Declawing Cats Is OK

by Cheryl
(Michgan, USA)

I disagree with your stance on declawing cats. My experience has been that those cat owners, including myself, who have their cats declawed keep their cats indoors and for the life of the cat. Unfortunately, many people that I know of kick the cats out of the house due to clawing and leave people such as myself to take them in, spay/neuter them, provide shots, and try to rehome them.

I have also found that declawing the front paws has significantly reduced injuries from my cats playing and/or getting into fights with each other over territory, etc.

I currently have 8 cats (all of them were “dumped” in my neighborhood) that I have taken in. Those who were young enough to declaw were declawed and are strictly indoor cats. Those who came to me as adults had been abandoned months/years before and come and go as they please during the day, while I keep them in during the night and during bad weather.

I also trust my vet who told me that declawed cats do not pass infectious diseases to each other as readily as those who have their claws, again due to rough play/fighting. My vet is extremely conscientious and takes many strays into his own home who were dumped by their owners.

I have also done my own research into this and have made this determination after weighing the pros and cons of the issue. I am well educated (I hold a law degree) and did not come to this conclusion hastily or lightly.


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Declawing Cats Is OK

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May 01, 2012 Cheryl? NEW
by: Leah (England)

Hello Cheryl?

Do you still think declawing is ok? Would you want to be present as Kathy says during the procedure and listen to your cat scream in pain even under anaesthetic with each toe butchered or burned off?

What you’re doing sickens me and many others.
You’re very quiet now aren’t you? Well I for one would love to read your pathetic justifications now that you’ve read the truth.

Apr 30, 2012 Seriously? NEW
by: Kelly

Cheryl, first I want to commend you for taking in the cats that have been “dumped” in your neighborhood. Most people would not. That being said, you need to find a new vet and become a little more educated on feline anatomy and behavior. Having a law degree, you should know that research is invaluable to “weighing the pros and cons” of any issue, and Im sorry to say, I dont think you have done enough. I have been a veterinary technician in the US for 20 years, and I REFUSE to work for a vet that declaws. I have witnessed the pain , suffering, and long term damage first hand. The fact that your vet told you that scratching is a major vector for bacterial disease leads me to believe that he/she needs to go back to school. A few FACTS for you:

Scratching DOES NOT lead to more cats being abandoned or placed in shelters. Upward of 70% of cats in shelters nationwide in the US are declawed with reasons sited as litter box avoidance and biting ( BTW biting leads to more serious infections and the spread of infectious feline diseases such as FIV…NOT scratching)

Cats are digitigrade…which means they walk and balance on their toes not the pad of the paw. When you amputate the ends of the toes ( which includes bone, tendons, and ligaments) they will take weight off of their front feet making it impossible for them to equally distribute. This leads to early onset arthritis, spinal and joint inflammation and chronic pain.

Declawing is extremely painful. I have assisted in all forms of surgery from spay/neuter to TPLO and cruciate repair. NO surgery requires the amount of pain medication that onychectomy does. Pre and post-operative pain injections, bupivocaine nerve blocks in the feet, fenatnyl transdermal pain patches and at the very least ( and any vet who does NOT do this needs their license pulled) 2 weeks of pain management post-op to go home. Declawing is so painful in fact, that new forms of pain management are tested on declawed cats. Another issue is a cats stoic nature. Many people are unaware of the signs of pain in a cat. Excessive sleeping, excessive purring or vocalizing, laying in one position for long periods of time, and sudden aggressiveness are some of the examples that your cat may be in serious pain.

There are many training options and aids that can be utilized instead of maiming the animal. Please reconsider having this procedure done in the future…

Mar 20, 2012 Evil NEW
by: Anonymous

In my opinion any idiot who says declawing is OK needs to have their own fingerends removed and see how painful and dissabling it really is.
It doesn’t take many brain cells to know how flipping evil it is doing that to cats.

Mar 20, 2012 Yank or burn NEW
by: Vet tech

Now a lot of vets who declaw burn the claw and the bone it’s embedded into out with a laser rather than yank it out with clippers.
They say it’s more humane!!!!!
You could have fooled me!

