Can a cat rescue organization be a genuine shelter if they declaw cats?

Wags and Whiskers advert
Wags and Whiskers advert
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The words “declaw” and “rescue” or “shelter” don’t go together. A Michigan rescue organization, Wags and Whiskers, advertised seven kittens for adoption on Petfinder as follows:

“We just got 7 new babies back from foster homes. They are a variety of colrs and both males and females. They are 9 weeks old and will be ready for their new, 100% indoor homes 4/16/15. They can be separated. They will be tested, vaccinated, dewormed, front declawed, and spayed/neutered. They are friendly, litter box trained and used to being handled. Adoption donation of $195 each to help defray the cost of the vet care.”

The declawing that they do is packaged in with vaccinations and deworming as if declcawing is the same sort of treatment when it positively is not. It is ten amputations carried out at the same time in 15 minutes. It is not always done that accurately. There are many possible medical complications despite what declaw advocates state.

By declawing they automatically make their cats indoor cats. There are a lot of people in authority who would like all cats to remain indoors or within the confines of the owner’s home. Is someone putting pressure on Wags and Whiskers to ensure their cats end up indoor only?

How many rescue organizations automatically declaw cats before they are adopted out? Why are they presuming that their clients accept declawing? Not all Americans accept declawing. Many millions strongly dislike it. By declawing kittens they are narrowing the number of possible adopters.

It is more serious that though, in my eyes. A rescue organization’s purpose is to rescue and shelter cats. Their role is to protect their cats from harm and to make sure they are healthy and confident when adopted.

Declawing is regarded by about 500 million people in other countries as a form of cat cruelty and a crime. Therefore by the standard of this huge number of people this cat shelter is involved in cat cruelty on a grand scale and in effect gravely injuring the cat for non-therapeutic purposes.

They can’t legitimately describe themselves as a “shelter”. They are more like the opposite: cat abusers. It defies logic to me.

It appears that Wags and Whiskers is run by a veterinarian and a vet tech who work at the Allen Animal Hospital.

The advert quoted above was justifiably criticized by anti-declaw people. On protesting, the advert was apparently changed to read:

“These two sweet sisters are available and looking for their forever homes. They can be separated. The one who looks black and white actually has orange coloring too and is calico. Her sister is a torti. They have been spayed, tested neg., vaccinated, dewormed and front declawed.”

This is not much different but what happened to the other five? It is not illegal to declaw in the USA except for in 8 cities in California.

However, even the toothless AVMA say it should be a last resort. Declawing cats and kittens on an automatic basis as if it is the equivalent of deworming is about as far from the AVMA guidelines as it is possible to envisage and it’s a breach of oath.

Wags and Whiskers is not a shelter in my opinion. It is a processor of vulnerable cats and kittens and when they arrive they are in jeopardy of suffering a grave injury at the hands of “carers”. It is a dangerous place for cats.

Source: Michigan rescue changes Petfinder ad after stating kittens will be declawed – Greenville Cats |

17 thoughts on “Can a cat rescue organization be a genuine shelter if they declaw cats?”

  1. I agree whole heartedly Michael, it’s terrible that a shelter is ‘advertising’ the declawing of kittens, as if it’s a good thing. They may think that the kittens will be more adoptable if declawed, because people want a cat but not all the inconviences attached, e.g. claws equal damaged furniture. Material possessions are more important to them. As we know, cats require some attention, but often a culture of laziness pervades. I don’t know why people think this way – the best solution for possible scratching is to cut off the toes?? My cats have always been indoor cats, and I clip their nails regularly. They also have scratching posts. They do not scratch people! I still have had a little bit of damage to furniture, but I guess I like real live cats better than furniture! I have friends with outdoor cats and they also have some problems with scratching indoors. Here in Australia declawing is illegal, thank goodness!

  2. I agree that this is abuse and they shouldn’t call themselves a shelter. I also agree with the above comment that if you’re too lazy to clip your cats nails and want them declawed instead then you don’t deserve to have a cat.

  3. De-clawing is not what it appears, from the words. The claws aren’t the only part that’s removed. It’s not just “nail clipping”. It’s the entire first joint of the toes, as Michael has posted somewhere here that shows a diagram.

    Imagine all your fingers being cut off at the 2nd knuckle! How would that affect your life? Would those parts of your fingers grow back?

    There are many potential problems with this barbaric practice, and to see an organization like this doing it as a routine is mind blowing. What can we do? There may already be a petition. Does anyone know?

    • I’m also wondering if there is a petition. I agree- I find it outrageous that declawing is part of their routine procedures.

  4. Nope, they’re not a shelter. Declawing cats causes more problems than it solves. It’s painful and abusive to the animal. If someone pulled all ten of my fingernails I’d be extremely ticked off too. Cats feel the same way. Declawed cats are defenseless, so they turn to the only other defense they have left, their teeth. They bite. It’s a sure bet that some of those declawed cats from Wags and Whiskers will end up right back in a shelter because of that.

    Declawing causes more problems than it solves, and the problems aren’t really problems in the first place. Dealing with a cat’s claws is part of the territory. A person too lazy to clip claws and provide scratching posts shouldn’t have a cat in the first place. Declawing is beneficial, all right–for the lazy human.

    And then too, there’s the basic problem with that process: if the process is done incorrectly, sometimes the claws grow back. What then?


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