I love my cat, but I hate what she's doing to the upholstery. Is it awful for me to think about having her declawed?
-A.M., Haskell, New Jersey
The subject of declawing gets cat lovers pretty, well, animated. It's a divisive issue because felines fall into two categories. One type never destroys anything, never climbs the curtains, never scratches a diabetic grandma's arm - and this cat's fortunate owners can't understand why any animal should ever undergo such a barbaric procedure. The other type of cat loves to sharpen her claws on sofas, trousers, bare legs, walnut tabletops. Anything these kitties can reach, they scratch.
If your cat is of the latter variety, take heart. Declawing is not a matter to take lightly - it's really a last resort - but some would argue that it may extend Fluffy's life. On average, indoor cats live twice as long as outdoor ones. So if your choice is between declawing or eviction to the yard, I'd recommend the former.
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