Mar 20, 2012 my opinion NEW
by: Kathy W

You should ask your vet, since he is so concientios to let you be in the room when he does the declaw so you can see what your cats have to go through. Even though they are asleep they cry out in agony with each claw that is cruely yanked from their paw, usually with one of the old fashionded dog nail clipper. The the bone is pushed out of the raw hole where the claw was and clipped off. Just like having all your fingers cut off at the first knuckle so your nails wont grow back. They can never walk the same and sometimes it can alter their personality. My exprience with declawing came from when I worked at vets office. I could not be in the office to assist him for declawing. I have 6 cats and they all have their claws but they get them clipped regularly. Your vet wants your money. If he believes in declawing hed probaly do anything to your cats if the price was right. Imagine your hands with no nails or finger tips, youd be having a hard time typing this.

Mar 16, 2012 Not OK NEW
by: Edward

Well man I dont have any degree only from the school of life but I know for sure axing cats toe ends off is far from OK.
Ive lived with cats all my life since I was born and theyve never injured each other and passed germs on with their claws.
Id be changing my vet if it was me as he isnt very good at knowledge about cats and why they need claws.
Hed be a criminal in our country and so would anyone who got him to do that cruel thing.

Mar 15, 2012 Pro declaws will hang their heads in shame
by: Ted

This arrogant closed minded person knows she’s wrong and that’s why she’s saying she’s personally attacked.
She hasn’t done the research she says she has or she would have known not to boast to the world that she believes declawing cats is OK.
How shameful that a person tries so hard to convince herself and others that what she paid her vet to do to her cats wasn’t the cruellest thing to do to any cat.
Rescuing cats only to have their toe ends barbarically removed is bad, it deprives those cats of a forever home with someone who genuinely knows cats and loves them claws and all.
Roll on that declawing is illegal very soon and pro declaws must then hang their heads in shame that they ever supported such cruelty.

Mar 15, 2012 in answer to this rubbish
by: Petra

Your vet isn’t unique in refusing to destroy a healthy animal just because it is unwanted, any decent moral, caring vet would do the same. But that same vet would also refuse to surgically mutilate a cat’s toe ends just because the owner doesn’t want them

Mar 15, 2012 Cruel & sadistic declawing a cat !!
by: Anonymous

Ms Cheryl:
First of all NO sympathy from me on having precious cat declawed.
You have utterly mutilated this cat, prepare yourself to live the rest of his life in sheer misery, he will develop a fear of litter box, why
mainly due to excruciating pain now that his claws have been grossly cutt off.
If you take outside, his instant reaction will be to climb as high as he can because YOU Ms Lawyer has taken his NATURAL protection away.
How would you like both thumbs cut off, try to eat, type or whatever with just fingers.

Wish a long unhappy life with your declawed cat
A true cat lover/rescuer/helper against declawing

Southeast Arizona

Mar 14, 2012 I’ve read all the points of view
by: Leah England

And I’ve come to this conclusion; if de-clawing was ‘OK’ why is it banned in 39 countries through being inhumane and cruel?

Cheryl you’ve made one statement in your comment that baffles me totally (among others but this one especially) and its this; ‘Also, just because something is illegal doesn’t necessarily make it right’. Laws are generally passed with good reason and to remain law abiding we have to abide by these laws even though sometimes we don’t agree with them. I could equally state that just because something has happened for generations and is legal doesn’t make it right, for example rape within marriage (now illegal) wife beating (now illegal) female circumcision (now illegal in some countries). The point I’m trying to make is that these practices as we evolve and become (supposedly) more civilised come to be considered cruel and barbaric and that’s why they’ve now been outlawed and quite rightly so!!! Its in this same vein that just because cats have been de-clawed for generations you think its OK when in reality like other barbarity it will eventually be made illegal.

You have asked us to provide logical, well reasoned arguments but let me ask; where are your’s? You don’t have any, all you have is your own delusional opinion.

Your theory on neutering and spaying we’ve heard hundreds of times because believe me every pro-declaw person who’s come on here has used the same old pathetic worn out argument. You know damn well that a neutered or spayed cat can do exactly everything they did before in exactly the same way apart from re-produce unwanted offspring so please change the record we’re bloody well sick of hearing it.

As for your Vet I don’t need to know anything about him because I know he de-claws that’s enough for me to make a decision on the type of person he is.

