If you are considering declawing your cat, please read this.
Cats’ claws are not like our fingernails
People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless "quick fix" for unwanted scratching. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Our fingernails are attached to the flesh of our fingers, but cats’ claws are actually part of the distal phalanx, the last bone of the toe. In order to remove the claws, the veterinarian has to amputate the last joint of your cat's "toes". When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing.
Potential Complications & Consequences
Removing claws changes the way a cat's foot meets the ground and can cause pain similar to wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes. Research has demonstrated that, after declawing, cats shift their entire weight more toward the hind legs. This is quite a feat, considering that the front legs normally bear about 60% of the cat’s entire weight.
Declawing results in a gradual weakening of leg, shoulder, and back muscles, and because of impaired balance caused by the procedure, declawed cats have to relearn to walk, much as a person would after losing his or her toes. Over time, this altered stress can contribute to the development of arthritis. In most older declawed cats, the toes are completely “frozen,” immovable even under deep anesthesia.