Intro: the page was first published in 2014. I have republished it today, Aug 2, 2022. It starts with a conversation between Ruth and a veterinarian with whom she worked.
Hello John, I hope you and your family are well. I don’t know if you remember me, we worked together way back in the 1980s for a while before you moved on. I’m contacting you now on behalf of Pictures of Cats (PoC) owned by Michael Broad, which as the name implies is a web site all about cats:
As you will see, it has numerous educational pages about cats and also the declawing of cats, which are mostly written by Michael himself, but also other writers contribute, including me. I also design posters for the site in the quest to educate about the cruelty of declawing and to ultimately help get it banned.
Would you agree to answer a few questions about a UK vets thoughts on the declawing of cats? It is of course banned in our country and as far as I know we have never declawed cats at all, but Michael would like the views of UK vets on this subject.
Well hello Ruth, of course I remember you and how you guided this here vet when he was young and very green. I don’t mind answering some questions but I’d like my identity protected because of professional ethics. If that’s OK then go ahead and ask….
Q. Did you know the declawing of cats is still legal in the USA and Canada?
A. Yes I did and as it happens I was talking to a colleague about this the other day.
Q. Do you believe declawing is acceptable in some circumstances?
A. No way, never!
Q. Do you believe declawing is breaking the veterinarian’s sworn oath?
A. By God yes I do.
Q. Were you taught how to declaw a cat when you were studying veterinary medicine?
A. Why no, it wasn’t an option to declaw a cat. We were instructed of course on how to amputate a limb in the case of an incurable disease or an accident when the animal’s leg couldn’t be saved. As I see it there is no way to declaw a cat apart from the amputation of the last phalanx which can’t be called declawing at all.
Q.Do you know of the problems declawing can cause a cat?
A. I’d say there has to be both mental and physical trauma and the cat prone to serious complications later in life.
Q. Why do you think some vets continue to declaw cats?
A. Because it’s legal and pleases the client and I expect it brings in much revenue also.
Q. Have you heard of the Paw Project?
A. Yes I have.
Q. Have you heard of the Paw Project branches in various cities who are gathering hard scientific facts about the consequences of declawing?
A. My colleague mentioned something about that the other day, he’s a right internet buff, but I haven’t had time to look into it yet. To be honest because it doesn’t affect our country I don’t see there is much point. I’ve quite enough to contend with already running a busy practice. But take heart, I can’t envisage declawing staying legal for much longer.
Q. The Paw Project vets are x-raying the paws of declawed cats from animal/cat shelters because despite the excuse declawing vets make that declawing cats keeps them in their homes, it isn’t so. They are finding a high percent of those cats with bone fragments from botched declawing. Those cats live their lives in pain.
A. Shocking but not surprising because as I already said there is no way to declaw a cat, it’s physically impossible to amputate the claws alone.
Q. Would you come out publicly against USA vets who declaw?
A. No, sorry I don’t think any vet from any country would. It’s down to professional ethics again. But that doesn’t mean if I met up with an American vet who declaws I wouldn’t have a quiet word in his ear on how I feel about the subject.
Q. So you would like to see declawing banned worldwide?
A. God, yes for sure.
Q. Were you ever asked to declaw a cat before it was illegal in the UK?
A. Not at all in my so far 30+ years of practising, first as an employee and then with my own practice.
Q. Just one last question, do you think all UK vets are of the same mind as you?
A. I can’t speak for them of course but yes I’d guess so.
Thanks John, it was very kind of you to take the time to answer all these questions.
That’s fine Ruth, if I can answer any more for Mr Broad or anyone please feel free to contact me again.
Keep in touch now, regards to your family.
Ruth aka Kattaddorra
P.S. I have found out that many British people import declawed cats from the US! That means that there are many Brits who would like their cats to be declawed. Shame on them.
I would like to add that many years ago I asked my veterinarian what he thought about American veterinarians declawing cats and he did not want to answer or discuss it. I find that very poor behaviour. It seems that he was scared that I would write about it on my website and that it would create problems for him. It seems that he knew that I had a popular website and that his words would be amplified and cause problems. So, this British vet did not have the strength of character to decry declawing which I think is a weakness because it desperately needs to stop.
Below are some pages on declawing. There are hundreds more ?.