DECLAWED CATS IN SHELTERS

by Ruth
(UK)

Looking at the selection of cats in a typical Rescue Shelter, some of the reasons given by the people who relinquished them to the Shelter seem reasonable enough.

Messing out of the litterbox, biting, fearful, child’s allergy to cats all seem good enough excuses. Although always having kittens and kittens unable to be found homes for could have been easily avoided by neutering. Having a ‘real’ baby is a very sad excuse because the cat has obviously been the baby up until the ‘real’ one arrived.

cats relinquished to cat shelters for no good reason

Moving house without the cat is very sad too, that cat wasn’t taken into consideration as part of the family when deciding where to move to.

We’ve got a new dog and he doesn’t like cats is very sad too, that cat’s family obviously see cats as second class citizens to dogs, How unkind to part with the cat instead of the dog. After all the cat was there first.

Look further down the records of those cats and you would see written at the bottom of the description of each cat and the reason for relinquishment, the word ‘declawed’. Ah..now we have the true reason the cats were relinquished, but that is given as an afterthought.

All those cats awaiting some kind person to adopt them, have gone through the most painful and cruel operation a cat can endure. They have had 10 (or 18) amputations and they have problems from that.

But of course the people who relinquished those cats mostly gave other excuses as to why the cat was unwanted. Litter box avoidance, biting and fearfulness are just a few of the many physical and mental problems caused by declawing. Those poor cats are probably doomed to be caged forever as that Rescue Centre is a no kill.

In a kill shelter they would have been killed as unadoptable on admission. Let’s use the correct term, not euthanized, that means a gentle death as a release from a painful incurable illness.

They were killed because not only did their ‘owner’ pay a vet to remove the very essential toe ends from their cat, when the problems from that surgery began the cat was labelled bad and no longer welcome in the family.

But wait, you might say, surely those 2 kittens together which couldn’t be found homes for are not declawed, they are just babies.

The sad truth is that yes they are declawed because the owner of the Rescue Shelter thought it would make them more adoptable. It doesn’t seem to register that the number of declawed cats relinquished prove otherwise. It’s not a rare occurrence to see kittens only a few months old offered as wormed, vaccinated and declawed. To some Shelters declawing is more important than neutering.

I often wonder if the people who donate money to them to help needy cats realise what some of it is spent on? Just like declaw vets, all Rescue Shelters could educate people as to the cruelty of declawing and what the alternatives are instead of encouraging it.

How much cheaper and more humane if upon adoption of clawed cats the adopters were provided with a scratching post and told how to teach the cat to use it. Some Shelters do have people sign a no declaw contact, this should happen in all Shelters.

But the sad fact is that the truth about declawing is still being hidden and many thousands of declawed cats like the cats in the poster above, end up sitting unwanted in cages, some for life.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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DECLAWED CATS IN SHELTERS

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Dec 16, 2010 To anonymous
by: Ruth

Yes I’m sorry I didn’t know declawing happened in Canada too when I first set up our petition.
I think if it gets banned in the USA it will in your country too and meanwhile we are educating Canadian people as well as Americans as best we can, through PoC here, blogs, facebook and via google alerts etc.
Do you have a no declaw contract for your adopters to sign ? Some USA Shelters do, but sadly some have little kittens declawed thinking they will be adopted out easier. They don’t look to the future when the problems start and the poor cat is returned possibly unrehomeable again.
A lot of us are fighting against declawing, some Americans, Australian and English people too, maybe you can help us by writing an article here as you look after cats.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Dec 16, 2010 Canada
by: Anonymous

I adopt out cats at a shelter in Canada. Declawing is also not banned in Canada, although many oppose it and don’t realize what it is. Declawing should be banned in Canada as well as the United States.


Dec 13, 2010 poor cats
by: kathy w

If I had my way I would take all of them home with me. I wish I could run a cat rescue. I put up an outside shelter for any cat or animal who wants to visit it. It has food and heat. I saw a poor cat running outside in the snow this morning. He looked terrified. I wanted to run and get him and bring him inside. Thank God for places like this.


