Kitten declawing is a major surgical procedure that removes not only your cat's claws, but the ligaments and tendons that help your kitten extend and retract his claws. The bones of the last joints of the toes are also amputated. Here are some of the drawbacks and long term effects of kitten declawing:
Declawing is Painful
Once the anesthesia wears off, your declawed kitten will be in extreme pain. Recovery could take a long time, and your kitten could suffer from multiple infections when bacteria from his litter box enter the wounds on his feet.
Serious Long Term Medical Effects
A declawed cat is forced to walk on the stubs of his toes. This unnatural position can affect his balance. His legs, shoulders and back muscles can weaken over time. Bone chips may grow in his toes, which is a very painful complication.
Declawed cats need regular X-rays to ensure that claws haven't grown back inside the toes. This condition is also very painful.
Effects on Your Cat's Quality of Life
Aside from medical complications that can cause your cat pain, declawing effects his quality of life. He'll no longer be able to defend himself with his claws, and he won't be able to climb trees to flee from predators. He may no longer wish to use his litter box without claws to help him cover his waste.
Alternatives to Kitten Declawing
A cat scratching post might help deter your kitten from scratching the furniture. You can use cat nail clippers to trim his claws, reducing the damage he might do. Cat claw covers are a safe and painless alternative to declawing that can save your furniture and your kitten's claws.