Blk 1002, Toa Payoh Lor 8, 01-1477, Singapore 319074 Tel: 6254-3326, 9668-6469, 9668-6468.
03 November, 2017
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles &
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
First written: Dec 21, 2009 Update:
03 November, 2017
Dec 18, 2009, I agreed to an interview by Ms Amanda Wong,
Media Journalist from the Straits Times Razor TV.
Here are her questions:
1. How is declawing
2. What are the reasons for it?
3. Is it harmful to the animal?
4. Are there many people who request for declawing to be done
to their cats? Who are these people? How many to date? Is
there an increase?
5. What is your personal view towards it? Why do you choose to
provide this service?
Surgery under general anaesthesia - remove the 3rd toe bone
(phalanx). An illustration is given.
Two reasons I would do declawing as a last resort and after
asking the owners to wait and re-consider. These are
damage to property and injury to family and other pets. These
are the two reasons: The cat
will be euthanased or sent to
the animal shelter where they may be put to sleep
Besides anaesthetic risks, there may be
post-operation complications like bleeding and
infection. As in any surgery, asepsis, antibiotics and
pain-killers prevent most complications.
There is the worry from cat lovers that the cat will
have behavioural problems like being more aggressive.
However, there are owners who say that the cat becomes more
gentle. The big worry is that the cat can't defend itself when
attacked. This is unlikely in an indoor cat.
Less than 10 cases for cat declawing in the past
30 years in my practice.
My personal view is that I will perform the surgery only when
the cat-owner relationship is strained such that the cat will
be sent to the animal shelter where it will be put to sleep or
the cat owner will need to euthanase the cat.
needs time, patience and perseverance.Get one or many strong scratching post for the new kitten. Train
it to use the scratching post or give it an unwanted
piece of carpet to declaw.
Firm verbal commands when the kitten starts clawing
furniture and give treats on success may
be effective if done consistently and at an early age.
Clip nails weekly for older cats. Do not
grab, grip or play tug-of-war with kittens as they may
scratch out of defence.
Failure in training e.g.
use of a solid scratching post, anti-clawing spray, nail caps,
food treats for positive reinforcement training, balloons,
noises, water guns, noisy paper wrapping over furniture and
weekly nail clipping will lead to the cat
being euthanased or abandoned.
If the owner still can't resolve the problem, declawing is
preferred to euthanasia. Many young children feel distressed
when the cat is euthanased due to parental
concerns for the damage to property or personal safety. If
they don't have declawing as an option. In such instances, I
will perform the surgery.
However, many cat owners need to be educated that regular nail
clipping and the provision of a strong scratching post or
training the cat to use the scratching post is the
possible solution to destructive damage of expensive sofas,
cupboards and curtains or scratching injuries to children and
In 2017, the estimated cost of anaesthesia, declawing of
the front paws of the cat, medication and 2-day in-patient observation is
$400 - $450.