New Peer-Reviewed Study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery-Pain and Adverse Behavior in Declawed Cats


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Haley Relinquished-Litter Box Issues-Paw Project Relieves Her Pain In Her Declawed Paws

This gorgeous young lady is Haley, from Fulton County Animal Center, Indiana. She was relinquished to the shelter when her owners didn’t want to find out why she was missing the litter box sometimes. These x-rays may show the answer: Haley had extremely sharp, painful fragments in her toes. And as a polydactyl cat (she has an extra dewclaw on each front foot!), she had a severely abscessed “thumb” that, when it was opened, expelled purulent material and claw regrowth. This poor kitty was in pain for months before coming to the shelter.

Luckily, shelter workers realized what she was experiencing and contacted Dr. Jessica Snyder at the Humane Society of Indianapolis. Now Haley is recovering from her declaw repair surgery and healing from her long-standing infections.

By helping The Paw Project, you are helping kitties like Haley return to a happy, healthy, comfortable life, and preventing other cats from experiencing the same excruciating pain.

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Bertha’s Declawed Paws Were In Pain-Not Using The Litter Box-Needed Surgery

Our retired shop cat, Bertha, came to us declawed several years ago. She was kind of a jerk, and urinated outside of the litter box more often than we care to discuss.

Want to know why? Those giant chunks in the picture on the upper left are BONE FRAGMENTS left behind from her declaw surgery. They are massive, and were constantly jabbing into her with every single step she took. I’d be a jerk too!

Yesterday she had paw reconstruction surgery in St. Louis by The Pet Doctor, Marcy Hammerle, and we hope (know) that this will drastically improve her comfort and quality of life.

Declawing is not just cleanly removing the nail. It’s actually amputation of their toes around their first knuckle, which completely changes how they are able to walk, and more often than not results in chronic pain that your cat is probably very good at hiding.
These bone fragments are insanely common results of declaw surgeries. If it’s not that, it’s extensive tendon damage that results in arthritic, curled under toes that Nola, our downtown cat, had. It’s painful. It’s unnecessary. Your furniture isn’t worth this pain to your cat.

Please don’t declaw. Let us help you train your cat to scratch appropriately. Have our groomer, Denise put soft paws on your cat’s nails so they don’t cause damage to your furniture. If you’ve declawed in the past, learn more about the process and make different choices for future cats – we did!

If you want to learn more about this subject, please take a look at The Paw Project documentary. We have a copy at the stores we would be happy to loan out to you!

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Precious-Bone Fragments & Abscesses-Repaired By Dr. Sarah Frei



Precious the cat was adopted yesterday from KC Pet Project into what we hope will now be her forever home. Precious was our longest term cat here at the shelter. She came in more than a year ago after her original owner died, and then was adopted and returned twice. She was an 8-year old, front declawed cat and had displayed behaviors, such as biting, that made finding placement for her difficult. We decided to x-ray Precious’ paws and what we found was disturbing. A botched declaw surgery years ago had left Precious with bone fragments and paw pad abscesses that surely caused her to feel intense pain with every step she had been taking!

Our amazing veterinarian Dr.Sarah Frei performed the corrective surgery in-house on March 1st on all of Precious’ toes and removed the bone fragments that had caused her pain for several years. Her toes and paw pads healed and Precious became a sweet, friendly cat again. Yesterday our entire Cat Room cheered as Precious was going home. We’ve now implemented a new policy whereby all declawed cats admitted to our shelter will have their paws x-rayed to ensure they don’t have to suffer like Precious did for far too long. Great job Dr. Frei and our entire vet clinic team!

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Paw Project Removes Bone Pieces From Declawed Agressive Sydnee Cat

Sydnee, a cat from Kentucky, recently visited Dr. Nicole Martell-Moran (Paw Project-Indiana State Director) at the Cat Care Clinic of Indianapolis after her foster mom reached out for help using social media.