Dec 10, 2010 So sad…
by: Maggie

In my opinion, there is no excuse that can really justify putting an animal in a shelter. Putting an animal in a foreign environment where he is unaware of what’s going on, he is alone. Or he is put in with cats that he has never met in his life, but is forced to get along with them.

Imagine all of that pressure and stress placed upon a cat, but add on the misery and pain of a declawed cat. It’s both emotional and physical torture.

Thank you for the great article Ruth. As always your poster was wonderful. You always manage to tell your story perfectly in pictures!


Dec 08, 2010 Sad
by: Leah (England)

Its very very sad that cats can become throw away items. I am also sickened by the fact that a vet would declaw a cats back paws; why for goodness sake? Is it not enough that they’ve taken away so much of his life they then have to take away the last little bit? Its such basic stuff as well; cats use their back claws to scratch and pull things to them when they can’t use their fronts because they’ve been declawed. As if thats not bad enough they then take that last bit of pleasure a good old scratch. Can you imagine not being able to scratch yourself?

To me the caretaker of this poor cat is sick. As for the vet he/she ought to be left in a room with a few of the troops for a few minutes. Its absolutely bonkers that someone can train to conduct such a procedure. In what other profession would this be allowed? Its utterly utterly sick and the people that do it are twisted I can only conclude that they love the power they have over defencless animals and they enjoy inflicting pain. Its the only explanation; that and the money of course.


Dec 08, 2010 Pathetic
by: Rose

This blog is so sad.I don’t know how people can dispose of their cats as if they are mere possessions.
Such pathetic excuses too.
That 4 paw declaw needing a home as good as the one with the person getting rid of her made my blood boil.That write up makes it sound like declawing is a great thing to do and it also sounds to me like that person thinks the cat should be grateful for them giving her a home.
People like that make me sick!


Dec 08, 2010 Sad but true
by: Ruth

Thanks everyone.
Michele’s cases reminded me of one I had in my share of the Shelter data research.
‘Belle is still in her home with her owner who can not look after her much longer due to financial worries. She had her 4 paw declawed as a kitten and hopes she finds as loving and kind a home as she has given her for 8 years’

That person has a strange way of showing how loving and kind she was ! Financial worries, well we all have those but we don’t dispose of a disabled family member like that.
How can any compassionate vet amputate 18 toe ends ? Bad enough 10 !
I just can’t understand how anyone can ever condone this abuse of cats.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Dec 07, 2010 Declawed cats in shelters – Pt. 2
by: Michele S.

LOBO is a handsome black and white male cat. He is completely declawed. Lobo’s family must find another home for him because their condo association will not allow them to keep him there.

DUDE is a 3-4yr old declawed Snowshoe Siamese male. He has a very loving personality, and LOVES people. His previous owners abandoned him so the next door neighbors took him in. They had a dog that Dude was scared to death of. Dude gets along with other cats, but he’d prefer to be the one and only cat in the Kingdom.

MICKEY is a sweet declawed cat with three legs. He also has a bit of hair loss occasionally on his fur that needs no treatment. Mickey gets along with other cats and dogs and is ready for his forever home home.

CELINE is a three-year-old short-haired Persian. She is a cat who just endured a pretty traumatic situation. Celine lived with her human Mommy as a declawed, indoor cat. Then Mommy went off to college and left her with Grandma on Grandmas farm. Well, Grandma didnt want an indoor cat. So Grandma brought Celine to Fairy Tails last weekend and had the audacity to try to trade her in for an outdoor cat with claws. What? Like Celine was a used car? The Fairy decided to keep Celine and sent Grandma packing!! Fairy Tails cats are not outdoor only!!!! All cats should have access to the great indoors! Celines pictures were taken the day of the owner surrender, which is why she doesnt look too happy in her photos. Would you? The Grandma didnt even know her name!! This darling is ready to come home with you today! Won’t you please adopt this loving baby and make room in rescue for us to save another life?

