I have a 2 years old kid that loves to play with our cat. His games however are rather harsh, and I guess that's typical for kids of his age. I try to explain him that cats can be hurt by rough playing but my explanations work only for a very short period of time. The cat tries to protect herself, it's clear. But looks like my kid annoyed her so much that she began to protect herself by attacking his face primarily. Last time she left a big scratch across the forehead and even below the eye, fortunately the eye didn't get hurt but it was close. We clip her nails but even what is left seems enough to scratch painfully. Now the cat has to live in a separate room but it can't last like this forever.
I've heard about declawing. Would you tell me more about it? Does it require general anesthesia? Is it for good? Will the cat feel uncomfortable? How do they react to the procedure and result? Our cat is indoors and doesn't go outside.

Thanks in advance,

Hi Julie,

My advice would be to train your child to stop tormenting and torturing the cat. By locking your cat in a different room, or by declawing the cat, you are punishing the cat for defending itself, rather than punishing your child for being mean. The cat is only doing what comes natural to ANY animal that is being pushed beyond its tolerance levels.

Yes, declaw is permanent, and yes, it requires general anesthesia. If you look at your fingers, and look as the short section of your finger that has the fingernail on it ... that's the knuckle that gets amputated to declaw a cat. It can be extremely painful for the cat. Some cats are even partially crippled by the amputation.

When my three children were small, I always had a cat in the home. It was a very useful tool to teach them how to be gentle. If my kids got rough with the cat, they would lose their favourite toy. If they got mean again, they would not be permitted to watch their favourite television show that day.

There was always a punishment for the child who was aggressive, and I never punished my cat for trying to defend itself. If you don't get your child's behaviour under control right away, it can escalate into tormenting or beating up other children.
My humble opinion is that declawing should NEVER be considered. The cat is a family member as well as anyone else in the family. This means that the cat should not be treated like a toy that can be thrown around and tortured. Everyone including kids should respect cats for what they are; claws and all. Everyone should be taught to handle the cat properly. Declawing is severe and in fact can endanger your kid's safety because the cat may become more aggressive, and it still has the teeth! Please don't ignore your cat's welfare. Try a different way to educate your kid. It's him who you should work with in the first place. Well-socialized cats are usually very good with children as long as children are good with the cats. If nothing helps, you might try finding a new home for you cat. But please don't cripple her!