There is a wonderful webpage on Facebook presented by The Paw Project, which lists a host of cat rescue rehoming services and organisations which insist that adopters do not declaw the cat that they are adopting. It is written into their contract.
Each rescue group explains the problems with declawing and why they shun it. Their reasons are eloquently written. These are intelligent, sensible managers who had seen the effects of declawing. They have seen the damage that it does psychologically and behaviourally. They see it first-hand. They pass on what they have learnt to potential adopters. This is such an important service. It chips away at this institutionalized assault on domestic cats.
There are numerous stories of how declawed cats find their way to these rescue organisations and how they have behavioural issues and are simply less good as domestic cats. Declawing take something away from these cats and it is much more than their claws.
For example, Laura Cohen of Noah’s Ark Animal Foundation wrote that they have seen far too many declawed cats relinquished to the shelter because of litter box issues and biting. She says that when she wrote that statement there was a cat at her foundation whose litter box problems were so severe that it would be impossible to adopt her out.
Mary Kramolowsky of Pet Adoption and Welfare Services of OK says that they have rescued many declawed cats and seen behavioural issues which they believe are related to declawing. These include improper urination and biting. She makes the point that declawed cats in general do not get along with other cats. She makes an interesting point about their weight. Declawed cats tend to be overweight because they are more passive i.e. static because of the pain in their feet. Declawed cats are not reluctant to bite in compensating for their missing claws. This means that they are not safer with children or babies.
Mary also makes a fascinating comment about veterinarians’ argument that declawing saves the lives of cats because it stops them being abandoned. Mary says that she is yet to “run into a vet who has an office system that denotes ‘declawed’ in the patient history, so they can’t even examine trends for their declawed cats”. We all know that the veterinarians’ argument is complete baloney and a pathetic and desperate attempt to hang onto this objectionable and unnecessary mutilation of the domestic cat.
Mary educates every adopter who comes to her adoption service to ensure that they are fully aware of the reality of declawing.
Anna Brown of South Bay Cat Adoptions in San Diego sums it up when she says that they prohibit adopters from declawing cats because “we believe in medical procedures that benefit the animal, and not the EXACT OPPOSITE.”
There are so many wonderfully intelligent comments as mentioned on this webpage which I urge you to visit.
Karla Gimae Pan of Blue Ridge Humane Society makes a useful comparison between dogs and cats. Dogs like to chew on things. This can destroy possessions. Cats like to scratch on things and this can do the same. And yet, a veterinarian never recommends that a dog owner should remove a dog’s teeth. Why has it ever come about that veterinarians decided to remove a cat’s claws?
All these cat rescue, rehoming organisations have strict policies against adopting out to people who want to declaw cats. It is strictly forbidden. There are no exceptions. If there are doubts about the customer then they cannot adopt the cat. That is the way it should be. That is the way you can gradually educate the public and regrettably it is the way to re-educate the public who have already been advised by veterinarians who have misled them.
I would like to think that more and more animal rescue rehoming services are taking this strict stance against declawing because it is a wonderful way to stop it. Eventually veterinarians will get the message. They will lose the battle. But shame on them that there has to be a battle in the first place and that they cannot bring themselves to stop doing it voluntarily.
I have simply selected one or two examples from shelters. There are many more on the page in question. It is highly educational. It may change your mind.