By Ruth AKA Kattaddorra

I think that anyone who gives years of their life to train as a vet must surely love animals enough to want to help them, to prevent suffering and to hopefully cure them of illness.

The late Alf Wight, a UK vet, was a very kind and compassionate vet who in his later years wrote as James Herriot, fiction based on fact, of his career as a vet.

Caring Veterinarian
Poster by Ruth AKA Kattaddorra.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Why are some veterinarians more compassionate than others?

The words he wrote in his books show how much he cared for his patients and I’m almost certain he would never have declawed a cat. How do I know this?

Well, I know because I met him and he was a true cat lover. He was a friend of George Wilson, a vet I used to work for many years ago. Both had mixed practices of small animals and farm animals.

The vet I worked for was once asked to declaw a cat in the days before we had our Pet Welfare law making all cosmetic surgery illegal. He angrily refused and told the client she would not find any vet in the UK who would agree to carry out such cruel surgery.

The words Alf Wight uses about cats are beautiful:

‘Touching my cheek with claws carefully sheathed’ ….There wrote a true cat lover.

Cats claws ARE carefully sheathed…until they need to use them….so how wrong it is for vets in the USA and Canada to take those beautiful and essential claws away, along with the last joint of the cats toes.

It is unimaginable that anyone would do that and I think that if the late Mr Wilson and Mr Wight had still been around and known that declawing was still happening in those countries and that young kittens were still being declawed routinely along with neutering, they would have despaired of the vets who are doing it.

It’s inconceivable that some vets continue to break their oath to cause no animal to suffer, that some in fact encourage declawing by advertising it in neuter/declaw packages or with discount. They have the power to stop this cruel surgery, just as our UK vets used their power to refuse to declaw.

The world watches and waits for ALL vets to stop this legalised abuse!



  1. Great poster and article Ruth,I read the James Herriot books and he did come across as a very compassionate vet.I’d love to have met him.
    I can’t understand why declawing which fills our English vets with horror at the very thought is so popular with the American vets who must have no excuse for not knowing what a cruel operation it is.Day after day they amputate cats toe ends for money,I think it’s terrible.

  2. I wish we still had the old style vets like Mr Wilson and Mr Wight and a few more from our past,the other Mr Wilson at Darlington and Miss Foggy who saved our Lassie’s life. They were of the old school who didn’t treat cats and dogs like mini humans or lab animals to try out the latest drugs on but recognised that each one was important and should be treated as such.I hate to think what their replies would have been to someone asking them to mutilate a cat’s paws. My ideal vet is someone who speaks gently to the animal as well as the human, who doesn’t cause unnecessary pain or fear or use excessive restraint, who doesn’t bang on endlessly about teeth, blood tests or weight but who treats the complaint that you went to see him/her about efficiently and optimistically. Sometimes the old ways are best.

  3. How can declawing be stopped? Seems like alot of vets are in it for the money, or at least they end up that way even if they started out as beinf in it for the animals. Of course money counts. I can’t imagine a dentist becoming a dentist for any other reason than money. These doctor type jobs pay well and guarantee a secure future. I think some must have a love for animals. Others perhaps like animals and the security/money factor too. How can declawing be brought to shame. Those who do clearly have no shame. But if public opinion can be swayed enough that declawers be ashamed to admit it, then there is a chance for law changes. What I truly don’t understand is why a country has no shame when all other countries around call the same thing cruelty. Why no shame? Why no shame about not signing the Kyoto agreement. That’s an abomination and utterly shameful and totally wrong. So, why no shame? Countries, religions, corporations, large companies, even mainstreamism are things which, by virtue of size, dont seem to need affirmation to continue onwards. Usually. Well as long as they are making money they have no shame usually. Thats whats wrong with the world. Things which are too big.

    Stopping declawing is going to be hard. If the rest of the world is not enough of a good example not to, then somebody important needs to fund some research to show declawing for what it truly is. A sort of mutilation. Somebody famous should say something so suddenly everyone knows. I’m sure just one ad on tv would make enough people think of it. I think most people just don’t know and don’t think about it but wouldnt if they knew the truth. It’s the vets who do it that are terrible monsters because they see what happens. They see the cats after the operation. They know its not like any other operation. They are so cruel for continuing to do it in the face of what they know and see. I wouldnt trust such a vet to be worried about too much more than money. I’m sure some will say better to declaw and adopt than to not declaw and euthanise. But thats ridiculous. If customers did not have the option to declaw I’m sure the percentage of adoptions would be hardly affected. A risk well worth taking for the welfare of the cat.

    Nice quote from Mr Herriot. Thanks Ruth. I read him a bit when I was young and liked his writing.

    • is going to be hell trying to stop America from declawing cats. It is part of the mindset. It’s as deeply ingrained as Saturday afternoon football is in the UK.

      It’ll gradual fade away, hopefully, but it will take about 30 years of something like that. I think the mindset is linked to the hunting mindset and the right to bear arms mindset. It is the humans can do what they want with animals mindset.

      It is strange because Americans are largely made up of immigrant Europeans and Europeans don’t declaw. It must go back to the wild west frontier and all that sort of stuff.

  4. Thanks Ruth. The veterinarian must be compassionate. This is not written into the job description nor is it on the application form for medical school. They have to be compassionate because their patients are vulnerable. Their patients have no voice and are reliant on a person to speak up for them: their owner. A vet cannot rely on that. Thanks for the post, Ruth. And a really nice poster too. They are unique on the internet.


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