Cats don’t care if they have claws or not

Cats don’t care if they have claws or not

by Ann
(Lincoln, Nebraska)

I am the proud cat mom to three of the most beautiful creatures on the face of this earth. They own me, make no mistake about it. Chuck (almost 3 year old, spayed female); Tony Sue (almost 2-1/2 year old, spayed female); and Bobby (questionable age as he was a rescued cat, neutered male).

Chuck and Tony Sue came to live in our household when they were very tiny little babies, maybe 6 to 8 weeks old. Cute as little buttons they were, but really rascally! Bobby came to live with us because he needed a home and we had room for one more.

Chuck and Tony Sue were spayed and front declawed (using a laser, so they still have their full fingers) at the same time as they got their first shots. I specifically asked their vet how he declawed cats, and he explained the whole process to me. He emphasized that they would have a very rapid recovery and they would get to keep all their fingers, just the nail bed would be destroyed. They had no bandages on their feet and I didn’t see any blood or oozing or infection.

They didn’t walk as if their feet hurt them and they didn’t spend any more time washing their feet than they always spent bathing their whole bodies. Bobby was already neutered and front declawed when we got him, and I did check his front feet, and he still has his full fingers too, so his vet must have used a laser.

When Chuck and Tony Sue got home the day after their surgeries, they pretty much resumed their normal mayhem. They were a little slower, but their vet explained that the spaying would slow them down for a few days while their incisions healed.

The one thing they did do which kind of surprised me is they jumped off the back of the couch onto the floor. They didn’t do it just once right after they were declawed; they did it often, just like they always did. (I thought it was awful high up for little kittens, but these two are real daredevils! Always have been.)

These cats truly don’t seem to care that they don’t have their front claws anymore. I don’t know if Chuck and Tony Sue even remember having them! They all play, run, and jump like cats with claws. The only thing they don’t do is claw the furniture.

Other than that, none of them seems to be unhappy in any way. They all snuggle up to me when I take my nap and when I go to sleep for the night. They all jump up onto the back of my fabric computer chair and lean against my back.

They all love to cook, and they all gather in the kitchen to “help” me! Tony Sue is my talker, and she keeps up a running “conversation” with me all day long, every day. They all knead me when I hold them and carry them around the house. And they all sing to me every time I touch them or talk directly to them.

I’ve had two toenails removed – right foot big toe and left foot second toe. (The worst part of the whole ordeal was the two shots of anesthesia in each toe.) I came out with a bandage wrapped around my whole toe which I was told to leave on until the next day, then soak the toe, Neosporin and a band-aid. The doctor told me to take Tylenol if I had any pain, but he also told me not to expect any pain because I probably wouldn’t have any. I had no pain, no infection, no nothing. I kept my toes covered with Neosporin and a band-aid for about a week to two weeks, and then I took the band-aids off. It was no big deal for me, and I’m pretty sure my cats felt the same way about their nails.


Comments for
Cats don’t care if they have claws or not

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 04, 2012 They care they only have stumps NEW
by: Edward

I dont know how you can say cats dont care if they have claws or not man.
They do care like wed care if we had nothing on our fingers to use just useless stumps.
Its worse for cats as well cos they walk on them stumps.
They cant say man what has happened to me they dont know any more than you left them at a scary place and they woke up in pain and different.
Ive read about declawed cats still trying to scratch cos they cant believe anybody would take what was theirs.
They dont know you had it done to them on purpose they only know its not the right way for a cat to live but what can they do nothing but live like it if the people they trusted let them down.
I am feeling tears on my face for Misty with her poor paw and its very bad the people who had her toes hacked off didnt look after her for ever.

Feb 03, 2012 i’m declawed
by: Misty

My people had me declawed then threw me into a shelter. I got adopted out and those people brought me back because of bad behavior. I was on death row when mama adopted me. I been with her a year. I live in a cabinet and stay on top of the fridge. Its no fun to play without claws. I’ve pulled out clumps of hair right after I came here. I now have an ulcer on my paw caused by walking bad since my claws are gone. I’m 10 years old. Can you please tell me how what you did was good for your cats and not for YOU? I really want to know…

Feb 02, 2012 Psychological effects of declawing
by: Mary, previously anonymous

I do believe there are many people that adopt cats, may think they are good prospective cat parents. Before you consider adopting any animal, you owe it to yourself and the adoptee to learn what you are getting yourselves into.