As a happy, healthy, affectionate kitten she was adopted out to a family that decided to have her declawed. After the surgery she became anti-social and aggressive, so the family decided to give her back to the foster mom after about a year. Now she lunges, tries to bite, and will not let anyone touch her. She has lost all trust in people. Last week another vet removed two large bone fragments that were regrowing nail, however one was still left behind and her chronic pain still needed to be addressed. These pictures detail the pain and her response. After the surgery she has shown small steps already that her pain is starting to reduce.

Please wish her well on the long road she had ahead of her to trusting us again.

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Video-Curious To Know What Declawing Does To Cats, And Why Their Paws Often Need To Be Repaired?

VIDEO: Curious to know what declawing does to cats, and why their paws often need repaired? Dr. Snyder, one of our vets and the Indiana representative for the Paw Project, is here to explain.


By: Dr. Jessica Snyder, Director of Paw Project-Indiana and Top Veterinarian At Humane Society of Indianapolis, Indiana

Dr. Snyder earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Missouri. After graduation she moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where she worked with dogs, cats, and even Indiana wildlife. In 2015, Dr. Snyder took a position at the Humane Society of Indianapolis, where she has continued to serve as an advocate for shelter animals. In this role she has seen the high return rate of declawed cats because of their unique behavior and medical conditions. Through working with other members of the Paw Project, she has been able to provide declawed shelter residents relief by performing paw repair surgery and overseeing medical management of their pain. At the Humane Society of Indianapolis, she enjoys her ability to educate the public about feline enrichment and advocate for the end of declawing in Indianapolis and hopefully the country as a whole.

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Newly Declawed Valentine Cat Dumped With Infected Paws-On Kill List

UPDATE 3/2017
HE IS READY ! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Valentine passed his 2 week check up like a champ and he is ready to find his forever home !

Valentine is a beautiful kind boy who deserves all the love and kindness after what he has gone thru.
Declawing a cat changes their lives forever and he will most likely deal with some levels of pain thru his entire life.

Valentine is learning his ways around humans and learning that not all of us are mean and want to hurt him.
He simply wants to curl up on your lap and be loved.

His ideal home would be a calm house where he can be the only pet for now but we think he would benefit from a companion cat later on, preferably a kitten so he doesn’t feel threatened.
Valentine will need to be played with and kept active.🐾🐾🐾

Valentine is 1 year old, neutered, combo tested and microchipped.
He is currently being fostered in Long Beach Ca.
If you are interested in meeting him, please send us an email at



THIS is why Valentine was untouchable and THIS is what is done to a cat that you conveniently declaw to save your furniture !

Valentine has a massive bacterial infection from a botched surgery performed by a vet in L.A ILLEGALLY !. yes….declawing is illegal in L.A and whoever did this to him should have his license revoked !

Thanks to Dr Jennifer Conrad and the Paw Project, Valentine is now getting the care he needs and will hopefully make a full recovery.

Let’s support the humans who make a difference in this world….Dr Conrad and the Paw Project is one of them, advocating for making declawing illegal in all 50 states.

Valentine (formerly known as Rockso) is safe. Paw Project Director Lisa Hsuan DVM is taking care of his medical problems. Valentine is a one-year old recently declawed cat that was dumped in a Los Angeles City animal shelter. Valentine was RED-LISTED by the shelter staff because he was felt to be “aggressive.” In LA shelter lingo, “RED-LISTED” means the impounded animal is subject to being killed at any time. A shelter staff member felt he was “unadoptable,” but the Paw Project thinks he was just scared and in pain from his recently, unhealed and infected, declawed paws. Check out the video. Does he seem “unadoptable” to you? SPECIAL HEARTFELT THANKS to Zoey’s Place Rescue, who is working to find Valentine a real forever home, to everyone who helped “network” Valentine’s case, and to the compassionate shelter workers who knew Valentine just needed love and proper medical care.

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