Scratching is a normal feline behavior. Cats scratch to:

(1) Condition their claws by removing old nail sheaths

(2) Scent mark objects with the glands on their paws

(3) Visually mark objects by leaving shredded matter as evidence

(4) Stretch and exercise their forelegs

(5) Enjoy a pleasant sensation.

Before deciding on a declawing procedure, we recommend the following:

  • Place appropriate scratching objects near scratched furniture and make them more attractive than the furniture. Additionally, place scratching objects near resting areas so the cat can stretch and scratch after resting.
  • Train cats through positive reinforcement (e.g., treats, use of catnip, verbal praise, etc.) to use the above implements.
  • Trim cats’ nails every one to two weeks.
  • Consider artificial nail caps.
  • Avoid harm to themselves or cats by avoiding engaging in rough play.


  • Declawing is not just removal of the claw; it is a major surgery involving amputation.
  • There are inherent risks and complications with any surgical procedure, including, but not limited to, anesthetic complications, side effects associated with analgesics, hemorrhage, infection, and pain. Here at Woodland West we do all declaws when needed by CO2 laser and multi-modal perioperative pain management.
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