Cats are fun, inquisitive, slinky, adorable, little loves, that deserve someone that will love them totally….including toes and claws.

Cats are trainable (many non-cat people think not) most cats WILL try to claw on your precious couch or chair. All of my adopters tried it. I have been successful with all my cats using just one method….in all cases, worked like charm!…..first and foremost, I bought plenty of legit scratching items….scratch posts, both horizontal and vertical and carpet covered cat trees with rope wraps.

When two of my cats decided to still try the couch, it took only one placement of double sided tape place in the preferred scratch zone to bring a TOTAL halt to that activity. It has now been three years, I’ve not had a scratch in any area except that, that is designated for scratch use. Cats are not stupid, nor untrainable, therefore I simply cannot fathom ANY reason for declawing.

And I am not afraid to say, if your love for that couch or chair is that great….perhaps….you are not cat material….stick with a goldfish.

Feb 02, 2012 Psycological problems with declawing
by: Mary, previously anonymous

Long term Problems Following Declaw Surgery
Psychological & Behavioral Complications

Some cats are so shocked by declawing that their personalities change. Cats who were lively and friendly have become withdrawn and introverted after being declawed. Others, deprived of their primary means of defense, become nervous, fearful, and/or aggressive, often resorting to their only remaining means of defense, their teeth.

In some cases, when declawed cats use the litterbox after surgery, their feet are so tender they associate their new pain with the box…permanently, resulting in a life-long adversion to using the litter box.

Other declawed cats that can no longer mark with their claws, they mark with urine instead resulting in inappropriate elimination problems, which in many cases, results in relinquishment of the cats to shelters and ultimately euthanasia.

Many of the cats surrendered to shelters are surrendered because of behavioral problems which developed after the cats were declawed.

Risk factors for relinquishment of cats to an animal shelter:

“Among 218 cats relinquished to a shelter, more than(52.4%) declawed cats than non-declawed cats (29.1%) were reported by owners to have inappropriate elimination problems.”

Source: World Small Animal Veterinary Association – 2001

The incidence of behavior problems following onychectomy in cats; two months to five years (median 11.5 months) after surgery:

“(33%) developed at least one behavior problem.
“(17.9%) had an increase in biting habits or intensity.”
“(15.4%) would not use the litter box”

Source: World Small Animal Veterinary Association – 2001

Many declawed cats become so traumatized by this painful mutilation that they end up spending their maladjusted lives perched on top of doors and refrigerators, out of reach of real and imaginary predators against whom they no longer have any adequate defense.

A cat relies on its claws as its primary means of defense. Removing the claws makes a cat feel defenseless. The constant state of stress caused by a feeling of defenselessness may make some declawed cats more prone to disease. Stress leads to a myriad of physical and psychological disorders including suppression of the immune system, cystitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)..

“The consequences of declawing are often pathetic. Changes in behavior can occur. A declawed cat frequently resorts to biting when confronted with even minor threats. Biting becomes an overcompensation for the insecurity of having no claws. Bungled surgery can result in the regrowth of deformed claws or in an infection leading to gangrene. Balance is affected by the inability to grasp with their claws. Chronic physical ailments such as cystitis or skin disorders can be manifestations of a declawed cat’s frustration and stress”

David E. Hammett, DVM

Feb 02, 2012 2parts on psychological problems with declawing
by: Mary, previously anonymous

“The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights is opposed to cosmetic surgeries and to those performed to correct ‘vices.’

Declawing generally is unacceptable because the suffering and disfigurement it causes is not offset by any benefits to the cat.

Declawing is done strictly to provide convenience for people. The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR)

Some veterinarians have argued that some people would have their cats killed if declawing was not an option. We should not, however, allow ourselves to taken ’emotional hostage’ like this.

If a person really would kill her or his cat in this case, it is reasonable to question the suitability of that person as a feline guardian, especially when there are millions of non-declawed cats living in harmony with people.”

