Animal Humane Society believes that the decision whether to declaw is up to the individual in consult with their veterinarian.
Studies do show that cats who exhibit destructive scratching behavior are more likely to be euthanized or abandoned by their owners. Steps, other than declawing, can be taken to reduce destructive scratching including providing scratching posts or carpet remnants and frequent nail trims. Synthetic nail caps can also prove effective.
Despite these non-surgical alternatives, destructive behavior cannot always be modified. Animal Humane Society believes that despite temporary discomfort and/or pain, declawing is preferable to euthanizing or otherwise relinquishing ownership of a cat.