ISABELLE is an older, purebred Bengl cat. She’s front declawed and has a history of abuse. She may take a little while to warm up to her new family. She needs a quiet adult home, preferably as an only cat with no young children, dogs or other cats.

No sane person would ever consider the homes that these poor creatures came from to be “loving” and they certainly were not “forever” homes either.
Isn’t it time that vets and pro-declawers stopped perpetuating those myths?


Dec 07, 2010 Declawed cats in shelters – Pt. 1
by: Michele S.

Like Michael, I also believe that many people who declaw their cats are already showing their lack of commitment to that animal’s welfare. These cats currently available for adoption via Petfinder just strengthen that belief;

KIMBA was adopted from the county shelter at age one where he obviously passed their strict behavioral tests. His new owner had his front toes declawed, and then seven months later had the back toes declawed. It’s no surprise to us that he bit her, which sometimes declawed cats will do when they feel vulnerable and no longer have claws for defense. The owner no longer wanted him and her vet’s office manager thought it was a shame to euthanize such a young and healthy cat, so she called A.R.F.

CHARLEY was found abandoned, locked in a carrier, in a parking lot. He was rescued when the night shift was going home and heard him crying. NO ANIMAL HAS TO GO THROUGH THIS. THERE IS HELP IF YOU MAKE AN EFFORT! PLEASE GET HELP. Charley was a little overwhelmed with my menagerie when I first brought him home but when everything settles down he comes to get his lovin and curls up right next to you. He loves a lap or a window sill and enjoy the sunrays. He likes a canned food treat and he is a very sweet cat that doesnt make a sound!

ZIGGY STARDUST is a front declawed, beautiful, pale apricot Persian. He is approximately 9 yrs. old and is a loving, cuddly lapcat. He was left at a local vet to be killed when his owner left the area, but the Dr. told them no, asked to rehome him, and called us to help.

Meet MISS KITTY, a beautiful long haired black cat. She is about 5 years old and declawed on all four paws. Miss Kitty’s family moved and left her behind to fend for herself – not a good thing for a cat with no claws! We think Miss Kitty is an all around great cat. She’s friendly with people and loves to talk. She is good with the other cats in her foster home. We do not know if she has been around dogs. Miss Kitty would be a great addition to almost any home and would love to have a family of her own again.


Dec 07, 2010 Feeble excuses
by: Michael

As you say Ruth these are feeble excuses. They show a lack of commitment in cat caretaking. They show an incorrect mindset in many people who keep cats, I think. This is back to education. There is a lot to do on the education front.

It still shocks me to read people saying that they didn’t know what declawing was about after their cat had been declawed. These people have the responsibility to find out before submitting their cat to an operation.

Thanks for posting again, Ruth. You have done so much for the domestic cat in the field of preventing and banning declawing.

Michael Avatar


Dec 07, 2010 Cats are not disposable
by: Barbara

That’s a really good poster Ruth. It always makes me sad when I see the petfinder pages and the number of cats and kittens waiting patiently for homes, it is hard to believe the number of kittens that have already been “owned” and disposed of, and as you have said Ruth, some of the reasons/excuses given are nothing short of pathetic. In the case of declawed cats, if declawing is so popular and allegedly makes cats so much more desirable as pets how come that there are so many listed? Declawing does not keep cats in homes, far from it.

Barbara avatar


Dec 07, 2010 Paw declaw
by: Sylvia

That should really have been poor declawed, but it just makes my blood boil and my eyes weep whenever I read or hear about yet another animal being tortured in this repugnant practice.
So many people use the excuses you have featured Ruth, lord knows many of mine have had the “allergic” or the”new baby” or “left behind no room”. The one that gets me the most is “got a new man” – my answer to that one if a man does not like a cat he was a mouse in a previous life. If only we humans could be more like cats, life would be so much more simple, but no we have to change they way they were intended to be. WHY?



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