Most people are vehemently opposed to declawing due to a combination of reasons:

1) because the end (owner convenience) doesn’t justify the means (causing unnecessary pain to the cat);

2) because other, less harmful alternatives to declawing exist and

3) because claws are part of the nature or “catness” of cats. Overall, the view is that it is ethically inappropriate to remove parts of an animal’s anatomy, thereby causing the animal pain, merely to fit the owner’s lifestyle, aesthetics, or convenience without any benefit to the cat.

It should be emphasized that “most people” includes virtually the entire adult population of Europe and many other countries around the world.

Feb 02, 2012 I agree with everything on this page except your article, Ann.
by: Leah England

You make it sound so great to be a cat living in your house. You’ve convinced yourself so well that what you’ve done is all fine and dandy but we know differently; you’ll never convince us.

Why did you just get suckered in by everything your vet told you? Are you too lazy to do your own research? Or is it the same with scratching posts; you’re just too lazy to get them and teach your kittens to use them?

You were keen enough to write this article and sing the praises of laser de-clawing why don’t you now look at some of the truth about de-clawing? You can find plenty on this website.

I hope you now realise that the ‘nails’ as you call them are embedded in bone and that section of bone is burnt off.

Time you educated yourself.

Feb 02, 2012 Tiny kittens deprived for life
by: Disgusted

So you are saying a last resort procedure was performed on your 2 tiny kittens.

I don’t understand!

How did you know they would have such serious scratching behavior that they would have to have their finger ends amputated?

Oh I get it, you didn’t did you, you were only more concerned about your furniture. You didn’t even try to train them to use a scratching post, you simply took the easy lazy convenient way out for your own selfish ends.

Now you think their fingers are still intact, look again, they are deformed and you paid to have them made that way.

No thought for the future, too concerned your own toenails were taken care of because they HAD to be, not because someone chose for you to have healthy parts removed. No that only happens to cats with ignorant owners like you.

When will people like you get it that declawing is cruel and that although your cats may be fine now they may not always be and that will be YOUR fault.

Do us a favor and get yourself a goldfish as your next pet, that’s all you are fit to care for.

Feb 02, 2012 Declawed cats in Shelters
by: Ruth

Anonymous is right. There are thousands of unwanted declawed cats in Shelters. In no kill Shelters they sit in cages for years, in kill Shelters they are eventually killed, if not when they first arrive, then they are under a death sentence if not adopted quickly.
Pitifully few declawed cats are adopted and of those who are some are returned when their problems arise.
The declawed cats you see on Petfinder don’t include the unadoptable ones and no one knows how many are killed, there are no records for us to see !
This lazy persons quick fix costs cats lives and I find it very sad that people are ignorant of that fact and don’t find out for themselves what declawing really is.
I hope you are prepared to care for your declawed cats for their lifetime no matter what problems they develop, veterinary treatment isn’t as cheap as providing scratching posts to keep clawed cats healthy and happy.

Feb 02, 2012 Sold down the river…
by: Barbara

Sorry Ann, your vet saw you coming and thought, “Here’s another sucker to talk into having her kitties finger ends amputated, yippee more big bucks for moi”, yup seriously you were taken for a mug and your ignorance of the declawing procedure exploited by a greedy, fast talking professional pimp, moreover he/she brainwashed you and got you singing the praises of laser declawing like a little birdie. How many people have you convinced with your enthusiasm? How many cats have been declawed as a result of you praising this cruel and unnecessary procedure? Shameful!
I found it very sad to read that you think your cats don’t even miss their claws, madam those claws belonged on those cats, they were theirs by right to use as nature intended, and YOU have robbed them. I think you’d find that they do care, very much, but they have no redress do they? Their claws are gone, YOU are all powerful, they have no choice but to adapt to the rough deal life has given them.
And as for your toenails – don’t even compare that piddling experience with the loss of ten important digits, the dreadful finality of ten amputations.

