Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Why declawing must be banned

To whom it may concern:
To all of those people who do not think that cat declawing should be banned by legislation, arguing that the decision should be made after consultation between veterinarian and cat owner I would like to offer the following evidence in prove that cat owners and veterinarians are abusing your trust in them because they are not always acting in the animal’s best interest.

Firstly I’d like to quote the AVMA policy on declawing cats:
Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when it’s clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s).

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), established in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 78,000 veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services. Structured to work for its members, the AVMA acts as a collective voice for its membership and for the profession.

(The veterinarian’s oath
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge. I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics. I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.)

The Humane Societies recently updated statement
People choose to declaw their cats for a number of reasons: some are frustrated with shredded drapes or furniture, some are worried about being scratched, and others simply feel that a declawed cat is easier to live with.
In many cases, cats are declawed pre-emptively, as a part of a spay/neuter package offered by veterinarians, even before claw-related problems occur………
While there have been changes in the way that cats are declawed, it's still true that for the majority of cats, these surgical procedures are unnecessary. Educated owners can easily train their cats to use their claws in a manner that allows animal and owner to happily coexist. Declawing and tendonectomies should be reserved only for those rare cases in which a cat has a medical problem that would warrant such surgery, such as the need to remove cancerous nail bed tumors. Declawing a cat does not guarantee that the animal will not be relinquished to a shelter or euthanized. Declawed cats may develop other problem behaviors, such as biting or litter box avoidance, and end up being surrendered to a shelter anyway.

Having read that I’d like to invite you to read the following excerpts from a website for which I can gladly supply the link. The quotes are not taken out of context they are exactly as they were written, spellings included, though coarse language is disguised. The person who asked the question lives in New York. I have made the really shocking comments bold print.

This is the initial post and one further post from the asker

1. We're moving to a new place and we decided to get B a kitty. Our Kitty is at the vet right now getting neutered, declawed, all his shots, flea dip.. lets just say he's getting fully serviced. lol Anyways, I have to go pick him up tomorrow morning and I was wondering if his paws were going to be really sore? I have his litter box and food and water dish in the laundry room and he has to jump a baby gate to get in there and I'm worried it will hurt him to jump it. He is my first cat, I always had dogs before so any information about cats and declawing would be helpful. Oh and I already know that it is mean to declaw a cat, I don't care, I don't want him to scratch my kid. He is going to be a indoor cat and doesn't really need them, so the vet says.

2. Have you ever had a cat that got declawed? I know he's going to be sore. But I was wondering how sore and how long it lasts?

They don't actually cut anything off. They slice the tip and remove the claw, I guess.

This is the first reply, again I have made the shocking content bold print
They are NOT allowed to jump at all! and they are supposed to have special litter for a week or two. They have it at the vet. They usually wont give pain meds because if the pain med takes away the pain then the cat will jump and not know better and bust the tips open and they will get infected- I have experienced this firsthand with a cat before. It is best not to give them the pain med even if the vet does offer it.

the vet should give you litter made from newspaper. when cats are first declawed they cant use the regular cuz their paws can get infected. The cat I had went crazy for the first couple days after because of the pain. You also have to make sure that he doesnt lick his paws. Good Luck. Hope all goes well.

Thank you. I already purchased the special litter. I'll keep that in mind about the pain meds because when I called to check on him earlier the vet mentioned something about it. They didn't mention the no jumping thing, I'm happy I asked now. Lol

So what is being discussed here is witholding pain relief from a cat who has had ten separate amputations of his toe ends, make no mistake about this, the claw is an extension of the bone, to remove the claw the bone has to be amputated at the first knuckle. Can you imagine having your finger ends amputated and being given no pain relief, just in case you forgot about your wounds and used your stumps normally? I think not. And yet cats and kittens that are declawed have to use their paws almost immediately on coming round from a general anaesthetic. They have to stand on their paws, putting pressure on the wounds and they have to use those paws to dig in whatever litter they are provided with because cats are instinctively clean and will always seek out a clean litter box, if however following declawing the cat experiences severe pain while using the litter box then after that the cat will always associate using the litter box with pain. This is what causes the litter box avoidance and the use of floors, carpets and soft furnishing for toiletting.

lol yeah realy - all my cats have always had their front paws declawed- otherwise I would not have any furniture left! They dont go outside EVER so they dont NEED them anyway. (again!)
Of course they need them, they need them for walking, grooming, playing, climbing, catching and raking litter, as well as a very important means of self defence. It is no use arguing that indoor cats don’t need to defend themselves, what about if the home was broken into and a window broken or door kicked in and the cat bolted out and was lost, how would he not only defend himself from other cats but also from predators, and how would he catch food to eat? What about if the cat didn’t bolt and the intruder was someone who would ill treat the cat, no claws means that the cat can’t lash out and run. And what about floods, fires and other disasters when cats sometimes get lost or abandoned during evacuation of homes.?

