ASPCA are wrong about cat declawing

Here is the reason why ASPCA are wrong about declawing cats. Today, there is a tweet from City the Kitty which states that “ASPCA ultimately condones declawing and is helping declawing vets make money from this cruelty”. They want people to ask Subaru to stop donating millions to ASPCA. Subaru is the biggest contributor to ASPCA.

The tweet caught my eye. I’ve just read ASPCA’s statement on declawing cats. It starts off with an unequivocal sentence: “The ASPCA is strongly opposed to declawing cats”. A good start. But this statement is fatally qualified and undone further down their article.

ASPCA condones this - declawing
ASPCA condones this – declawing. Image by MikeB at PoC
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The SPCA are against jurisdictions such as US states and cities banning cat declawing because they say that in rare cases the procedure might be necessary in order to prevent euthanasia.

They want declawing to be legal and a decision to declaw a cat should be based upon a discussion between the client (the cat’s owner) and the veterinarian. And they want veterinarians to inform their clients of alternative, nonsurgical methods to address destructive clawing.

They are saying exactly what the veterinarians who declawed cats say. This is exactly the defence of veterinarians when they justify maintaining cat declawing and when they object to a ban on declawing. I’ve seen transcripts of meetings on banning declawing and this what vets say.

And the ASPCA are wrong. They are very wrong. And the reason is actually pretty obvious. Veterinarians, in general (there are exceptions) do not discuss matters with their client about alternatives to declawing. Many of them actively promote declawing to make money. Some even give out bloody vouchers for discount declawing! ??

You can’t trust American veterinarians to do the right thing. You can’t trust them to make cat declawing a last resort. Often, they make it the first step to take if their client comes into them and says that they don’t like their cat’s claws because they damage the furniture and they scratch grandmother or the kids.

Under these circumstances the veterinarian should actively resist declawing and tell their client that it is cruel and a mutilation of their paws and that there are alternatives which they must take. They should sit them down and take 15 minutes to explain those alternatives. They don’t do this. I don’t think they do it at all, ever, which is why millions of kittens are declawed in the USA every year.

So – I’ll say it again – the SPCA are wrong and it seems to me that they are the mouthpiece of declawing veterinarians. This goes against their animal welfare philosophy because they know, as we all know, that declawing is cruel. It is actually barbaric as described by Dr. Bruce Fogle DVM in the UK, the world’s best-known veterinarian and author.

The ASPCA conclude their article with this limp and hopeless sentence: “Veterinarians should decline to perform declawed procedures except in the rare instance where all other humane alternatives have been exhausted.”

Note the word “should”. Feeble language. Why didn’t they use the word “must”. An imperative. With their kind of language, I have to conclude that City the Kitty are correct and that ASPCA ultimately condones declawing. In which case they are shameful and an embarrassment to the animal welfare establishment.

ASPCA stands for American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. On declawing they tear up the reason for their existence.

Below are some more articles on the complications of declawing. IT IS TIME THAT IT STOPPED. IT IS A HORRIBLE ABBERATION IN VETERINARY ‘CARE’. IT IS NOT CARE AT ALL. The pictures accompanying City the Kitty’s tweet are nothing short of horrendous. It is horrible. How did American vets come to this? To reject their oath so resoundingly?

Declawed cats are seven times more likely to pee in inappropriate places

A lot of vet techs are forced to work at declawing veterinary clinics against their wishes

Because cat owners are experiencing problems with their declawed cat after the operation it is common for them to take ...
NJ vets have a poor argument as to why they declaw cats

American veterinarians’ excuse for declawing is plain wrong

For quite a while the American state of New Jersey has been debating a ban on declawing cats. It looks ...
California Legislature

Disaster: California’s bill to ban declawing died at committee stage

Those of us who hate cat declawing will have to wait longer for a state in America to be the ...
Declawing a lioness in a Palestinian zoo

Declawed cats cry in pain throughout the night (clinic employee)

A veterinary clinic employee wrote to Mercury News in response to a previous letter which supported cat declawing. The person ...
cats sleeping together

Can a declawed cat live with a clawed cat?

Someone, somewhere asked whether they can adopt a cat who is not declawed when their resident cat is declawed. The ...
Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

7 thoughts on “ASPCA are wrong about cat declawing”

  1. As mentioned, I am not seeking out additional cats. I will leave the homeless cats in shelters and on display at pet stores, or worse.
    Simple. Maybe PETA will be more humane and decide to kill more.

  2. I have not encountered veterinarians who push declawing. The veterinarian was nonjudgemental, often as they are w/ ie euthanasia decisions.

    You distort the decision made as advocating for blanket declawing vs being realistic with the stats on how many cats are homeless, in crowded shelters, hoarding situations, abused, euthanized, then put in context. As originally stated, I set out to not declaw. But as you pointed out, I am a failure, not unique.

