An American’s comment about declawing and other things

Introduction from Michael

This is a comment from Ann to the claw caps webpage so it is about declawing but provides some background information as well and refers to other incidents. I think it is interesting – thank you Ann for sharing – as a snapshot of American cat/human life in relation to declawing. I don’t know if it is typical but is probably fairly reflective of a segment of American society.

Sometimes l like to turn comments into articles if they provide some insights beyond the normal.

I have cleaned up the text as Ann had difficulty in getting the words down into the comment box. Ann refers to Marri a person who also commented on the same page.

The comment

Hi Marri, Let me tell you my story, then I will get to the point: we have had all rescue dogs and cats for about 30 years; from new born to terminally ill with leukaemia or FIV (feline immunodeficiency disease). At the time of writing our eldest kitty is 15 years old and still plays like a young kitten in all senses of the word.

Spaz came to us as an orphan – a very feral young kitten. I watched an elderly neighbor shoot Spaz’s mother point-blank in a wood pile.

I had Spaz declawed on the front only because it “was the thing to do” at the time. Next is 11-year-old Simon. He was abandoned by someone in a nearby neighborhood, adopted by a neighbor (he was a little kitten) and when the kids decided they didn’t like him so they put him out the door only to be shot by another neighbor.

I took him in and we got him neutered and the bullet taken out of him where it landed on his spine. He died on the operating table and they brought him back to life. I did not have him declawed at all. He’s been through enough. He hasn’t let me down either!!

Then comes Missy out of the corn field who made friends with Annie, our rescue therapy dog (another wonderful story for another time). We made a living space on our porch for Missy and all was well until a family of foxes moved in and started to kill the outside cats so we brought Missy in.

She provoked herself to be a dangerous boxer with a strong right hook. We had to declaw. Our vet suggested a new procedure of laser declaw, but there’s NO decapitation AT ALL!!! The nail and nailbed are the only things removed!! She doesn’t walk around with only 1/2 a foot!!!

Next is our Gideon, he was found in an engine as a wee tiny kitten. We adopted him after being uncommitted for a while after our Bobby passed over the Rainbow Bridge. We really wanted to adopt an older hard to adopt cat….we did NOT declaw Gideon. We decided to wait and see how he was; he is REALLY SMART.

We found these things worked: spending time with our cats, talking to them, real words, not baby talk, being PATIENT, training them well (we clicker train) and do not ever raise the voice!! Well, except to call for dinner or something FUN! Otherwise, if you need them in a dire emergency, they will run and hide ( same thing true for dogs!!)

Cats thrive on praise, pets, and permanence. They need stability. With a drastic change in the cat’s environment and/or life, including moving furniture, we need to add the word perception…we need to be especially sensitive to the needs of our cat.

Your cat Marri, I agree, did not mean to scratch you, whatever happened only he knows and if he meant it for wrong/evil/anger whatever, he WOULD NOT be curled against you at the same and dogs are not hypocrites, nor are they liars, it isn’t in them like it is human, that is what separates us.

Cat with loss of fur around neck due to flea collar

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.

Keep an eye on your precious boy, I know you will be fine. The rest of my story..remember Missy with strong right hook we had lasered in front? Five years later she has developed some kind of allergy to food, flea meds or all the above or SOMETHING!!

The vet is stumped, she has tried everything, and we are trying all we can, Missy has a bald neck and I’m even making a “cozy” for her to wear instead of e-collars all her life, the others are all too big. And, yes, she is on grain-free food. All the cats are inside only, shoes off when come in, etc…I will not laser-declaw her just so she won’t keep shredding her neck and ears, (flea meds orally) and causing infections. I wash her often, as per vet instructions. So we are trying the KITTY CAPS. Now, wouldn’t some of you nay-sayers think this is a better alternative (to declawing)??

37 thoughts on “An American’s comment about declawing and other things”

  1. The comment made me angry, the ignorance of “no decapitation”, the acceptance that declawing was the thing to do, even acknowledging that declawed cats walk around on half a foot. I’m sorry but I’m not impressed by this person at all, and even less for using the damned clicker training that reduces cats to mechanical automatons responding to a stupid noise. If declawing was banned it wouldn’t matter how ignorant cat “owners” were because they would be prevented by law from surgical abuse of their cats.

    • Exactly Barbara I cant understand how they can sleep at night, how their Conscience doesn’t make them feel what they are doing is wrong?

  2. From Paw Project Utah
    We have an ongoing study which currently comprises 100 cats. Yes, we have seen quite a few cats who are very painful due to big p3 fragments left over, however, we have seen even more declawed cats without P3 fragments (declawed via scalpel excision or laser) who are consistently the highest rating on our signs of pain scale (according to AAFP standards). While the scalpel and laser declaw techniques do require more time and surgical precision to perform, they are also fraught with complications. In fact, PPU and PPI are seeing a higher incidence of extremely painful osteomyelitis in P2 even years post op with cats declawed via the laser technique. Thermal injury to P2 itself and the surrounding tissue including vesselsand nerves is the suspected primary cause. Those vessels and nerves you speak of which you say you can see recede and shrink need to stay intact and viable immediately post op or the remaining P2 is compromised significantly setting it up for osteomyelitis. The laser and aggressive scalpel excision techniques do not allow for this to happen. With these preliminary findings, we will be fleshing out a better cohort group of owned declawed groups for our study. We will be sure to keep you informed once we have a strong enough P value to make blanket claims and have our boarded veterinary experts file their formal reports, however the trends we are seeing speak for themselves. Also, please be aware that the arthritic carpal pathology abnormal plantigrade stance, and paw pad abcesses from cushioning abnormal forces that ANY declawed cat experiences will occur with ANY declaw technique and ANY declaw procedure with ANY price tag.

  3. I’m very disgusted how could any human do that to an animal?? Its disgusting what some vets do around the world. Its opened my eyes just really what goes on. I agree in part what marc is saying. I guess here in New Zealand things are so much different. I guess its always good to Question the Vets and ask Questions. Yes its always important to Empathize as you couldn’t be a cat lover if you have no Empathy or no Feelings at all. I do believe that one day there will be no Animals left esp wild ones. I’m totally against De clawing still dont understand why it happens, even how people do it just to protect their furniture which i think is stupid!!. So I’ve said my peace i can just not imagine having a cat that was declawed even claw clips. Just leave them alone, they need all their bits.

    • You are a true cat lover Kylee, caring about ALL cats.
      Here in England if we mention declawing to people, even those who don’t particularly like cats, they are shocked and horrified and can’t believe anyone would want to take a cat’s claws away. Is it the same in NZ?
      Will any of your vets tell you their views on it? I think you are the only person in our PoC family from your country.

      • Hi there, I could ask them next time i go see them. Yes, i do feel very disgusted that around the world many people have horrible situitons with their vets. Its really sad, I guess its the times we are living in really. I’ll definitely do my best to find out what their stance is when I go see them next. Jasmine, will need to go sometime soon just waiting till the bill down a little. I’ve included a photo of what Jasmine looks like now as shes 5 Months old I will resize the picture.

          • Yea shes getting Beautiful everyday. Shes really getting older now. I just wanted to put it in there for those that dont see what she looks like from a kitten. I’m trying to get better at taking photos. Its a learning experience.


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