The way I look at it: 1) I don't want him scratching my son. 2)I also don't want him scratching my new living room set. Lol
I agree it is a little mean, but it would be meaner if I killed the cat for attacking my son and scratching him all up. Not saying the cat would do that, but if he did....

This cat is new to the home and is being declawed at the same time as neutered just in case he scratches this person’s son. Why on earth should he attack the child and “scratch him all up”? She’s not even saying the cat would…….
Just to remind you of the AVMA policy:

Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s).

The vet told me they slit the top and remove the nail. Totally inaccurate and if this is true that vet’s licence to practice needs reviewing.

Declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe and, if performed on a human being, it would be comparable to cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.
Declawing can leave cats with a painful healing process, long-term health issues, and numerous behavior problems. This is especially unfortunate because declawing is an owner-elected procedure and unnecessary for the vast majority of cats.

Well, either way, the nails had to go. It's a safety thing, my Son is only 17 months. Lol
Still laughing out loud (Lol) and presenting no evidence that there is any actual sign of the child being at risk.

most cats wont keep the nail things on - they can chew them off and just trimming the nails doesnt stop them form scratching furniture- sprays dont work either nor does providing a scratching post. It is a necessary evil.
You will note that this respondant mentions only scratching of furniture as a reason to declaw a cat and condsiders it a necessary evil.

My Son runs around and the Kitty chases him, he loves it, at least he'll love it untill the kitty grabs ahold of his foot. lol I love the kitty, hate the claws.
That cat makes my kid smile a thousand times a day. That's reason enough for me to want to have it.
Without wishing to sound biased, doesn’t this seem to you that the cat is pretty much the child’s plaything and only welcome because it makes the child smile? And that he plays with the cat in a way that to an animal that stalks by instinct invites “grabbing ahold”, this is obviously no fault of the child’s he is too young to realise this but the mother should be supervising the playing and should ensure that the child and kitten don’t get over excited as either one could hurt the other

i have all leather furniture lol there was no way i wasnt going to get my cats declawed. my moms a vet so she did it for free for me lol and both my cats are 4 paw declaws.

it took about a week before my kitties were back to their normal self.

My cat lost his nut and his knuckle today

so we are just supposed to let them ruin all our furniture

No, because you can't teach a cat not to scratch. I have a good looking son and nice things and I would like to keep it that way. I love the kitten, enough to bring him into our home and make him part of our family, but in order for that to happen his claws had to go.

(Reminder: Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively)

Notice two things, that declawing cats, though a massive trauma for the cat, is being discussed with flippancy and that the biggest reason, stated over and over again, for declawing is to protect the furniture. And may I point out that quite obviously no other attempts have been made to prevent the cat from clawing the furniture, and in fact there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that the cat has clawed the furniture or is even inclined to.

In between these posts there are also posts that are arguing against declawing

To continue
So lets say you have a cat, no kids. you love the cat to death and whenever you're gone at work... it DESTROYS your house,.... scratches every up, tears everything to shreads. you would just deal with it and not declaw your cat? or would you keep buying new furniture? or would you give the cat away?
In our home we’ve had 9 much loved cats over 35 years, they have all been unique with their own personalities and habits, some have been mischievous, some laid back to the point of being horizontal, some jumpy, some naughty but never, ever have any of them scratched everything up, torn everything to shreds or destroyed our house! Nor have any relations’ or friends’ cats to my knowledge. Yes sometimes they do scratch the furniture but to the point of tearing it to shreds or destroying the house? No way.

Q Just curious. What will you do if the cat starts biting? Declawed cats are known to bite more often since they no longer have claws for self-defense.
A I'm willing to work with both my child and my cat on that. I heard spraying them with a squirt bottle works well. It's harmless but they hate it I guess. lol *EDT* I'm going to spray the cat, not my kid. Hehe
And I'll squirt him with water and he'll learn not to bite.