You use Pitbulls as an example however not a very good example because as we all know its bad owners who use them for fighting who have ultimately bought this ban about.

Finally in relation to the no claws no disease argument well I have to admit that’s a new one on me these Vets are getting a few new excuses its seems, pity they overlooked the fact that de-clawed cats resort to biting and that cat bites are far worse than scratches.

Well that’s it from me I’m now looking forward to your response.

Mar 14, 2012 poor cats
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

I wrote about the changes to a cat’s gait after declawing and I’d like to add that it’s similar to how I’ve been walking since wearing inappropriate footwear at a part time teaching job I had. The dress code of dressy shoes only, no tennis shoes, in a job with so much standing did serious damage to my flat feet. Plus, my being older and overweight did not help. I have some nerve irritation and plantar fasciitis lingering since December.

To me, a cat who has been declawed is like me in those uncomfortable shoes, except the cats can’t ever take them off. Orthotics are helping me, and I know what to stretch. I think things will get better or at least not worse. It was heart breaking to think I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love anymore, like hiking. Does it matter that I can’t and probably will never again be able again to hike up and over both bluffs at Devil’s Lake in the same day? It does matter to me. I have lots of 40+ year old friends who can’t do it either and who don’t care– but it matters to me. Even if my feet get better, my knees, thanks to laterally tracking patellae, can’t handle all those stairs in one day unless I can find a way to weigh 115 pounds again. It wouldn’t matter to a lot of people, but in my young life, my ability to hike up some big piles of rocks was important to me. To me it’s a loss that I can’t do it like I used to. We all suffer these losses of mobility with age. But should we be inflicting these losses on young cats?

To us, it maybe looks like it’s fine that a cat without claws can’t climb and exercise as a cat with claws can. But how does the cat feel about it? Since we never climbed a tree the way a cat climbs we can say it’s a small thing if a cat can never climb that way again (whether it be up a tree or up an indoor scratching post). I think cats without claws do miss their claws, and do miss very much what they used to be able to do when they had claws.

Mar 14, 2012 Cheryl
by: Cat lady

And you have made no impact on anyone here and your argument has been ignored because it is wrong.
If you think declawing cats is OK then you are a very sad cold person and the worst of it is your cats are suffering because of that.
I have 10 rescue cats now ALL with claws and NO wounds or nasty diseases.
I have a veterinarian who would never declaw.
She is THE BEST!

Mar 14, 2012 Physical Therapist Assistant’s perspective
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

I don’t have an advanced degree but I spent two years studying mainly two things: the interrelation of form and function and human gait.

When you declaw a cat you take away the weight bearing structures in that paw. Cats are digitigrades. They walk on their toes. Declawing takes the distal joint. So when the weight bearing structure is gone, where do they bear weight when they walk?

The paw pads of declawed cats are usually calloused and misshapen. This is because the paw pad wasn’t designed to bear weight, but to cushion. That the weight bearing structure is missing is evidenced by the damage to the paw pad. Sometimes as the cat bears weight on the stump that is left the bone will actually poke through.

I took some videos of clawed and declawed cats walking to help a vet who is doing research on the changes to a cat’s gait caused by declawing. She will be working with talented physical therapists to analyze these videos, but even with my limited training it looked to me like cats without claws are missing a push off phase to gait. They seem to place the whole paw down and lift the whole paw up. It’s like a human lacking a clear heel strike and push off. Declawed cats have definite gait deviations, even those without complications. One would expect an antalgic gait in those cases, but I notice a difference even in cats that don’t have obvious signs of pain, both in cats I’ve filmed and in watching other videos this vet has collected.

If you don’t have a good eye for gait deviations you may not notice even a human walking differently, so even vets may not be aware of the gait deviations caused by declawing. The problem with gait deviations in humans is that anything different from normal gait is more energy consuming and often causes muscle fatigue and pain. If this is true in humans, why not for cats?

Mar 14, 2012 It WILL be banned
by: Vet tech

If you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen!
Don’t come to a cat lovers site and promote the abuse of cats.
It doesn’t matter what good works you or your vet do it’s all cancelled out by your bigoted stance on the mutilation of cats.
I won’t waste much more of my valuable time as it’s all been said already by others who TRULY do love cats.
The only way to stop people like you paying to have cats abused is to get that abuse banned.
Declawing WILL be banned worldwide soon for the good reason that it’s CRUEL and WRONG, make no mistake about that!
Meanwhile for God’s sake do some research before you ruin any more cats lives.
Begin with the Paw Project who have to try to rehabilate crippled cats and read Dr Jean Hovfe DVM’s evidence of cats suffering.
You are truly ignorant and don’t even know it.

Mar 14, 2012 Please Keep Away from Personal Attacks
by: Cheryl

To those of you who felt the need to personally attack me for my position of declawing please be aware that you have made no impact.

Following the logic that most of you used, I submit that neutering is an amputation of the testes and I suspect that not one of you would argue against neutering. The same goes for spaying.

Also, just because something is illegal doesn’t necessarily make it right. Many countries in the world have outlawed the ownership of Pit Bull dogs, but those who love the breed would argue that this law is unjust.

As for the attacks on my vet, I ask the following questions:

Would any of your vets refuse to euthanize an animal just because the owner no longer wants it?

How many of you would travel over 1200 miles to adopt a dog with a severe medical condition that required constant attention?

How many of you would bring your own oral surgeon in to reconstruct the jaw of a stray dog that had been shot in the face and then keep her for the next 12+ years?

How many of you would find homes for the kittens that were dropped off at your clinic in the middle of a Michigan winter with temperatures below freezing, but keep the kitten with medical issues for your own pet because no one else would take it in due to the costs of medical care?

My vet has done all of these things and many more so DO NOT ATTACK SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT.

All you have managed to do is to lead me to conclude that the only argument you can make is by using unreasoned, derogatory personal attacks. Until you can provide logical, well reasoned arguments you will never be able to convince me that your opinion is the right one. Personal attacks do not work when you are trying to convince someone of the correctness of your view. All it does is convince me that you have nothing to back your position other than emotional outbursts.

When you can provide calm, reasoned arguments I will listen to what you have to say. Otherwise, all derogatory comments regarding your opinions of me personally will be ignored.

Mar 14, 2012 How?
by: Puzzled

How can declawing be OK in your country but illegal in a lot of others?
Cats feelings of pain and their disablement by having their toe ends amputated are the same all the world over.
I don’t need a law degree to know that!

Mar 14, 2012 Legality
by: Marc

Gosh, I am not suprised you have gotten the responses you have so far. Understand that its hard for people not to feel angry at you. It sounds like you love and want to help alot of poor sweet kitties and that you do your best. The problem is that you are in America. If you were somewhere else you wouldnt be allowed and it wouldnt cross your mind. Furthermore, you could allow all your cats a full and happy life where they can go in and out as they please, a freedom which is inherently part cats living mentally and physically healthy lives. Please just consider the fact that everywhere else in the world we consider it abuse as a matter of law. Thats gotta make you think twice, it simply must, as an educated person. And you know why laws are created more than we do…. If you couldnt declaw, would you stop what you are doing to help cats? I think not. So just please dont. There are so many reasons not to. Please educate yourself and read about this in great detail before you continue. You are a lawyer, surely, as a cat lover, you could actually work at making declawing illegal …America needs that. How a country treats its animals says alot about its people. Why does america have to once again the big bad destructive force in the world, along with China, I’d say, in this particular arena…

Mar 14, 2012 You know nothing
by: Anonymous

Do any more dumped cats you take in a favor and rehome them to someone who knows a bit about cats.
Because madam law degree you sure know nothing.

Mar 14, 2012 Hah
by: OJ

Well educated?
I don’t think a well educated person would patronise any doctor who makes dollars declawing by saying declawed cats don’t spread disease as much as clawed cats.
That’s a new one!
It smells of desperation to keep on convenience declawing for fools like you!
If you ‘rescue’ any more victims then get out and buy them some scratching pads and posts and let the poor things enjoy the claws that belong on their paws and NOT in your doctor’s trash can.

Mar 14, 2012 To Cheryl
by: Maggie

I was writing about how providing scratching furniture to captive and indoors cats is necessary for adequate exercise, when I came across your article! How horribly ironic.