    IRL not every cat can find a human who stays home full time or can take pet-ternity leave, etc. Someone must pay for food, supplies, health care and the home. Redirecting behavior with cats, definitely not as simple as you portray, if commuting /working full time.

    One of my animal lover (collector) friends has a huge cat room w/ ~18 cats and they live like a feral colony. Better than euthanasia in his opinion. Is it better than a declaw, maybe?

    PETA mass euthanizes as an act of humanity – is amputation of front claws worse? You may think so, idk. They do.

    The felines I failed were among the happiest, loved, affectionate “abused” fur children living in their fur-ever home for almost 2 decades. Thankfully they did not share your opinion of their loser inept human, and for that (& them) I am forever grateful.

    Thx for the feedback. Take care.

    1. You may have found that veterinarians are non-judgemental but far too many veterinarians in America declaw cats which is entirely against their oath. The majority of veterinarians in America are in breach of their oath on a daily basis because they declaw cats for non-therapeutic reasons.

      Millions upon millions of kittens have been brutally mutilated under this legalised act of cruelty. And I’m afraid you present arguments which are overcomplicated. You seem to be justifying or finding excuses for declawing. You are intelligent but you are using your intelligence incorrectly. Essentially you approve of declawing and you’re trying to justify it with fancy arguments.

      The best argument is this: use your intelligence to avoid being scratched by your cat. That’s it. You don’t have to think about anything else. From that starting point there will be no declawing. And as for furniture you can use wide double-sided tape manufactured for the purpose together with a couple of extra-large scratching posts and some scratching boards and catnip. That will more or less resolve the problem of furniture being damaged.

      And if you can’t accept some furniture damage then you should not have a domestic cat. And if you can’t live with a domestic cat without mutilating them then once again, you should not have a domestic cat. Leave the task of cat caregiving to somebody who can do the job.

      Thanks for commenting but no thanks to your feeble arguments.

  3. Although I believe we both love animals, I think the ban is inappropriate and goes to far. Declawings in NJ have not been on the rise. Most, like me, at least try to avoid.

    20yrs ago, I adopted 2 kittens. I tried scratching posts, claw covers, and clipping nails – the latter two resulted in the kittens/teens scratching, biting and becoming distrusting of me. I did not WANT to declaw, but after 8 months of being scratched, bitten, and over 10k of damage to furniture, window treatments and walls, I either needed to surrender them, declaw or live (what turned out to be 18yrs) w/ destroyed belongings, intended & unintended scratching when needing to transport them in emergencies & regular veterinary visits. Its not unreasonable to want to have pets and keep home investment intact.

    When speaking w/ the veterinarian, he saw I was genuinely conflicted, upset w/ options, and he understood and stated he rather declaw then see cats surrendered, and he did bring up that often the destructiveness results in resentment by pet parents = restricting access in home, or worse situations including abuse related.

    He did not shame me, nor promote the service. It was expensive too. My cats thought they still had front claws & used to mark walls, “cover” food and swat my dog, insects etc. And their paws were not harmed by litter, used paper post op then very fine sand textured. They were totally okay at 1wk, very good after 2wks, and by 1 month, back to normal. If I did younger, less recovery time.

    I tried & failed all alternatives except surrendering. As stated, biggest error was waiting until they were older vs done very young when more resilient. They had proper pain mgmt, Fentanyl patches. I did not feel good about the decision. However felt better than the alternatives.

    My cats had no health or behavioral issues post declaw – except dislike of any medication given by mouth, which predated the declaw. They lived 16/18yrs – strictly indoors, as cats should be. They were loved, extremely healthy and well cared for – my priority was their wellbeing and mine, including investment in home. Balancing them worked out best for all involved.

    Take out someone (like me) that can afford to go the extra mile, well educated on animal health and behavior, and love animals more than most humans, and have many who end up w/ too many rescues w/ not enough resources or time to love & cater to individual pet needs.

    Both my cats bit (& scratched) me dealing with their claw mgmt more in ~6 months, than in the remaining years of their respective long lives. Only was bitten 1x post declaw, was when one required medication daily to extend her life – if she had claws I would have been shredded when trying to administer.

    If there were claw covers that stayed on, and did not risk being injured by your cats & destroying their trust; or free in home daycare services and vet/groomer complimentary claw trimming offered as needed in the home, maybe help. Sans these options, many need to choose between / prioritize as life situations change, or unprepared for destructive behavior – thinking that scratching post will solve home destruction and or claw covers, trimming nails is easy fix.

    Just like NJ is open for out of state abortions, prohibition is dumb. Regulating adequate pain control and pet parent education is better choice, IMO.

    I had said I would not choose to declaw again = first time in my life I am without a feline. However if there was a rescue, ie found kittens, cat, etc., I am one less animal lover who will be available to open my home. There are not many cats that are fine w/ cutting nails or claw cover placements. Definitely a 2 person job. Plus the claw covers do not stay on.

