Declaw is an Unnecessary Amputation

Dr. Margie Scherk and Steve Dale talk declaw


Steve Dale and Dr. Margie Scherk on Feliscratch and declaw

Dr. Margie Scherk at Windy Kitty Cat Cafe in Chicago

Declaw is wrong – plain and simple says Dr. Margie Scherk, editor of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

It begins with even the name declaw being a misnomer, says Scherk, who is my guest in a two part interview on my national Steve Dale’s Pet World radio show. Scherk speaks about cat health, behavior and welfare around the globe, and is universally respected.”



“Make no mistake a declaw is an unnecessary amputation”


Part I:

Steve Dale and Dr. Margie Scherk on Feliscratch and declawScherk explains some of the history of declaw, and why it caught on in the first place.

Cats “mark” the territories depositing pheromones when they scratch. They also leave a visual mark And presumably, stretching up and scratching feels really good.


Part II:

Declaw is an elected amputation and Scherk says is it’s “cruel.”

Pet expert Steve Dale and Dr. Margie Scherk on declaw and FeliscratchSo, how do you attract cats to a scratching post?

First you need at least one vertical post per cat, and sturdy posts are best. Scherk describes how you may save money and even make your post. Many cats also enjoy horizontal posts. When cats scratch at a place, that place turns out to be an important location from the cat’s perspective.

We offer ideas on how to discourage cats from scratching on places like couches or chairs – where we don’t want the cats to scratch.Steve Dale and Dr. Margie Scherk

Feliscratch is a copy of the pheromone cats naturally deposit from their paw pads when they scratch. This is vitally important for cats. Also, there’s a blue dye in Feliscratch which is a visual marker. To attract that natural curiosity from a distance (and because most cats like it) there’s also catnip. In all, a visual and olfactory marker that says “scratch here!” You simply apply the Feliscratch to the post, and Scherk adds, “It works really well.”

As for the notion that if the nails aren’t removed cats will be scratching us. Scherk notes the Center for Disease Control suggests against declaw. This is because cats who don’t scratch are more likely to bite. And Scherk also explains that preventing cat scratch fever (which some are worried about) is as simple as appropriate flea protection.