Barbara avatar

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Feb 01, 2012 Declawing….even by “laser”
by: Anonymous

I’m sorry….But I just can’t believe anyone would do something so heinous to a cat adopted into a family. When I went to the humane society to adopt my last kitty, I looked at many deserving cats waiting for adoption, many had been declawed, unfortunately, I passed by all adults that had been declawed, simply because I think it’s cruel….I have never had a declawed cat…..all of my cats still are clawed, therefore I could not bring a cat without claws into my home. Let’s face it, cats get into squabbles at times, use their claws. A declawed kitty would be defenseless against my kitties. When kitties are declawed, they tend to use their teeth and bite when confronted, a cats mouth is much more deadly than it’s claws. So you may think if your cat is declawed it will find a home more quickly….in most cases, it won’t. I just feel so sad that cat lovers like me, have to pass by many beautiful cats just because it can be detrimental to both them and the kitties I currently care for at home.

Feb 01, 2012 Cruel surgery
by: Mrs M

Well lucky you having no pain but then of course you didn’t have amputations did you,merely some useless toenails taken off.
You won’t get phantom pains in your nail-less toes and it won’t affect you walking or cause you arthritis like declawing does to cats.
You’ve got your fingers and entire toes and you can live a normal life but most of all your furniture will be happy because you had a vet mutilate your cats on its behalf.
Why did you get cats if you don’t like they are born with claws?
That’s what I can’t understand,never mind blaming the vet,your cats welfare is your responsibilty.
I bet you found out exactly what the surgeon would do to your own feet!
What a pity you didn’t do the same for your now crippled cats.
Of course cats care if they have claws,what can they do when saomeone has had them burned away? Just get on with their lives as best they can not knowing that you who they trust betrayed that trust by the cruellest surgery you can do to a cat.

Feb 01, 2012 Take a look at what you’ve done
by: Rose

Declawing, Defingering, No Difference

and don’t tell us you having a couple of toenails removed is worse than your cats having their finger ends burned off.

All for the sake of your furniture!

Feb 01, 2012 Of course they care !
by: Ruth

Your cats do not have their full fingers, they are missing the last joint of every one and walking on bone which was meant to be cushioned. There is no way to declaw a cat without amputating the last joint !
Scratching is not bad behaviour it’s necessary behaviour for a cat to live a healthy and content life.
Your cats may have recovered quickly and that’s because cats do, they accept being disabled because they have no choice but to adapt to living that way.
As they age they are very likely to develop painful arthritis because they now can’t dig in their claws to stretch their leg, shoulder, back and stomach muscles. They can’t groom properly or play as cats like to, hooking a toy with their front fingers to kick with the back paws.
You really don’t know what you’ve done do you, all you care is that your precious inanimate furniture is intact.
Declawing is supposed to be a last resort for serious scratching problems and NOT as a prevention to protect furniture.
It’s so very easy to teach a cat to use a scratching post and ensure they have a healthy, happy and fulfilled life.
Declawing is the lazy way out for people unfit to have cats in their home.
Declawing is cruel and unnecessary and far different to a person having toenails removed.
Your vet has broken his/her oath to cause no animal to suffer. Declawing causes suffering and that is why it’s banned in 39 countries as animal abuse.
You have paid to have your poor cats disabled and you have ruined their lives.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 01, 2012 Misconception
by: Michael

Thanks for posting and sharing. However, you will get some comments that you will no doubt dislike on this site because we all hate declawing because we love whole cats.

I think you have misconceptions about the declawing process and I think that your vet is lying to you and to blame.

He says, “He emphasized that…they would get to keep all their fingers, just the nail bed would be destroyed..”

This description by the vet means that the last part of the toe beyond the last knuckle is removed. Your cats do not have whole toes I am afraid.

It is not the same as removing a person’s nail as you have described.

Whether laser of knife is used for the declawing operation the same part of the toe is removed.

The claw is attached and imbedded into the bone of the last phalange of the toe.

The incision is made at the joint. Laser declawing is meant to cause less bleeding but it does cause more burning.

Either way it is brutally wrong. I am afraid you have been thoroughly indoctrinated by the veterinary profession and the American culture that says that declawing is acceptable.

If you lived in Israel or England or one of about 30 countries, you would have been put on trial in a criminal court and convicted with your vet for animal cruelty!

Sounds strange but it is absolutely true.

However, thanks once again for sharing. In some ways I don’t blame you. It is just the culture and those damn vets who can’t resist the fast buck and who themselves are indoctrinated.

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo