by Ruth

I was inspired to write this article because of a Google alert I received today.

A young girl was asking for advice about how to get her father to agree to her having a kitten and if she persuaded him what would she need to know about cats as she hadn’t had a pet before.

She had some good replies about the cost of all the kitten would need and the commitment needed to care for a cat properly for his lifetime.

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

Poster by Ruth

But one reply was frighteningly bad advice from someone who had recently got a kitten herself and was boasting that she’d taken it to the vets immediately for ‘the works’ which all kittens should have.

She then listed:

  • Declawing
  • Neutering
  • Inoculations

Declawing was obviously her first priority!

But the most shocking thing of all was that she obviously truly believed she had done the best for her kitten!

To get rid of those nasty claws means not having to buy a scratching post she said.

Those claws were written off as ‘nasty’ as if the kitten was far better off without them.

So this very ignorant person could cause many more kittens to be taken by others for ‘the works’ too, thinking it’s the right thing to do.

I just cannot understand the mentality of this because I live in a country where declawing has never ever as far as I know, been done for convenience.

I’d been working with vets for many years before I even knew there was such a procedure because someone asked me about it for her cat. I was totally shocked and immediately said of course no vet would ever do that.

I felt sick at the thought of the removal of cats very essential claws and I didn’t know at that time it was even more than that, it was actually the amputation of the last toe joints.

Thankfully when I checked with the vet he agreed with me and told the client she’d never find a vet in the UK willing to do that to a cat apart from the cat having an incurable disease of the toes.

That is why I find it incredible that some vets in the USA and Canada not only agree to declaw kittens and cats, they actively encourage it and people like that person giving ‘advice’ help them to make millions of dollars out of a supposedly last resort operation.

It seems to me a sort of brainwashing has been passed down the generations since declawing began in those countries.

Many families like the one in the poster only find out later after their pet is back home that having him declawed was a terrible thing to do.
That their previously happy healthy cat will never be the same again!

How many more families have to suffer guilt and their cats have to suffer from being declawed before vets begin to do the right thing and educate their clients as to the alternatives to this major and unnecessary surgery ?

In my opinion it is surely well past the time it was relegated to the history books!

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

See over 150 articles on Declawing Cats

Comments for

Click here to add your own comments

Jan 27, 2011 The whole family affected
by: Kathryn

Every time I think I’ve seen your best poster yet you come up with an even better one Ruth.
This one says a whole family are hurt by declawing,even the baby!
I don’t suppose those declawing vets give a thought to when the cat returns home,the shock especially for the kids seeing their pet mutilated and suffering.
Money in the bank is all that matters to them,they are a disgrace to their profession.

Jan 25, 2011 Frightening
by: CJ

It is truly frightening that some people include declawing as part of the works kittens should have.
I don’t understand what makes those people think that cats are better off without claws and why they simply agree to hand their innocent healthy kitten over to be put through this.
Surely there must be scratching posts in the Pet Stores in the US and Canada.
I don’t know why those people think they are there if not for cats because they have claws.
Or do they think at all?
I don’t see how they do!

Jan 24, 2011 Vets should educate instead of amputate
by: Michele S

I think you hit the nail on the head, when you said ignorance about declawing is passed on down the generations.

Like most people, I learned first hand about caring for cats through growing up with them in the family home. My mum taught us to understand that the cats were not play things and that sometimes they want to be left alone. We didn’t always follow that last piece of advice and sometimes we got scratched, but we quickly learned to respect the cats’ boundaries. Even though they were allowed outside to the garden, they were still provided with scratch posts and pads indoors. As mum used to say “cats need to scratch somewhere and it’s better they do it on their own stuff rather than the carpets or furniture”.

The majority of the UK public have never even heard of declawing, and that is thanks to our vets who prefer education to unnecessary amputation. Generations of people have grown up accepting that cats come with claws. Even though claw caps have been introduced onto the UK market in recent years, sales of them are extremely low. Claws are considered natural and essential – so why hamper them?

Unfortunately the reverse has been true of North America. If only vets hadn’t been so quick to promote the surgery it would never have become as popular as it is today. Instead of teaching clients about feline behaviour, they offered a quick and lucrative alternative. No wonder so many of those clients don’t then recognise the signs that their declawed cat is not as happy or contented as they seem to think.

Thanks to sites like PoC, The Paw Project, Declaw Hall of Shame and many others, people are slowly starting to discover the truth that vets have kept hidden for decades. Younger people keen to learn more about cats are realising their parents and grandparents were misinformed by vets as to how cruel declawing is. These youngsters are the pet owners and vets of tomorrow, and they can influence the attitude of future generations to come.

Jan 24, 2011 Butchers not vets
by: Anonymous

Yes it seems that those butchers masquerading as doctors enjoy giving kittens the works.
Thank you all who are trying to beat them at their own seedy greedy game by getting the reality of declawing known.
I honestly can’t see how anyone can find out that it means amputations but still trust any vet who does it.
Unless of course they hate cats as much as those vets do.

Jan 24, 2011 Poor Sammy
by: Rose

Your poster brings it home better than any explanation could Ruth of how declawing their cat can affect a whole family.
It’s terrible that people are giving out bad advice to would be new cat owners about how ‘the works’ should include declawing.
That ignorant person was probably ‘advised’ by their vet and without a thought followed that ‘advice’ and is now passing it on.
When will this persistantly ignorant cruelty end?

Jan 24, 2011 Yes it’s perfect
by: OJ

I have to agree with Michael there.
Ruth your posters are fantastic and eye catching. I wish we could plaster them all over the USA to tell it as it is.
The works is meant to be all the neccessary stuff cats need to be healthy and it’s outrageous someone includes declawing in that.
I love the Paw Project videos too.

Jan 24, 2011 Links to PoC
by: Ruth

Thanks everyone.
Yes Maggie I explained to her how wrong that advice was and put some links to PoC pages which I think will convince her if she does get her kitten not to have him declawed.
Another alert was someone asking for the pros and cons of declawing, which of course we have a page to link to here too.
In fact PoC has a helpful article for just about any declawing question asked and also comments to back the writer of them up.

Jan 24, 2011 Great article
by: Maggie

This is a great article, Ruth.

I’m not sure why someone would recommend declawing, did you let the prospective kitten owner know that declawing is an unacceptable and cruel procedure?

In fact, I hope she reads this so that she realises how bad declawing really is!

I really like that video by The Paw Project too. 🙂

Jan 24, 2011 Sadly it’s perfectly true
by: Barbara

Very well illustrated Ruth, you said it all in pictures! Declawing is irreversible, if the family didn’t understand beforehand what they were agreeing to then they certainly will when the kitten or cat returns to them with ten stumps instead of healthy toes and claws.
But by then it’s too late and no amount of regret will heal paws destroyed by declawing. A huge amount of blame rests on veterinarians and their staff who do not provide detailed information about declawing and the much better non-surgical alternatives.

Barbara avatar

Jan 23, 2011 You’re right Ruth
by: Leah (UK)

This vile practice has been passed down through generations and it seems to be a case of we’ve always done it so we’ll carry on doing it.

Its lazy selfish owners time and again who are submitting perfect little kittens to be brutalised at the hands of the money grabbing vets. They justify this because some know nothing nutter has said on a website that they got it done to their cat or kitten so its ok!!

I’ve never heard anyone yet say that the vet wouldn’t do it because they only do it as a last resort. No I think not; despite the AVMA guideliness they do it as a first resort so they can keep their blood money coming in.

Jan 23, 2011 Perfect
by: Michael

A perfect article on declawing. Thanks Ruth.

Michael Avatar

Leave a Comment

follow it link and logo