    There may be some cats that are not destructive, but yet to meet one. Oh and when ppl adopt cats, then have human babies.. cats often get surrendered for scratching babies/ young children. So as much as I dislike the concept, and felt guilty, trying to avoid, rather declaw vs surrender or worse.

    Plus suspect there will be less ppl willing to adopt cats.. or will take their cat to another state if desperately do not want to surrender, or want companion but cannot (or do not want) to risk injuries and or home damage.

    Just like abortion, (if one has a moral compass) the choice is filled with conflict – but ultimately the state should stay out of the veterinarian -patient/pet parent relationship. Should not pick & choose, as they condone & or mandate questionable health practices for felines, canines and wildlife.

    The state has done & legislated more harmful laws on animals; fails to invest in protection from real abuse, or adequate wildlife rehab and preservation. Our legislators are oxymorons & zealots are misguided or purposely deluding themselves with data spun to serve an agenda.

    If we prioritize pet health, male dogs would be better off unaltered from a health perspective. As for bitches, waiting longer – whether after 1/2heats or full skeletal growth, at least for larger breed dogs, is healthier. Early spay increases risk of spay incontinence, certain cancers and orthopedic issues, all that shorten their lives. But each human makes decision w/ veterinarian that balances multiple factors. And the shelters do ASAP, regardless of health consequences, for population control. Unsure of health issues w/ felines, as was not in control of choice. But suspect that the envelope is pushed.

    So declaw is only one issue where humans choose decisions for convenience – and tbh the declaw does not shorten lives, but spay/neuter and over vaccination, many flea & tick methods, top of mind, harms longevity and QOL of felines/canines – many mandated or approved w/o much thought. I prefer risk benefit analysis for pet human situation.

    The legislation is not for animals but politics, clearly based on NJ’s other behaviors including the recent absence of evidence of off shore work = flurry of dead whales (& other seal mammal beachings) = not worth halting survey work to see if deaths attenuate.

    We are pawns in political chess game, and Murphy right now has his sight on DC, so kill bears, stop the declaw, f.. marine mammals, wildlife rehab, etc. Only restriction that is truly helpful is banning pet shops from selling animals vs rescue / adoption. However still have purebreds being sold at stores, probably a political favor = loophole.

    In closing, most humans already struggle w/ decision to declaw. Many veterinary health decisions are made for the convenience of humans vs solely for the animal’s health. Veterinarians should educate and be able to determine what serves the best interests of all involved. Thx.

    1. Thank you for your lengthy comment. I love comments even if I disagree with the contents. And although I respect your opinion, I disagree with you. In the first few paragraphs you basically admit that you failed as a cat caregiver. You say that your new cats (kittens) caused $10,000 worth of damage and that they began to distrust you.

      I just think you played the options incorrectly. What I mean is you can avoid being scratched and you can minimise furniture being scratched. I have hardly ever been scratched over decades of cat ownership. It’s about using our intelligence to know how cats are going to respond and if we think they are going to respond with a scratch we avoid instigating it.

      We modify our behaviour which modifies a cat’s behaviour. They are reactive to what we do. We lead the way. We create the environment. It is our world. We can outsmart them. So, I think you simply played it all wrong. And because of that you declawed them. Everything else you say after that is really somewhat irrelevant. Note: I am not suggesting that you are not intelligent. You are but you applied your mind in the wrong way. You’ve mutilated your cats.

      And a ban on declawing is not going too far. I have studied declawing for about 15 years and I know what the veterinarians say and how they excuse their abysmal performance on declawing. Your veterinarian seems to be a decent man or woman but, in my experience, the majority are not like that. They don’t try and put off their client from declawing their cat. Some actively promote it.

      And you must remember that in 38 countries of the world declawing is banned. It is banned in the UK. Nobody even thinks about it in the UK. And there are about 10 million cats in the UK. If any of them are declawed it is because of some highly exceptional circumstances. As I said, people simply don’t think about it as an option.

      Declawing should never have been introduced into the American culture. America is unique (other than Canada) in this regard. And it is only in North America where declawing cats take place. North America is an exception and this is an aberration.

      It is not part of the unwritten agreement between cats and people to mutilate them. You’ve been lucky in that your cat apparently did not suffer any complications but about 60% of declawing operations are botched according to my research. The operations leave shards of bone in the paws. There has to be remedial operations. I could go on for ages about this but to conclude, I’m afraid you are incorrect.

      And a ban is necessary because the vets won’t change their ways and the state and federal governments need to send a message to Americans that this is unacceptable. The culture of declawing needs to be rooted out and legislation can change attitudes and minds. It can change habits. Declawing is a really bad habit and a very bad habit. It is unnecessary.

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