Declawing is not okay, and don’t say you rescue cats, because you don’t. You don’t rescue an animal just to mutilate it for your own convenience. That’s like saying people rescue Pit Bulls just to make them fight.

And can you pro declaws stop using the ‘declawing is okay if the cat is kept indoors only’ argument! Because right at this very moment I have a 3-and-a-half-year-old indoors only cat, who has had his 18 claws since he was born. I haven’t clipped them in well over a year, and my house and furniture look great, the cat tree is a huge hit, and my cat is as happy as Larry.

I’ve spent a very long time admiring my cat’s claws, and the way he uses them to do even the most simple things. Like getting that last piece of kibble out of the bowl! Based on my observations, I can confidently conclude that my Chilli would be a very depressed cat if he were declawed. It would be ridiculously difficult to physically enrich him, in fact, it would be impossible.

But then again, I’m Australian, declawing has been banned here for a long time, I could go to jail if I were to have a cat declawed. That proves that we care about our cats, and consider their well being, far more significantly than people like you do, in countries where it is still legal.

The things you’ve said in this article will give me nightmares tonight. Think about your cats instead of yourself for a change. You’re greedy and selfish, you don’t deserve to be within looking distance of a cat.

Mar 14, 2012 NOT OK
by: Rose

No declawing is NOT OK, it is serious painful major surgery which no cat should ever be put through.
More declawed cats are kicked out of their homes than clawed ones, because of litter box avoidance and biting, which are two of the main consequences of the mutilation of cats.
Many declawed cats suffer in silence with painful stumps from the declawing.
Do you check all your cats stumps?
Do you know cats hide their pain?
Your vet knows as little as you do about cats, it’s scary to think he recommends the amputation of cats end toe joints to stop the spread of disease.
You need to do a lot more research and forget your mad idea of thinking you are well educated because what you have written here proves you are far from that.

Mar 14, 2012 Pathetic article
by: Mrs M

So you’ve weighed the pros and cons of the issue and decided your opinion is right.
The reality is Cheryl that there are many cons but not one single pro.
You wipe out the good you do in rescuing cats by paying to have them mutilated by a vet who thinks ten amputations is a good idea and who has no idea that cats are born with claws for a reason.
I don’t think you have done much research because you can find overwhelming evidence that declawing is abuse, from people far more educated than you, who have a VETERINARY degree.
Those people wouldn’t think they know all about law because of that,so don’t think your degree qualifies you to be an expert on veterinary science.
One good thing,your pathetic lightweight article has given us chance to show just how ignorant people who declaw are,so thank you for that.
I’m just sorry for the crippled cats in your home so overcrowded they need to fight and had to pay with their toe ends for the privelege of being ‘rescued’ by you.

Mar 14, 2012 Rubbish
by: Cat lover

So Ms Law degree know it all have you had your own finger ends amputated to get rid of the nasty nails on them that harbour diseases?
UGH all those germs under your nails, you might infect some more people.
Has your vet had his finger ends amputated?
Think of all the diseases he could pass on to his animal clients along with his crazy advice that cats are better off without finger ends.
I hear you, it’s not the same your saying, but it is the same, cats need their finger ends like you need yours.
Yeh I spout rubbish but then so do you and as it seems it’s all you can understand you can’t expect a sensible reply can you.

Mar 14, 2012 Pure unadulterated rubbish
by: Barbara

It’s a while since I read such tosh, and coming from someone who is at pains to point out how well educated she is too. Hmmm, not so well educated about cats though, on what do you base your experience of declawed cats being kept in their homes? Through a small, tightly knit circle of friends with the same mentality as you? You obviously haven’t looked at animal rescue shelter figures and seen how many declawed cats are sitting in wire cages hopelessly waiting to be chosen. And that’s the ones that aren’t killed immediately on being handed over.
I fail to see why cats in a household should be fighting to the extent of injuring each other too, but then I also think that 8 cats enclosed in a house day and night is far too many, declawing is not the answer to overcrowding, cat hoarding, the answer is self restraint, just don’t gather so many cats in that they feel the need to fight each other for territory. I pity those 8 cats you have mutilated and sentences to a life of incarceration with a know-it-all. As to the vet and his wise words, are you certain you were speaking to the vet and not the Saturday boy? Because he sounds a bit ignorant of basic facts too.
I suggest a bit more research on your part, and this time try doing it with the blinkers OFF because however much you try to justify amputating cat’s toe ends you can’t do it morally, humanely or in 39 other countries legally.

