I'm having a moral dilemma about Trinket. I've always believed it's inhumane to declaw a cat. I understand it's an amputation at the first knuckle, and am sure it would be quite painful. In most scenarios there are other alternatives such as teaching the cat to use a scratching post or even those little plastic nail caps to prevent scratching. Trinket has scratched a couple of chairs, but that is not a big deal. We have been squirting her with a water bottle, and she is getting better, so I think she would learn not to in time.
My main concern is one of instinct. Trinket was a feral cat for the first 5 months of her life, and she had to hunt for food. We have a parrot, River who is very near and dear to me. He is a larger parrot, about 12" tall weighing around a pound. He could defend himself against a cat for the most part since his beak can apply about 3000 lbs of pressure per square inch. He could snap off a human finger if he ever felt like it, but I worry about him with Trinket since she was a hunter. I don't think I'd worry so much if she were a kitten that never lived outdoors, and had to catch and eat prey. I've caught her eating his feathers that he's molted, and she also jumped up on an end table near where he was out of his cage on his ringstand and got in a crouching position like she was about to pounce.
Trinket fits in great with everybody in the family, and once River gives her a little nip, I'm sure she will be just as respectful of him as our dogs are. So here is my question, is it horrible to declaw her for peace of mind? (Trinket will be an exclusively indoor cat) I don't take this decision lightly and would appreciate any feedback. I have an appointment for her to be spayed this Tuesday, and would do them both at the same time to minimize risk with anesthesia.