Declawing? Why not detoothing as well?


by Finn Frode
(Copenhagen, Denmark)

Picture added by Michael (PoC Admin) - photo by flikr (photographer's username at Flickr)

Picture added by Michael (PoC Admin) - photo by flikr (photographer's username at Flickr)

I was shocked by the recent article on declawing in the United States (new window). To me this practice seems absolutely disgusting and I'm surprised that some veterinarians display such poor ethics. Thanks a lot to Michael for bringing up the subject.

Now if getting a scratch really presents such a serious "zoonotic risk" for the cat owner that it could justify declawing, then what about bites? Deep cat bites can cause much more serious infections in humans than superficial scratches ever will.

Would the American Veterinary Medical Association recommend that besides the declawing, the cat should also have all its teeth extracted?

I hope not. Living with a cat means living with the slight danger of an occasional scratch or bite, although in most cases only the furniture will suffer. If you can't accept that, you're probably better off without a cat.

Fin Frode

See Declawing Cats for links to lots more.

Photo: published under an Attribution 2.0 Generic creative commons license (cropped as allowed). This cat is going to fight back!

Comments for
Declawing? Why not detoothing as well?

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Feb 13, 2012 no teeth NEW
by: Anonymous

I have seen cats that had their teeth up front removed so don't think its out of the reach of what people will do. The cats can't even hurt mice.


Jun 21, 2011 Go away troll
by: Anonymous

You are not in the least bit funny so be a good troll and go away and play with your toys.
Come back and apologise when you are grown up enough to feel ashamed of the rubbish you have written here.


Jun 20, 2011 I read the article.
by: Anonymous

Alight so I read the article and I also watched a couple videos. I did learn one thing...how to declaw a cat. It looks so much easier than I ever dreamed. I may open up shop on some sort of black market. Could someone please post a vid of how to detooth a cat? Thanks.


Jun 18, 2011 Kudos to Fin
by: Jo Singer

This article says it all and beyond. Heck, in order to surgically re-arrange a cat to make sure it is completely suitable as a pet, forgetting completely how Nature so perfectly created felines, I am sure that there must be other things that folks who profess to love cats can dream up and suggest to their veterinarians to try.

ANYONE that LOVES cats would never do anything that is not medically sound, such as neutering-spaying which actually protects the cat's health and prevents the already countless number of unwanted cats from increasing. Anyone that would, for their convenience declaw or even THINK of de-toothing a cat is not, in my opinion someone that loves, admires and appreciates cats just the way they are. God made them that way.. are we to question His wisdom? I think not.

A note to anonymous here: While there may be legitimate reasons for a vet to extract teeth because of infections, and health threatening reasons, just the thought of wantonly removing teeth sets my blood aboil. I suggest you go to a high class toy store and purchase a realistic appearing toy cat to enhance your home's decor.

Again, thanks for this excellent article. It should be required reading for anyone considering declawing a cat, so they are fully educated about the procedure and its risks and side-effects.


Jun 18, 2011 Kudos to Fin
by: Jo Singer

This article says it all and beyond. Heck, in order to surgically re-arrange a cat to make sure it is completely suitable as a pet, forgetting completely how Nature so perfectly created felines, I am sure that there must be other things that folks who profess to love cats can dream up and suggest to their veterinarians to try.

ANYONE that LOVES cats would never do anything that is not medically sound, such as neutering-spaying which actually protects the cat's health and prevents the already countless number of unwanted cats from increasing. Anyone that would, for their convenience declaw or even THINK of de-toothing a cat is not, in my opinion someone that loves, admires and appreciates cats just the way they are. God made them that way.. are we to question His wisdom? I think not.

A note to anonymous here: While there may be legitimate reasons for a vet to extract teeth because of infections, and health threatening reasons, just the thought of wantonly removing teeth sets my blood aboil. I suggest you go to a high class toy store and purchase a realistic appearing toy cat to enhance your home's decor.

Again, thanks for this excellent article. It should be required reading for anyone considering declawing a cat, so they are fully educated about the procedure and its risks and side-effects.


Jun 17, 2011 To anonymous
by: Anonymous

I suggest you do read the article and retract your callous comment!


Jun 17, 2011 Interesting...
by: Anonymous

I didn't read the article but the title suggests the idea of detoothing. This is something I would be interested in if anyone has any referrals.


