Declawed Cats Suffering In Silence

This is a quote from Tina with the declawed cat who is scheduled to have her paws X-rayed to send to Dr Kirsten Doub, the Paw Project Utah vet.

‘Mollie lays around a lot right now so I don’t see her exhibiting much pain outwardly’

She gave me permission to use it in the hopes that it will urge anyone else worried about their declawed cat, to seek advice from a non declawing vet.

Declawing cats poster
Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The reason Mollie lays around a lot is probably because it hurts her to walk! She has other signs also that her declawing as a young cat is bothering her…

Not digging in the litter box and shaking her paws…

There have been quite a few incidents lately of cats suffering from a botched declawing they had years before as kittens. So much for the excuse that declaw vets use, that it’s better done to a young kitten.

We might say ALL declaws are botched because there is no way to declaw a cat without botching it, the reason being that a cat’s claws are embedded in bone, they were never meant to be removed. Cutting through bone is very likely to shatter that bone! In my vet nurse days assisting at necessary amputations of various limbs I saw the evidence of that.

How many declawed cats are walking around with shards of bone in their mutilated paws? There could be thousands!

Over the years those shards move and cause the cat pain. But we all know how stoic cats are, they hide that pain for as long as they can, so that by the time a vet sees the poor cats, every step they take must be agony.

A cat’s deepest instinct from his long ago wild ancestors tells him that showing pain makes him vulnerable to other creatures. A declawed cat in pain must feel even more vulnerable, he knows he can’t defend himself without his claws, as nature intended him to.

Pro declaws say cats declawed as kittens never miss their claws. Of course they do!

The classic signs of a declawed cat having painful paws are:

  • Litter box avoidance, using soft furnishings or carpet instead, or using the litter box but not digging in the litter to cover his wee or poo.
  • Avoiding jumping, a declawed cat has no grip to balance as he jumps up a height and to jump down from a height hurts his paws as he lands.
  • Shaking his paws, trying to shake off the pain.

As it becomes harder to hide his pain he may start hiding away, he thinks if he can’t see you, you can’t see him. If he stops eating it’s very urgent he sees a vet, he may have abscesses in his mutilated toes.

Pro declaw vets may try to dismiss his trouble saying it’s nothing to do with his declawing, they don’t want to admit that it causes many cats life long physical and mental problems. They don’t care about cats, they only care about the money they make from mutilating their paws. They don’t want to stop doing it.

One day they will be forced to admit that declawing is cruel because now there are anti-declaw Paw Project vets gathering hard scientific evidence of the consequences to declawed cats.

It’s heart breaking to think of just how many declawed cats there may be, living their life as cripples, misunderstood, misdiagnosed as ‘bad cats’ and with no hope of help. How many have lived their lives this way and died without anyone knowing how they have suffered? There are no statistics on how many declawed cats have problems.

The truth is hidden! Declawing is cruel surgery which ruins cats lives and it’s truly disgusting that pro declaw vets say otherwise!

The Paw Project are posting pictures on facebook of cats having paw repair surgery, their message is:

‘Please share to educate others! Hard cold data to show that the declaw procedure is RARELY without surgical complications’

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

28 thoughts on “Declawed Cats Suffering In Silence”

  1. As a professional pet sitter, I encounter many, many types of pets, however, the majority are cats, of which I have two. Although I never attempt to impose my own personal preferences about matters like declawing, grooming, etc. on my clients, I just grit my teeth and quietly rage inside when someone tells me they’re going to have their cat(s) declawed. There ARE several alternatives, actually. I would only resort to that if everything failed and even still, I’m not sure I would keep the cat if I had to do that (it’s the lazy owner’s way of not dealing with training and problem solving!. Cats can be trained. I know because I do it.)

    1. We (the regular visitors to PoC) believe there is never a justification for declawing. As you say there are many alternatives one of which is to simply accept a bit of damage to furniture or whatever. Getting scratched is nearly always the fault of the person. Scratches can be avoided.

