Categories: RSPCA

All four paws declawed cat found in the UK

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.

Declawed cat found in UK

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.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Poor Rinder. I don't know of any vet in the UK who has ever declawed a cat, even when it was legal here, in fact our vets shudder at the very thought! Surely even if a vet from a country where declawing is legal, worked here, they wouldn't dare do this as he/she would be arrested, as would anyone who assisted at the surgery and the cat's owner too!
    I thought at first about an ex air force family going over to America to visit and bringing the cat back with them. Yet how would someone bring an entire tom cat into this country, he would have had to be microchipped and there are rabies laws and airport checks so he couldn't have been smuggled in! Jennifer, founder of the Paw Project is awaiting x rays of the cat's paws to study and see if the last toe joint x 18 was actually amputated, or the claws cut down to almost non existence, in which case surely they will grow back. This is all a real mystery! Will we ever know the truth?

    • Thanks Ruth for your thoughts. It is a very strange case. But I feel it has to be case of an American cat becoming a stray or abandoned because as you say it is 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.

      • The only thing with it being an "American" cat is that as stated above, it would have been microchipped in order to be brought into the country. The cat is too young to not have had to have had those requirements. It wouldn't have mattered if the owners were American or British, the rules for importing pets apply across the board. It all sounds very strange! I suppose a way around the usual rules would be if it had somehow wandered onto a ship and wound up here, but then how did it get to Kirton?

  • We often say we wish animals could talk, but this is really one case where I wish he could tell his story. How odd that he was declawed but not neutered.

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