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BOBCATS. To declaw or not to declaw, that is the question

New Member

We are considering purchasing a bobcat cub, and are in the research phase. One breeder we are looking at suggests declawing. I know there will be passionate responses, both for and against, and I want to hear them.

Topic starter Posted : February 12, 2018 7:55 pm
Honorable Member Pats Friends

Personally, I would not recommend declawing a bobcat. Besides from the negative effects on the animals health from doing so, anybody who meets your animal will subscribe to the "Oh yeah, exotic pet owners declaw/defang their animals to make them safe" mindset.

From my point of view, I wouldn't buy an animal if I had to declaw or defang it to make it something I can handle. If you can't handle the animal as it is, you have no business getting one... But that's just my opinion on the matter.

With my coatimundi Vega, a lot of resources I read said to get him declawed. Coati claws are very long and sharp, even if you trim them. They slice you up good during play or if he climbs onto your legs or back. But I didn't get him declawed, for the reasons I described above. I wanted to experience what it was like to own a coati with claws and fangs. He scratches me up sometimes, but he uses his claws for so many things, like ripping open rotting logs to find bugs, or climbing trees, that I don't mind.

Hope this helped a little bit.

3 Dogs, 2 horses, 1 donkey, ducks, chickens, and a coatimundi currently

Exotic "wishlist": red fox, gray fox, bat eared fox, mink, sand cat, owl (any species).

Posted : February 13, 2018 2:29 am
Admin Admin

I agree with Peacefulward . not a good idea to declaw a bobcat.
a friend of mine had a bobcat, he raised it with a munjac deer. both were sweet as can be.
most exotics behavior depends on how they were raised. of course there are some exceptions. like tigers and some large exotics.
tigers and larger exotics needs to be completely understood on their behavior, even at that, they can turn on you.
of course, I am talking about large exotics. Sybils Den

Posted : February 13, 2018 11:29 am
Moderator Moderator

Based on my three-plus years of daily hands-on experience with wildlife-rehab bobcats, do not declaw. The only time Scully ever snagged me with a claw in over three years was as a kitten, when she jumped up on my shoulder and I didn't see her coming. She slipped and reflexively saved herself from falling. Again, she is not captive-bred but wild-born.

Bobcat claws retract far deeper than those of domestic cats. I really have to work to extend Scully's when I need to check them. She has incredible control over them, such as when she was playing with my hand and only put a claw in my paracord bracelet to hold on, not my skin. When she jumps and climbs she grips with her pads. If she were to climb straight up a tree she would use claws, but the tree trunks in her enclosure are sloping and it isn't necessary.

I absolutely agree with this:

If you can't handle the animal as it is, you have no business getting one.

Posted : February 13, 2018 11:58 am
Admin Admin

I used to advocate for declawing until I was educated about the health issues it causes. Now, I don't recommend it. That being said, I believe every owner should have a choice for themselves whether or not they declaw or defang, even though I disagree with doing it.

I agree with Peacefulaward's comment about if you can't handle the animal, don't get it.

I'm Fable and Ifrit's mommy. Also mommy to Carousel, Breeze, and a bunch of snakes, lizards, and spiders. Oh, and one amphibian!

Posted : February 13, 2018 1:39 pm
Trusted Member

As someone who has been raised around cats, declawing was something I'd hear about a lot. Like everyone else here, I would not recommend it. I actually stand strongly against it. No cats I have been around were declawed, so I cannot compare the behavior of a declawed cat to a clawed cat, let alone with bobcats, but with the research I have done on the consequences and understanding why and how felids use their claws, I do not support declawing.

I agree with Peacefulward. I firmly believe that, if you have to alter an animal in a way that prevents it from doing basic natural behaviors in order for it to suit you, that animal isn't for you. If you don't want an animal with claws, don't get a bobcat. If you don't want an animal with fangs, don't get a cat. If you don't want an animal that flies, don't get a bird. If you don't want a venomous animal, don't get a cobra. The best animal for you is the animal you don't have to change.

I'm find with altering an animal if the animal gets some benefits from it, but with declawing, the only one getting a benefit is the owner. Remember, animals don't choose what home they go to. We are the ones that decide to bring them into our lives. So, as the ones with this power, we should do everything we can to change our lifestyle for them! Not the other way around.

Wheatley - Male | Ball Python | Russo Leucistic
Anima - Female | Leopard Gecko | Bell Albino
Kaida - Male | Green Cheek Conure | Pineapple
Tenebre - Female | Betta splendens | Crowntail

Family also owns three cats and a pitbull.

Posted : February 13, 2018 3:25 pm
Trusted Member

I feel about declawing cats like feel about venomoid snakes... both procedures that are of no benefit but often plenty of harm to the animal.

If you can't contend with it without chopping bits of it off, go for something less demanding or dangerous.

Red foxes, skunks, tanuki and domestic dogs.
Diet geek.

Posted : February 13, 2018 3:54 pm
Eminent Member

A lot of you guys are saying "if you can't handle an animal as they are, don't get them." I tend to agree. I'm curious what you think about spaying and castration for behavior modification. I've seen plenty of people use the same arguments against it. Keep in mind that for male animals at least, if the condern is truly population control, like it is often claimed to be with dogs and cats, a vesectomy is an alternitave option to castration.

Posted : September 8, 2018 12:15 am