      1. I couldn’t agree with you more! From my experience, there’s a reason why cats do not seek out the appropriate place to scratch, when available, and it usually has to do with the human companion. Rather than having the cat declawed the human companion should give the cat an opportunity to find a more compatible human companion. Obviously, there is something lacking in the negative relationship that is causing the cat to act out. If someone cannot give an animal the appropriate natural environment (without amputating body parts/keeping a 100 pound dog in an apartment for 10 hours a day), a new living situation needs to be found for the pet. (By the way, although “altering” IS removing body parts, it’s in the best interest of everyone, including the overall health/longevity of the animal.)

        of attention circumstances living environment that it needs to thrive it should not take on this responsibility

  2. I’m sorry I couldn’t watch the surgery I find it heartbreaking but it also angers me to the point where I can’t think of anything else.

  3. Ruth – Doubt this will transmit. Just wrote you a thank-you for your fine submittal, but the screen flipped over to another screen with a ‘Cannot Display This Screen’ pronunciamento when I tried to transmit the message. Won’t try to rewrite anything more tonight, but will write you again sometime next week in an e-mail. xxx

  4. Yea its horrible that any cat gets declawed i just couldnt imagine it. Its cruelty at its best. Just hearld some great news today. Here over in Nz they are not going to test animals on Psychoactive Substances which were going to be suggested to prove their safeness over here. So its a good day for animals over here in N.Z But i suppose it will prob be done offshore. Im guessing. Its those things called Legal Highs or Party Pills etc. Just thought id keep u updated. I cant imagine why anyone would declaw any animal as it would take away their defense in they were hurt.

  5. Paws Need Claws

    Wonderful article Ruth! Will share on “Tinkearbell – Paws Need Claws” facebook page. >^.,.^<


  6. I cannot believe the vets here in the US do not get how bad they are hurting cats here! I pray as I am able to get walking again after my fall, physical therapy, and such that I can capture what Mollie has to go through NOW after being declawed young. I still can’t thank this site, the people and Michael for donating the money so Mollie Ann can get xrays. I am waiting word from Carla who wrote a letter to the vet, as to when to schedule the exam/xrays. Ruth and Michael, I hope by working with you that you two can take Mollie’s videos and show them. I give you full permission to use anything I post of Mollie to use so we can educate!!

    1. Hi Tina. Nice to hear from you. We look forward to hearing from you more when the x-rays have been done and thank you for giving permission to post information about the progress that Mollie Ann makes.

  7. Yes, Dr. Doud is posting her findings and she gathers them on the Paw Project Utah Facebook page. It is indeed horrifying:

    1. Susan, thank you for this excellent comment. I followed your link and the outcome is a post about the shocking findings. I think that the survey is incredibly important and I look forward to receiving more information with respect to a wider survey. I hope that it can take place but even this small survey is very, very enlightening. It does not surprise me, I have to say. I always felt that there was a casualness with respect to the veterinarians’ approach to declawing.

  8. If my math is correct, I think there are more than thousands with bone fragments left in the paw – it’s more in the millions. Considering it is estimated that 25% of American cats are declawed, which is 14 million cats, and Paw Project Utah just posted their preliminary (SHOCKING) results that 66% of the declawed cats they x-rayed had bone fragments, that could mean that more that 7 million declawed cats are painfully walking around with the horrific, excruciating feeling of having a “pebble in your shoe”.

    1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

      Thanks Susan, this is shocking and heart breaking! The vets who care enough to x-ray and repair mutilated paws can never ever help all those poor cats and still declawing goes on.

      1. I think it is a shocking information I have heard in relation to declawing of cats. It is very important in the fight to get it stopped. It sheds a lot of light on the attitude of veterinarians who declaw.

        I would like to see an extended server if that is possible. Playing devils advocate, do you think the fact that the survey concerned shelter cats affected the results? I don’t think so but veterinarians may have an even more casual approach to shelter cats than they do towards cats belonging to customers who come to the clinic.

    2. that 66% of the declawed cats they x-rayed had bone fragments, that could mean that more that 7 million declawed cats are painfully walking around with the horrific, excruciating feeling of having a “pebble in your shoe”.