Barbara avatar

Mar 14, 2012 Wrong as usual
by: Michael

Sorry Cheryl but you are wrong. You say,

“many people that I know of kick the cats out of the house due to clawing”

Well isn’t the solution to tackle the people who do this rather than punish the cat? I don’t see how it can be morally right to punish the cat for a human wrong. The cat suffers twice: kicked out and declawed! A cat that uses his or her claws is not doing wrong, just behaving naturally. It seems that you miss that point.

You make no mention of the immorality of declawing. The inherent cruelty of declawing. You simply try and present practical arguments that are based on human misbehavior. You miss the point totally.

You also say,

“I also trust my vet who told me that declawed cats do not pass infectious diseases to each other as readily as those who have their claws..”

Were does your vet get this info from? He appears to be referring to cat scratch disease. This is very, very rare and not an argument to declaw. It has never been an argument to declaw. And if he uses it as an argument he should detooth the cat as well because cat scratch disease is transmitted from bites too.

Doesn’t it cross your mind that if a vet in England said this or in Israel or many other countries he would be conspiring to commit the crime of animal cruelty?

If a person gets bitten or scratched it is the person’s fault. You are blind to the human element in the person/cat relationship.

It is your kind of entrenched distorted mentality that makes it so hard to stop declawing and to get the USA inline with the rest of the civilised world in respect of animal welfare.

Mar 14, 2012 Declawing cats is cruel
by: Ruth

You seem to have missed the whole point Cheryl that declawing is painful major surgery which disables cats for life.
You also talk about the ones young enough to declaw, pardon me but the AVMA policy is that declawing is a last resort operation and not as a prevention of scratching.
You obviouly don’t know that scratching is not bad behaviour in a cat, it’s necessary for his physical health and mental welfare.
The people who kick their cats out because of clawing should never have had a cat in the first place as they are obviously lacking knowledge about cats, just like you are.
Ever heard of scratching posts? They are for cats to exercise on by digging in their claws to stretch their muscles so that those muscles stay strong and healthy and the cat doesn’t develop painful arthritis!
As for cats playing and injuring each other, well I wonder why that never happens in our country where declawing is banned? Could it be that our cats have better things to do, get more attention and love in happy homes where they don’t need to compete? Many of us have multiple cat families, claws and all and no injuries.
As for your vet who told you declawed cats don’t pass on infectious diseases, if you are as well educated as you tell us then you’d surely question that rubbish! Why do cats come with claws if they are so dangerous? Could it be they need them to function as a healthy cat?
Your law degree doesn’t impress me in the least because that doesn’t make you an expert on declawing. Your ignorance of the reality of declawing and the suffering of many declawed cats only shows you need to do some serious research.
You also need to change your vet for one who doesn’t break his oath to cause no animal to suffer.
Sorry but it’s proved beyond any doubt that declawing cats is not OK, it is in fact CRUEL and unnecessary and very soon will hopefully be illegal there as it is in 39 other civilised countries so far.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Declawing Cats Is OK — 11 Comments

  1. Total ignorance and complacency, no cat that has been declawed is “fine”, get your head out of the sand and educate yourself Sandy (well named) all you need to learn is there in the posters above.

  2. I agree that declawing is fine if you keep them inside. I have never had problems or issues . You can spay or neuter them and that’s ok ? You are still having surgery . Get so tired of those who don’t know what there talking about. My cats still scratched like they had claws , never bothered them .

    • Sandy, we know what we are talking about and 700 million Europeans understand us and agree with us as do 8 cities in California and Israel. It is you who has a closed mind and an attitude which I am afraid is not the right one for a cat caretaker. You have mutilated your cat for your own convenience. Shame on you.

    • I also get tired of those who don’t know what they are talking about and YOU are one of them Sandy.
      Neutering is for the cats benefit, declawing is for your benefit.
      Do some research, if you think it never bothered your cats having no claws then you are very wrong, you just didn’t bother to see that they suffered in silence.

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