Apr 18, 2011 Insane!
by: TAO Foundation

Why do people take a cat if they want to mutilate this perfect creature ??!!
The same with cutting of the tails of horses and dogs.
Imagen our pet looks at us and thinks that it does not like our nose or ears and bite them off.
This is insane , sad that many humans are this and and are soo selfish and arrogance !!


Jan 13, 2010 Declawing is WRONG and should be outlawed
by: Suzanne

The thought of declawing cats sickens me. I have had "knock down, drag out" arguements with coworkers over this issue. Is it that some cat owners are just plain IGNORANT when it comes to the needs of cats to stretch and claw to mark territory? I have 4 cats living in my household. We have kitty condos with scratchers, incline scratchers and hanging scratchers from door knobs and do not have an issue with this. We also trim their claws every 10 days or so when the ends get sharp. All my cats know when they are going to get their nails trimmed and they do not fight us (too much :}) How are these creatures supposed to defend themselves if they get outside and are faced with an attack from antoher animal? Let's compare this to cutting off our fingernails and cuticles. How cruel and inhumane. People who want do this should not be allowed to own a cat.Plain and simple.


Dec 22, 2009 Hi Terry
by: Michael

Hi Terry, when you have detoothed and declawed your cat could you photograph him or her and show us on this site?


Dec 22, 2009 Great suggestion
by: Terry

I'll see if I can find a vet that will do this for me.


Jul 25, 2009 I am with you
by: Anonymous

I am as mad and as angry as Jo. When I think of it (and it is happening right now) it hurts. Direct action is needed. Something tangible.


Jul 24, 2009 Reply to the commenter who posted.
by: Anonymous

Cats are perfect just the way they are. If that is something that people cannot understand, then it is wise for them not to take a cat into their home.

It makes me absolutely blind with rage how some people treat their cats as possessions and can do anything to them that makes "their" life easier. We must get legislation passed so that this horror will finally be banned forever. Then maybe people who are more interested in preserving their precious possessions will not bother getting a cat in the first place.

And as far as having fewer cats adopted, so many cats that are declawed end up surrendered to shelters for even worse behaviors such as aggression and inappropriate elimination, so those kitties have a moment of a home, and then are thrown back to the wolves, anyway.

Sigh....

Jo


Jul 23, 2009 Betrayal
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

I know how you feel - it's sickening.

Maybe some cat owners have been talked into declawing not realizing exactly what this operation involves - i.e. cutting off the entire outer joint on each "finger". But the vets know and most knowledgeful breeders and cat owners must know too unless they have closed their eyes and ears completely.

As it has been said elsewhere, this mutilation is done by people, who consider cats imperfect and very much inferior to themselves. It's a betrayal of the contract humans made with the cats thousands of years ago and inconsistent with the love of cats.


Jul 23, 2009 Where is the "kind" in "mankind"?
by: Jo Singer

Sometimes I am ashamed to be part of the human race, when I read about how low some people can go to destroy the beauty and grace of the feline species.

How anyone can either declaw or even think of "detoothing", or "devoicing" these magnificent creatures is way beyond my ability to understand. Why even get a cat in the first place is what I cannot "grok" in the least.

Our cats are precious beings, who were designed by a "master" and should be respected and protected, not mutilated. This just turns my stomach reading about the lengths that some humans will go to only for cosmetic purposes to protect their precious possessions. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.. sigh..

Jo


Jul 12, 2009 Response to last comment
by: Anonymous

It might not have been proved that they don't need them but neither has it been proved they need them and giving them carries risk of injury. The trend now is against routine yearly boosters and some research supports this.


Jul 12, 2009 Vaccinations
by: kattaddorra

My reply to: Vets in the UK don't declaw in a mass way as in America but their judgment is compromised by money in many subtle ways. Unnecessary vaccinations is one example.

Yes and there is some controversy about yearly vaccination boosters for cats and dogs but as far as I know it hasn't been proved yet that they don't need these boosters. In all my years working for vets I didn't see any adverse reaction to yearly boosters, they aren't painful and they don't turn a perfectly healthy cat into a disabled cat, like declawing does. Declawing is most definitely a cruel un-neccessary operation! Maybe our UK vets do like making money but they certainly don't abuse cats by amputating important necessary parts of them.


Jul 11, 2009 Response to last comment
by: Anonymous

I agree with the last comment. Vets in the UK don't declaw in a mass way as in America but their judgment is compromised by money in many subtle ways. Unnecessary vaccinations is one example.