Bitch all day, I already got it done and will do it to any other cat we decide to get later on.
(Reminder: Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively)

This is aimed at the people who have spoken against declawing, by now the replies are becoming abusive.
None of my 5 cats that I have had have ever bit anyone unless playing. How do you stop your cat from scratching your furniture-? let me guess? you dont- you have old ****** furniture and dont care- probably has cat **** all over it too.
Unfortunately it seems that furniture is the biggest worry.

More from above poster
When I worked at the Humane Society cat bites were very common among the declawed cats in the cat room. These are cats that saw the same 3 faces every day for the many months I was there, trusted us but still bit us.

There are alternatives to declawing one is tendonectomy... which is the snipping of the tendon that allows the cat to extend their claws. the cat keeps their knuckle and claws.”
I've never heard of that, but I assure you, I'm all for it! I hope something like that becomes the norm instead of chopping off a knuckle.
Making the claws useless carries it’s own problems. Because the cat can no longer keep the claws trimmed, the claws will naturally grow in a circular manner into the foot pads causing pain and infection unless the owner is able to trim the nails on a regular basis. (The tendonectomy patient will require life-long management in the form of regular nail clipping).

In order for me to allow a cat into my home I want to make sure it isn't going to put my child in danger or ruin my nice things that I proudly pay for with my own money. I want my child to experience having a pet, we always had pets growing up, it was great. My kid will be able to know what it's like too, and we'll all be happy because no one will be getting scratched and my furniture will stay nice and the cat will get to live in a warm and loving household.

Furniture again and the remote posibility of the child being “in danger” and how is the child going to experience, truly, having a pet and learning about caring for pets if he's going to be brought up thinking that cats should be made clawless. Is that equiping him for the big bad world? No.

All vets around here still declaw. and I think it is soo damn ridiculous to say we dont care about our pets if we declaw them- they dont need claws inside the house!!! (is this truly a misconception or is it an excuse? Can people really believe that cats don't need claws?)

This poster lives in OHIO, all the vets declaw (In many cases, cats are declawed pre-emptively, as a part of a spay/neuter package offered by veterinarians, even before claw-related problems occur………) HSUS statement see page 1,
(Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s))
AVMA policy see page 1
So can it be that all cats in Ohio use their claws destructively and have resisted all attempts to prevent this happening or is it that all vets in Ohio offer neuter/declaw packages, probably in competition with each other in a sort of price war, and actually encourage the declawing of young cats that have had no opportunity to demonstrate how they will use their claws? I know which I think is the real answer. And I think money is at the root of it.

All 5 of my cats did fine with declawing and were not in serious pain- the one that we gave pain meds to just ended up injuring herself and ripping them open by jumping because she no longer felt any pain and then they got infected-

I know about those, (Soft Paws) they come off. Our next cat will be declawed also.
So a kitten not even conceived let alone born weaned or adopted is already doomed to have it’s claws removed.

This sort of dialogue is sadly all to common, every day you can read posts from people chatting about declawing cats to save their furniture, how can this be allowed to happen?

Until declawing is banned right across the USA this type of ill informed, unfeeling, uncaring attitude will prevail. But the fact is that 38 countries in the world have banned declawing as inhumane so if millions of people in those countries manage to own cats with claws what makes the USA so different? Availability, supply and demand that is what. Take away the easy (on the owner) option and you sort the wheat from the chaff, the people who want a plaything or moving ornament from the genuine cat lovers who want a healthy happy whole cat to share their home and family.

Ideally yes no one but the owner after consultation with a vet should have any say over what is allowed to be done to an animal, but the people in positions of power, owners AND vets are abusing those positions and opting for painful disabling (and money making) procedures for convenience above the well-being of the cat.

This why declawing should be banned by legislation and this is the petition calling for that ban.


  1. That is a brilliant blog ! You put so much hard work into it as always. Reading it you wonder how anyone can be so cruel as to do this evil thing to a cat ! I think those contemplating it should be made to read every single word of this and yes declawing should be banned, it MUST be banned !!!

  2. Very thorough and well done! It covers all the points that are so crucial for people to understand why this practice must be banned, and highlights so well all the reasons why the practice must be banned. Brilliant addition to your blog!

  3. A corker of a post Babz. Right on the money. Highlights perfectly the laziness, stupidity and inherent need to hurt an animal that appears so prevalent in American pet owning society and amongst American vets.

    The thought that these pro-declaw morons are breeding is horrifying!

  4. what a very insightful blog... thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion... now i think that you are right about the woman who wrote the article... i was just worried about her point that kitties wouldn't get homes and would be put to sleep if declawing wasn't an option... but you're right... if potential adopters don't want a cat as a whole, then they shouldn't be getting one...