Can a Cat With Its Front Paws Declawed Still Protect Itself?

Cats may feel helpless without their front claws.
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Declawing surgery in cats is a polarizing subject. Some cat owners opt for the procedure to prevent their cats from scratching at other household members or pets. On the other hand, some believe that declawing the front claws leaves cats feeling defenseless, lost and perhaps even nervous and aggressive.

Front Claws

When it comes to declawing surgery, owners may choose to declaw all four paws or just the front pair. However, the front claws of a cat are an integral component to his overall sense of self-sufficiency and protection. Cats require all of their sets of paws to be completely intact in order to properly seize mice and birds, and to hold their own against dangerous predator attack.


With a cat's front claws completely gone, he may be at a disadvantage when it comes to defending himself. If a kitty is outdoors fending for himself against a big, bad tomcat from around the block, the animal with the the front claws will very likely have the upper hand. When a cat spends any time outside at all, it is vital for him to have all of his claws working perfectly, and understandably so. Protection just isn't the same without a reliable set of sharp front claws.


When a cat can't protect himself using his front claws, he may turn to another mode of defense -- his teeth. Declawed cats frequently start biting as a means to compensate for their lack of claws. If you notice that a previously relaxed and gentle cat all of a sudden seems defensive and hostile post-declawing, consider the fact that his brand new feelings of helplessness are causing him to be a lot more on-edge and nervous -- poor thing.


If you're considering getting your little one declawed, remember that the surgery is miles apart from a simple nail clipping. Claws can easily and quickly grow back after a trimming. Once a cat's front paws are declawed, they'll never be seen again. After all, the complex surgical procedure calls for bone amputation, not nail cutting. Once a cat's front paws are declawed, his self-defense will likely be compromised, meaning that it's important to never, ever allow him outdoors on his own again.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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