      That is truly shocking. I am horrified to read that. Do you have a link to the webpage that has this information or is it not yet published?

    3. If the Paw Project Utah study is indicative of a nationwide problem with the quality of declawing then many of millions of cats have got fragments of bone in their toes!

  9. Bravo Ruth!

    I love the poster!! Would that is could be plastered on every vet’s office in the USA that declaws…..

    We ARE getting the word out. We will continue to peck away at these vet’s lies- proving that cats suffer horrendous pain.But it is not only the physical pain that they suffer- it is the emotional scarring of being divested of their first line of defense. These cats know it-and become frightened unhappy cats.

    Thanks for a great post!

    1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

      Thanks Jo, you are right of course, declawed cats suffer not only physically but emotionally too.
      It’s time all vets admitted that!

  10. How awful that there must be thousands of cats suffering like Mollie, in silence, who’s guardian doesn’t notice/realise/care that anything is wrong. They have those sore aching paws and have to use them to jump, walk, groom with daily it must be so painful, no wonder they withdraw, get depressed, turn aggressive, I think I’d be aggressive in those circumstances. And yet for all the evidence that is being presented by the Paw Project and by people like Tina it is STILL happening, declawing is still advertised, it’s still offered at cut rate prices. Declawing vets aren’t blind, they must see and hear the evidence that what they are doing is wrong, but they choose to continue to abuse and mutilate cats just as cat owners still choose to pay them to do so. The whole lot of them should be arrested, prosecuted for abuse and sentenced to amputation of at least 10 digits each, with no pain relief.

    1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

      How I agree! Declawing vets should be punished severely.
      Bad enough declawing at all but advertising and offering discount on cruel surgery to mutilate cats is unthinkable, yet they continue to do it and get away with it.

  11. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    I think vets do know now about the consequences of declawing, how can they not when it’s all over the internet and when clients are asking them questions?
    But some won’t admit it!
    They will stay in denial and offer declawing until it is banned because they love money, they don’t love cats.
    I very much admire the vets who don’t declaw, the pressure must be immense on them from their declawing colleague. Also that Paw Project branch vets are springing up in various places and are out to prove just how cruel declawing is, those vets must know how unpopular that will make them with their declawing colleagues.

    1. I agree that they know that the operation can go wrong and cause permanent problems but what they are less sure about is which cat is suffering from the problems. We need a better understanding of cat emotions and brain function generally because the cat cannot communicate with us in the conventional manner.

  12. One of the sadnesses is not knowing how many declawed cats are in discomfort because of the declaw operation. We just don’t know and we should know. Declawing is obviously wrong but the immorality of it is compounded by the fact that the operation is done badly sometimes and vets don’t know enough about the after affects in the long term regarding pain etc..

    1. I truly believe some vets DO know the after effects, but out of lack of compassion choose the money over the care and health of the patient. So many declawed (especially seniors) cats are being dumped daily at shelters across the U.S. that apparently the “owners” do not care either.

        1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

          But anti declaw vets and vets like ours in the UK who have never declawed wouldn’t even take the chance of a cat not being affected, anyway ALL cats declawed are affected.
          I don’t believe declawing vets ‘don’t know’ that declawing causes cats to suffer. To train as a vet or a vet tech you have to study the anatomy of animals and it’s quite obvious that amputating the last toe joints of cats will cripple them!
          Sorry but I despise ALL vets who declaw including those who ‘only’ do a few because they feel they have to. They DON’T have to!
          The Paw Project vets and others who have never declawed have never felt they ‘had to’ declaw.
          No supply, no demand, people with cats would have to accept their claws or go without the pleasure of a cat in their home.
          I can’t wait for the day it stops and I just hope Karma catches up with anyone involved in any way with the deliberate crippling of cats.

        2. Does it matter which ones are affected, surely if ONE cat is affected then it shows beyond doubt that declawing is wrong, dangerous, cruel and immoral. No cat should have to walk in shoes that cause agony!

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