was receiving chemotherapy and taking immunosuppressants & prednisone, all of which made me more vulnerable to infections. Is this a good reason to declaw my cats? No. I wear layers to protect my skin from bacteria and I wash my skin after I interact with them.
Because of the IBD, I required emergency life-saving surgery. My entire colon was removed and I now have a permanent ileostomy. My cats love sitting on my belly and my lap. Is it possible for them to accidentally puncture my ostomy appliance? Very! Is this a good reason to declaw? Never! It is easier for me to just put a new appliance on than to give a cat its fingertips back after being removed. It’s not that big a deal to change my appliance. Inconvenient, yes. But I would never choose my appliance over my cats’ claws and comfort.
My American Shorthair, Oliver, hates scratching posts. He prefers the couch. I can completely surround the couch with appropriate scratching alternatives and he will reach over them to scratch the couch. I can spray the couch with deterrent and lemon juice. He doesn’t care, he will still scratch it.
Oh well, it’s a COUCH. It is replaceable. His claws are not. His fingertips are not. Will I purchase an expensive replacement couch? Probably not. Will both my cats keep their claws? Heck yes!
Oliver also has a long list of allergies, both food and environmental. He is allergic to every food except for peas, potatoes, and carrots. The protein source he is LEAST allergic to is fish, so he eats fish with those veggies for balance, as suggested by his vet. Yes, his belly hurts a lot. So yes, he bites very hard and digs his claws into me and my partner when he is upset or his belly hurts.
Is this a good reason to declaw? No!
It is communication and you’d better believe we listen to him!
I cannot find a “good” reason to declaw a cat.
If you cannot change your lifestyle in order to have a cat, you do not understand what cats require and you do not deserve to have one in your family.