Declawed cats pee seven times more often outside litter box than non-declawed cats

Message to cat owners: Do you want to own a cat who refuses to use the litter box and pees on your nice carpet? And is in pain and walks funny? And bites? Your declawed cat can’t scratch your sofa but he’s quite likely to pee on your carpet…

“We now have scientific evidence that declawing is more detrimental to our feline patients than we originally thought….”

Little by little the pressure is piling up on North American veterinarians to wake up to reality and to the truth, to tap into any morality that they have within them and decide to stop declawing cats because the evidence is mounting that cat declawing has profound detrimental effects upon the domestic cat.

Research published on May 23, 2017 in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery informs us that declawed cats pee seven times more often outside of the litterbox than non-declawed cats. Yes, cats are seven times more likely to pee on the carpet or on the bed or anywhere else which is softer than the material of the litter box. The video below focuses on this. Cat rescue centers can testify to this statistic as they receive surrendered declawed cats because of peeing inappropriately.

If that isn’t bad enough, biting occurred four times more often in declawed cats than normal cats. Aggression occurred three times more often and over grooming also occurred three times more often than non-declawed cats. Overgrooming indicates heighten levels of stress. Do cat owners really want this for their cat?

Shockingly, the research also reported that declawed cats were almost 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with back pain than non-declawed cats. It is believed that this is because of the shortening of the declawed limb which alters the gait of the cat. Alternatively it is due to chronic pain at the site of the surgery which results in shifting the weight to the pelvic limbs to compensate. Remember cats are digitigrades: they walk on their toes. How cruel can vets be? Cats have to learn have to walk in a different way.

Cats Are Digitigrades! Stop Declawing Digitigrades!

Another shocking statistic from this study is that fragments of bone were found in 63% of declawed cats (botched surgery). In other words when a veterinarian guillotines off the last phalange of the paws of the cat he leaves behind shards of bone which remain under the surface of the skin causing acute discomfort to the cat. Not only does a veterinarian mutilate a cat against his oath he also leaves the cat in permanent pain until the shard is removed. This surely cannot be acceptable to veterinarians across North America? Remember veterinarians are aware of this. This strongly points to medical negligence. Someone should sue their vet.

The technique of declawing is inherently flawed because no matter how optimal the surgical technique it does not eliminate the risk of leaving behind bits of bone. Surely this is mass medical negligence?

The removal of the “distal phalange” (the last section of the toe from the last joint into which the claw is embedded) forces the cat to put his/her weight on the soft cartilaginous ends of the middle phalanges (the middle bone) which are normally shielded with joint spaces. Because of pain, this forces the cat to walk on soft surfaces such as carpet hence the very high increase in peeing on surfaces other than cat litter.

Also, the pain suffered by a declawed cat may cause him/her to react to being touched by biting as she has no claws to defend herself with.

The lead author of the paper is Nicole Martell-Moran. She is a veterinary practitioner in a cat only clinic in Houston Texas USA. The quote at the top of this page is hers. She hopes that the study will lead veterinarians to reconsider declawing cats.

Personally, I would hope that if veterinarians don’t reconsider declawing cats and then stop it, that it is banned nationwide. New York state is one state seriously considering a ban against declawing which may snowball into a nationwide ban – God willing.

Study published on

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

2 thoughts on “Declawed cats pee seven times more often outside litter box than non-declawed cats”

  1. Let me give a nuanced comment (but please don’t send me hate mail!) Long ago I was living in Boston & working on legislation to permit pet ownership in federally assisted housing for elderly and handicapped persons. After the law passed I placed a lovely rescue cat (appropriately named Lucky) with a gentleman who lived in such a 5th-story apartment. All was well until Lucky began to tear at the screened window & we were afraid that he would claw out the window & fall. Maybe we should have tried harder to retrain him, etc. or find other solutions, but declawing finally seemed necessary. I’m not writing to defend that but to explain what happened next.
    I took him to a famous & excellent animal hospital & maybe that made the difference. All I can say is that I picked him up afterwards & kept him with me overnight, then brought him to his home & monitored the situation for days, weeks & even months afterwards. Lucky never showed any problems, physical or behavioral, from being declawed, even right after the anesthesia wore off.
    I don’t think that man would have been able to keep him if this hadn’t been done, given what I now realize was our poor knowledge of alternatives.
    So what does this prove? Maybe nothing at all. I’m not writing to argue that declawing is justifiable — if ever there could be justification, it would be so rare as to be statistically insignificant. But I can attest to the fact that it can sometimes be done without traumatic after effects –I don’t know how rarely. And I later rescued & kept several other declawed cats (one dumped in a NY post office) that showed no problems. As I said, this probably proves nothing, but it offers a slightly different perspective (& please don’t hate me!)

    1. We either grow as people or get mired in what we thought was OK or was acceptable years ago.
      When we had the same fear we invested in the new and wonderful pet safe screens and added hardware cloth as reinforcement.
      Thank you for taking in declawed cats. They’re often listed as having behavior issues at shelters.
      The only thing I will argue with you over is that it can sometimes be done without any traumatic after effects. Perhaps but that still doesn’t make it right or acceptable.

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