An emaciated grey-and-white stray, unneutered, declawed cat has been found in the UK. The cat was spotted by a couple as he was in their garden (backyard). This is in Kirton, Lincolnshire. This is possibly the only declawed cat in the UK or he is amongst a very few.
The cat is missing all his claws. This is a four paw declaw which is rare in America where vets declaw cats. The usual operation is on the forepaws only. There was no sign that the cat had lost his claws in an accident of some sort. This had to be a declawing operation.
This begs the question as to how a declawed stray cat was wandering around the UK. Being as objective as possible and not defending the UK, my assessment is that the cat has been imported into the UK from America where he had been declawed. But importing cats from the USA to the UK is not that easy. The USA is a “listed country”. The cat’s owner needs “a third-country official veterinary certificate if they don’t have a pet passport” (whatever “third-country” means!).
It is, frankly, unthinkable that a British vet would declaw a cat in Britain. They all know it would be a crime. It would be the end of their careers and business. They’d end up in jail. However, it is just possible that a British veterinarian declawed this cat. Perhaps a retired vet. If this is the case the person needs to be found and punished.
Visitors have made the good point that this cat would need to be microchipped if imported. He is not microchipped. On that basis perhaps someone smuggled him in through the military. Another big guess from me.
Apparently there used to be an RAF base at Kirton and I’m wondering if some American air force families stayed behind when it closed. The cat might have simply escaped his home and become a stray. Or the cat might have been a relatively recent import and being anxious in an unfamiliar home, escaped and became lost. The alternative is that the cat was abandoned in the UK but that may be a harsh assessment.
The cat who has been named Rinder was, as mentioned, in a poor state: thin (half the normal weight), with matted fur, fleas and ear mites. This is what I’d describe as the usual state for a cat who is meant to be cared for in a home but who has to fend for himself. Domestic cats struggle under these circumstances.
The RSPCA is appealing for help. Inspector Harper of the RSPCA said:
“When I first saw him I thought he was an old cat, due to his appearance, but he is clearly a young, entire male.”
The word “entire” means that he has not been neutered.
Caller Mrs Baxley (I believe this is the person who found him) said:
“I couldn’t believe it, when I stroked him I could feel every bone in his body, the poor little thing, it just broke my heart to look at him.”
Rinder is now being cared for at private boarding paid by the RSPCA (East Lincolnshire branch). He’ll be available for rehoming once fit and well. He has a fine character: very friendly and affectionate. He deserves a nice home. I think he’ll get it. He needs a lot of genuine TLC now especially as someone decided to take away all his claws. The human race needs to make up for that desperately bad judgement by the previous owner.
Note: My thanks to Jennifer Conrad DVM of The Paw Project for bring this story to my attention and for Ruth’s (aka Kattaddorra) for her input.
Too Many Abandoned Cats in the UK
As a side issue the RSPCA are swamped with unwanted, abandoned cats in the UK. How can the British say we are a nation of animal lovers?
Some of the cats have been callously dumped in waste containers as happened with two five week old tabby kittens in Tutbury, near Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire proves the point. They were both suffering from flu and in poor condition. The male died, the female has survived. RSPCA Inspector Laura Bryant said:
“These innocent, defenceless babies were dumped and left to die.”
The RSPCA have reported that they collected 4,521 abandoned cats in 2015. For the British, domestic cats are their favourite animal to abandon. The RSPCA claim to be overrun with abandoned cats.