Cats need their claws for defence, it is very important that you DO NOT declaw your cat. If you think more of your inanimate objects, then a cat is not for you.
If you need to clip your cat's nails use sharp cat nail cutters (if they are not sharp, the nails can split). Approach this task when the cat is sleeping or very relaxed. Push out the claw and trim off the tip of the nail. Avoid hitting the quick (the pink part in the nail) as it can cause them to bleed.
The practise of declawing - British vets have unilaterally banned it by deciding they won't ever declaw except in cases of medical necessity, it is to be discouraged elsewhere. Declaw surgery is taken for granted by some cat owners and unfortunately some Veterinarians push it without attempting to do any education of their pets owners.
Without its front claws to defend itself, the cat is left at the mercy of any other animal which chooses to attack it. If your cat's scratching is a problem, then it is better to train it to scratch outside the home, or invest in a scratching post. Maiming your pet cat by removing its claws is not the right solution.
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