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Things Landlords Should Know Before Requiring a Tenant to Declaw Their Cat

Cat scratching facts for landlords.

  • Declawing is a major surgery that is 10 separate amputations (18 if rear claws are done, too).
  • Cats are digitigrade, which means they walk on their toes, unlike humans who are plantigrade, walking on their feet. A declawed cat must walk on 10 or 18 amputation sites.
  • Declawing interferes with a cat's balance and can lead to injuries.
  • Declawing often results in the development of inappropriate urination and defecation (eliminating outside of the litter box) due to pain and stress. This problem is much more likely to damage a home than scratching.
  • When a cat does scratch things, it is usually furniture and drapes, not floors or walls.
  • Cat scratching can be very well-managed by providing lots of scratching surfaces, keeping a cat's nails trimmed well, and using Soft Paws®.
  • Soft Paws® are vinyl claw covers held on to a cat's claws with non-toxic adhesive. They help prevent damage to items when a cat scratches. They don't interfere with a cat's walking, balancing, or claw retraction, and they are affordable.
  • Declawing is a banned procedure in many countries and some US cities due to its inhumane nature.
  • Organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals oppose declawing.
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