The benefit of declawing a cat is that it can no longer damage furniture or injure people with its claws. However, declawing cats is a painful surgery for them, alters the natural way they move and can lead to future complications, according to Avery Ranch Animal Hospital.
Declawing is medically necessary sometimes, such as when the claw is badly damaged, according to Avery Ranch Animal Hospital. However, most declaws are done to prevent the cat from damaging furniture and carpeting.
Declawing is a controversial procedure that is falling out of favor as of 2015, as noted by Petful. Cats rely on their claws to climb normally. Claws are also important for self-defense, particularly for outdoor cats. Declawing is also a very invasive procedure, since it involves amputating the tip of the cat's toe to prevent the claw from growing back. It may alter the way some cats walk, which leads to arthritis, and cats may suffer neurological symptoms, such as phantom limb pain.
There are other options that can help prevent cats from destroying furniture, such as regular nail trimming, providing appropriate outlets for scratching and using claw caps, such as Soft Paws, suggests Petful. Many veterinarians only declaw cats if there is a medical reason, such as an owner with a compromised immune system for whom even an accidental scratch could be serious, or if there is no other option and the cat may be rehomed.