Categories: diabetes

Declawing can cause feline diabetes

By Cassandra Cat

Did you know that not only dry food is the culprit, but declawing causes diabetes too.

The diabetes connection…..When we printed the list of declawed cats to inspect, one thing immediately caught our eye: nearly every diabetic cat Animal Ark currently houses was on the list, with only one exception. To be clear: the general population of declawed cats is always around 25% of the total population. The fact that the percentage of diabetic cats that were declawed was near 100% was startling, to say the least. I decided to review the diabetic cats Animal Ark has seen over the last couple of years. More than 50% of them were declawed. I began asking veterinarians about the possible connection to declawing and diabetes.

Blossom – a declawed and diabetic cat. Photo taken from the FB page linked to below.

One topic kept coming up: Cortisol. Cortisol is a chemical produced by the body to manage chronic pain. It also dramatically affects blood glucose levels. Ironically, elevated cortisol is also a risk factor for diabetes. The linkage may be even more compelling than that, because cats with pain in their paws are more likely to be sedate, get less exercise and are, therefore, more prone to being overweight, another contributing factor for diabetes.

Take Miracle, for example, a very overweight, diabetic declawed cat. When she came to Animal Ark, we had assumed the fact that she limped so badly was a result of her severe weight problem. However, as she has been trimming down, her limping is getting worse. After watching the Paw Project and examining her paws, it seems clear she is suffering from several of the long-term complications from the declaw procedure.

Animal Ark’s relatively limited data set may not be enough to prove a link between declawing and diabetes. However, if a link were to be demonstrated it would go a long way toward clinically proving that declawed felines, even those with no obvious complications from the procedure, are suffering from long-term, chronic pain.

To help compile a more complete data set, I am asking shelters and rescue organizations to review records of their diabetic cats to determine how many of them had been declawed. I have also created a simple form they can fill out to submit their findings. You can help with this effort by sharing this article and asking the shelters and rescue groups you support to submit their information.

Two links. The first is a page on declawing not on this website and the second is the source of this comment; a Facebook page.


Please comment if you care for a cat who is both declawed and diabetic.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • No doubt in my mind that the butchering known as declawing would cause numerous health issues that haven't even been discovered yet.

  • This is a startling revelation, but it makes total sense. Another major scientific reason why declawing is unsafe, and medically unsound. Thank you for posting this article, Michael. I Am goimg to send to a Facebook friend who has a diabetic cat that happens to be declawed.

  • Good point Cassandra! Also although some people deny it, stress can cause diabetes in cats too! What can be more stressful to a cat than having his/her claws taken away and being left disabled for life and forever feeling vulnerable!

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