Does Declawing a Cat Make Them More Aggressive?

Learn all the facts on declawing before you take the plunge.
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Getting a cat declawed is a pretty big step -- one that can actually change your precious pet's entire life. Before committing to bone amputation surgery for your little one, make sure you know all of the facts behind the claw-removal procedure. Your kitty's well-being is worth your time.

What is Declawing?

When a cat is declawed, unsurprisingly, his claws are removed, making it impossible for him to scratch at things, whether a person's arm or someone's beloved living room curtains. The complex surgical procedure involves the amputation of toe bones using scalpels -- definitely a far cry from a standard nail trimming. Another common declawing technique involves lasers and tissue vaporization in order to remove a cat's end toe bones.


Declawing a cat may or may not make him more aggressive -- it depends on the individual cat. However, when it comes to self-defense, cats strongly and innately depend on their claws. Cats can protect themselves against physical attack using their claws, and they can also quickly get out of dangerous situations through climbing with their claws. Once a cat lacks his claws, he may resort to using his teeth as a mode of defense. Instead of scratching, biting may become a new worrying behavior, according to the Mobile Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Overall Temperament

Consider the possibility of overall temperament changes with a declawed cat. The Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals indicates potential behavioral issues in declawed felines. Cats that may have previously been friendly and trusting could become more antisocial, disoriented, confused and anxious due to their brand new feelings of helplessness. The overwhelming helplessness could bring upon a more aggressive kitty, which in turn could result in a more sullen and less interactive pet.


Declawing is a serious surgical procedure -- and not one that you should take lightly. Before declawing your precious fluffball, consult his veterinarian about the situation, from the risks of litter box problems to the sudden emergence of uncharacteristic aggressive behavior. No set "yes" or "no" answer exists for determining exactly how declawing may affect a specific feline's behavior. What you can do is weigh the pros and cons and figure out what solution will result in the happiest and healthiest cat possible. Remember that your cutie's health comes first. Never dive into a big surgery without speaking in-depth to a qualified veterinarian.

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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