Jul 11, 2009 Could it happen here?
by: Everycat

I think with the americanisation of our culture in the UK we have to remain vigilant of our own veterinary practices as well as fighting cruelty elsewhere in the world.

One of my own cats was tooth tipped by a barbaric vet (without permission obviously) and to this day suffers pain because of it.

Our single weakness in the fight to ban declawing will be when dubious practice is highlighted on our own turf and we are caught out unawares. I believe that acknowledging our own shortfalls in humaneness will only strengthen the campaign.


Jul 10, 2009 Declaw Hall Of Shame
by: Susan in Ohio, U.S.A.

Michael,
Thanks for your comment! Thought you'd like to see the Declaw Hall of Shame website where "obnoxious" vets are shamed for pandering declaw cruelty! http://www.declawhallofshame.com
CLAWS OUT!!!^..^!!!


Jul 10, 2009 Added Your Other Feed To Blog
by: Anonymous

Thanks for pointing that out. I have added your other blog to my feed on frequently feline.

It is really a joy to have your blogs posted there.

Jo


Jul 10, 2009 Your articles are brilliant
by: ruth

I'm a retired vet nurse in England and was horrified last November to find that the declawing of cats still happens routinely in the USA. I wrote to the AVMA and to each state head Veterinarian who referred me back to the AVMA policy that their declawing policy was that it is supposed to be a last resort.So how come Vets offer neuter/declaw packages for kittens ? I started a petition you might like to sign and pas around:
http://www.petitionthem.com/default.asp?sect=detail&pet=4312
and my sister started a group:
http://clawsforever.ning.com/
Since then we've joined up with many Americans who want declawing banned too.We do all need to get together in some way to make an impact on the vets who still do the procedure as the AVMA are certainly not enforcing their policy !
My blog is
http://kattaddorra.blogspot.com/
I wrote a blog putting the facts straight on declawing:
http://kattaddorra.blogspot.com/2009/05/putting-straight-some-facts-about.html
My sisters blog is:
http://clawsforever.blogspot.com/
She has done some brilliant write ups on there !
Best wishes.


Jul 10, 2009 Message to Jo Singer
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Hi Jo, you very kindly added a Feedburner feed on your nice site. As you know I have 2 sites, one is the main site, this one and the other is a blogger version of this one that I call (currently!) PoC or Picture of Cats org Blog.

The feed you are using is for the main site and I do most of my "political" stuff and provocative stuff on the blogger site. I have just added a feed for that site on its home page, which you might prefer if you want that sort of stuff. It is quite a big site itself.

Thanks once again for the comments. I would love us all who care to join together to beat the curse of the greedy vets, the cat abusers and the wild cat exploiters.


Jul 10, 2009 Hi Jo and Susan
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Thanks for the comments. When I think of declawing, I want to scream, then cry and then do murder.

Thanks for your comments. Here are links to your sites:

Paws Need Claws Campaign (new page)

Frequently Feline (new page)

I will read both sites. I have not visited them before. I would love to stop declawing in the United States. I am shocked it goes on as it does, in such large numbers. The task of changing things is very hard because it is now part of the culture and accepted. Animal welfare law is similar in the US to the UK, however. It would seem possible to seek the criminal prosecution of a veterinarian if it could be proved that he declawed outside of the wide guidelines of the AVMA. Or at least seek punishment under the code of conduct. It needs more work.

I think an example needs to be made of one particularly obnoxious vet to get the ball rolling.


Jul 10, 2009 declaw
by: kathy

i worked in a vets office in 2000 the first time i saw him do a declaw i practically freaked out i started crying and from then on i refused to be in the office or assist in such a cruel practice even though the cat is sedated he cries out with each claw being removed so dont tell me they dont feel anything!!!! its like having your fingers removed at the first knuckle cat claws can be safely cut with nail cutters which i do to my own cat and several of my friends cats as well if you cant handle the nature of the cat then you should pass on them as a pet clawing and biting are as much of their nature as a dog lifting his leg on the couch thats just my opion K


Jul 10, 2009 Please help us BAN declawing!!!
by: Susan in Ohio, U.S.A.

