I have very strong views about people who declaw cats. I cannot, therefore, resist writing more about it to join the other articles that have been published on the internet. What prompted me was a couple of emails that I read. I have turned these emails, that are true stories, into two fictional tales to drive home the point that to declaw cats is really barbaric.
What it amazing is that the people who make arrangements for “their” darling cat to be declawed actually love their cats (presumably). In fact they sometimes declare their love for their cats. They must love their furniture more. Why love furniture more than a living creature that benefits you and which you decided to live with? Why put a creature that you love through so much pain (the post-operation pain is high)? Why risk the life of an animal you love (during the operation under anesthetic there is a chance of death) when you don’t have to for the sake of some furniture? Why risk permanent mental damage to your cat for no good reason? (the operation removes the tip of the paw and this is a fundamental part of the anatomy of a cat). How would like it and how would you feel if you lost the tips of all the fingers of both hands? Do you think you would be mentally damaged? Yes.
Yet despite all this, about 31% of Americans declaw cats (source: The Facts About Declawing and the Alternatives by Jennifer Dougherty – I don’t know if this figure is accurate. It may be out of date. If I am wrong tell me please). I find this figure hard to believe, I must say, as it is extremely high. When you consider that there are about 70-90 million domestic cats in the USA, that makes approximately 25 million cats declawed on the basis of one cat per household. Convert that to a “reservoir of pain and distress” and it seems shocking to me.
The reason why humans do this to animals is because we think we are superior to animals and that we “own them” (like furniture) and can do as we please. There is also a chasm of ignorance about the effect declawing has on cats. But it doesn’t take much “insight” to realize that to declaw cats is bad in so many ways for cats. All you have to do is think of the cat as a human. This is fair and proper as the cat thinks of us as a cat. The relationship is then on a proper and balanced footing in regard to our respect for a fellow creature. I am not by the way talking about anthropomorphism (“the attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to nonhuman organisms or inanimate objects”).
What I mean is that we should all give cats the kind of respect that a fellow human would expect from you. The ads below are automatically generated by Google. An advert for declawing might come up. Please have a look at it and then refer to this article on the Psychology of Declawing Cats (opens in a new window)
Declawing Cats is a major page containing about 150 articles on the subject.
Here’s the first fictional short story:
I love my Himmies (Himalayan cats) Joey and Jess. They loved my rattan furniture; I mean Joey loved to scratch it and Jess loved to sleep on it. I loved the furniture too and had Joey declawed. It was the thing to do. A lot of my friends had it done. I’m very house proud you see and like everything just “so”. And the furniture was soooooo expensive. It was worth far more than Joey and Jess combined. Anyway, one weekend I went to stay with a good friend of mine for a long weekend. She likes dogs, big dogs, so just to be on the safe side we both decided to keep Joey and Jess in a room with the door closed when we were out. We went out for a little shopping trip and as we approached the house on our return I heard a kind of wailing, screaming kind of sound, a terrifying sound. I thought my friend’s neighbor was being beaten up, robbed or something. As I got nearer to the front door I realized the sound was from inside my friend’s house. Racing in I found my Joey in the hall, wounds and blood all over him. He died in my arms. Jess was cowering in the corner, whimpering but alive. She had saved herself. The dogs had got into the room and killed my darling boy.
Fictional Story 2:
I love my baby boy Bengal, so athletic and a great climber. They are known for their ability to climb ( for which claws are essential) and to use their paws and claws to grab food and clasp objects. I called him Jim, Jungle Jim. I bought him from a breeder who insisted that I didn’t declaw him. But to declaw cats in my part of the world is the thing to do and I just couldn’t bear it if my new leather sofa got scratched. And my carpets were brand new. One day I heard a splashing from the pond in our back yard. It was at night and I couldn’t see. Sometimes wild animals go to the pond to drink so I didn’t think much of it. Then I heard a scream and an awful, weird sound. I raced out into the yard and found Jim dead, full of puncture wounds, crushed by strong jaws and sharp teeth. A couple of dogs where on the hill overlooking my place. I guess they did it. I’d had him for only 4 months. My breeder, who sold Jim to me, was right. He couldn’t protect himself. His best form of protection had been taken away from him by me, the person who loved him. I feel guilty and very upset. I feel just horrible. Never declaw cats. These are fictional stories based on true events that actually happened.
I have not shown any pictures of declawing cats as it is too painful to see. But I am going to show a video. OK, it’s not great but it makes a very important point that I thoroughly agree with. Look, you guys and girls who think that to declaw cats is OK, look into your hearts. It must be wrong. We must learn to accept our companion animals and all animals as they are. That is obvious. It isn’t just me who thinks that to declaw cats is very wrong. Most people agree with me. In a poll run by Dr. Jon’s website (PetPlace.com) the results were as follows to the question, should declawing be banned. The subject is controversial but it shouldn’t be: Yes – 66% No – 29% Note Sure – 5%