Michael -
Your articles about declawing are blowing me away - thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm so grateful that you are shining a light on this completely unecessary and needless cruelty and animal abuse that is happening to millions of cats a day in the US vet offices! I live in a city (Cincinnati, Oh) where vets advertise declaws in coupon magazines & on their parking lot marquis - there is absolutley NO education going on - vets have brain washed the public into thinking that it is something "good" cat parents do for their cat. Others outright lie and say it's just a "small cut". Meanwhile the rate of relinquished declawed cats w/behavioral problems is HUGE - so it's not making "better" pets or "keeping cats in their homes" like the vets are claiming - it is causing unnecessary harm and DEPRIVING animals of natural, healty behaviors!
Can we sue the AVMA for cruelty to cats? I've been writing vets & shelters for years in an effort to expose this sick hypocracy, what can we do???
Luckily, there are others in the UK that are just as disgusted as you, pls see the
Claws Connection http://clawsforever.ning.com/
and a new yahoo group has started "Saving Cats Claws" - we wud love others to join to help us ban this atrocity. My website is http://www.pawsneedclaws.com
THANK YOU, you are AMAZING!!! Susan


Jul 10, 2009 A Major Kudo for Your Blog/Education
by: Jo Singer

Hi There,

Your blog has both incredible informationa about cats, but your work against the brutal act of declawing and other nightmares that cat owners (vs cat lovers) can even consider imposing on their cats is just amazing. I salute you and have featured your blog on my personal blog.

http://frequentlyfeline.blogspot.com/

I have recently learned that some vets are considering removing the olfactory organ in male cats so they won't spray. What other nightmares will appear on the horizon. It sickens me.

Thank you for your wonderful contribution to cats.

Jo Singer (KneadsToKnow)


Jul 10, 2009 Declawing is madness
by: Barbara

Why indeed not defanging? Some USA owners and their vets seem to think that cats can be altered and adapted to suit the household furnishins, they don't allow cats to be cats, they are declawed, put in cages, bopped on the head, put on leashes, bathed, taken out in "strollers" and I'm pretty certain someone somewhere will have defanged their cat. They have no conception of teaching children to respect animals either and would rather render their "kitty" clawless and likely fangless, almost like a living stuffed toy, than supervise child and cat together.

WHY do vets declaw? How can it be justified in the USA when it is banned or considered grossly inhumane in 37 other countries?


Jul 09, 2009 "Declawing cats"
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

We humans have severely devalued nature and its accompanying animal, bird and insect species by our total control over their survival and living conditions.
Cats are preferred as pets by manny owners for their non-conformal attitude of total obediance to their human owners,having an independent mind of their own unlike dogs."De-Clawing cats" is akin to converting them into "Pet human toys" for safe play with their human owners. An occasional scratch or nip is normal amongst any pets, cats or dogs and hence "De-Clawing" is the worst form of atrocity against a cats normal living habits.


Jul 09, 2009 Good thinking
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Fin, thanks for your article. I hope you don't mind me adding a picture of a cat that wants to fight back! I never thought about it. But your argument just goes to show how totally unjustified declawing is. It can only be about furniture, which is shameful. It is treating the companion cat as a customizable accessory. I will link your article to the one about unethical vet treatment.



Comments

Declawing? Why not detoothing as well? — 9 Comments

  1. I understand everyones concern about the cats feelings but hopefully some people can assit me with this issue. No ignorant comments are needed. My mother has a cat who is terrible. She loves him very much but he is dangerous, and has some kind of mental defect. He has even been on paxil. last night (second time) he attacked her out of no where. He doesn’t scratch, he bites. He bit her hands arms legs and even her face. She was a bloody mess and had to be taken to the hosp. But she refuses to put him down, saying he trusts her and relies on her and he shouldn’t be put to sleep. I disagree. The vets have suggested declawing and detoothing him. He says it is better than him having to die.

    • Hi thanks for the comment. Sorry to hear the story. Before anything is done we need to figure why your mother’s cat is aggressive. This sort of cat aggression is normally defensive aggression. In other words something or someone is turning on defensive behavior in your mother’s cat. What is it? Did she adopt this cat as a kitten? Or as an adult? Please answer that question first. And please don’t declaw and detooth (Gog forbid) until you have worked out the reasons. In fact the vet’s advice is shallow and unthinking. It is programmed thinking.

  2. I dont have a cat but a dog, I do love animals so much.
    But my dog bites, and shes a black lab mixed with a Rottwieler she is a gorgeous dog.
    To me and my close family she is so sweet, loving, affecionate, protective and loyal and I love her so much.
    But we now have a 4 year old living in the house, who my dog has growled at and even snapped at, I know I need to protect the child but I love my dog also.
    No shelters or trainers will take her beause of her biting, she has been on medication and has had a few training sessions with people who attempted to work with her; so everyone in the house is saying we need to put her to sleep.
    I dont want to do this, but no one will take her all the vets we went to reccomended giving her away or putting her down since we have a young child in the house otherwise I wouldnt put her down.
    So I figure well if she couldnt hurt the child, then we wouldnt need to put her down.
    I dont think her not having teeth is humane, I want her to be happy and live and do all these things with me but I just dont know what to do.
    I dont think a dog should live without its teeth, but what if the canine teeth were taken out would this help?
    I just do not want to get her put down, she is a sweet dog but no one will take her so basically she gets the canine teeth out or is put down which is terrible in both ways you look at it.
    I love my dog so so much but I dont have any other options.

    • I really sympathize with you. Dogs do seem to have a history of attacking babies and young kids. They obviously tap into some deep seated wild nature that originates in the first domesticated dog, the wolf. I think she has to be re-homed. Hard though it is, the best thing to do is to try re-home her. Someone might take her. But I see the difficulty.

      I agree that removing her teeth is not the answer. Horrible idea. And to euthanise seems horrible too. If only you could find a new home for her. I wish you the very best.

  3. Ok, you to realize they’re just cats and not humans (or even dogs), right? They don’t even come when called. Almost every cat I’ve encountered just flips out and claws or bites while pettimg them gently. I’m a big animal lover (especially dogs), but cats aren’t these “perfect”, “magnificent” creatures you make them out to be. Do you know how many videos there are on YouTube of a cat going off on a baby? Dogs know better than to do that.
    If you have an indoor cat, I don’t see anything wrong with declawing it (considering how disobedient and destructful they can be). Yeah, if you’re gonna let your cat wander in the wild all day, it probably needs it’s claws, but as one fanatic below said about cat declawers, if you’re just going to let your cat run amok outside all day, why bother having a cat? You’re basically just feeding a stray. The cat can get attacked, run over, stolen, lost, etc.

    With dogs, if you’re doing something for their own good that they don’t like (bathing, shots, etc.) they may resist, but still obey; cats on the other hand flip out and bite and scratch. So, yeah, I think trimming/declawing is perfectly acceptable. Anyone below who thinks declawing is fortune had better be a vegan, or they’re total hypocrites. Fur and leather is murder, collecting eggs is abortion, milking is molestation, etc.
    One last thing, let’s not
    Forget that if your crazy cat hurts somebody, they’re legally available for euthanasia. Would you rather your putty not have finger nails or be a Korean’s bath mat?

    • God knows what you are doing to cats for them to respond like that. That problem has been created by you.

      We know cats are not “these perfect magnificent creatures…” We know they are just cats. We respect them and like them.

      Do you know how many videos there are on YouTube of a cat going off on a baby?

      What does that mean? If it means that a cat attacks a baby then it may happen rarely but the fault is the baby’s and the baby’s mother for failing to supervise. Baby’s often mishandle cats.

      cats on the other hand flip out and bite and scratch.

      I don’t understand your last paragraph. It does not make any sense and is factually inaccurate.

      I have never been bitten or scratched because a cat won’t obey me because I have never ordered a cat to do something. People should never try and force a cat to do something.

  4. I adopted a cat from Best Friends in Kanab, Utah who had previously been declawed and detoothed. stanley. The poor little bugger could not even be put with other cats in the sanctuary because the other cats would bully it. It can’t go outside because it has not defenses left.
    It took me several months before he would come close enough to even be petted when I got him.
    If you want to do that to a cat, get a dog and piss off from the Earth.

    • Wow. Phew. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you. To detooth and declaw is an act of extreme brutality. The veterinarian who did it should be shot. Could you tell us some more? I’d like you to tell me more about your Stanley if you have time.

      • Yeah Stanley is a four year old who after 18 months of individual care has become a great pet. He stays in my small cabin and has the run of the place. Unlike most cats I have had, he shows no desire to go outside, so fleas and ticks are no problems.
        He STILL is a bit paranoid even after almost two years and he shies at loud sounds and will run from me sometimes just by,reflex. He’s had a horror life, but it Is getting better.

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