by Ruth

A very good point about my last article ‘Declawing, Defingering, No Difference’ was raised by Clare on facebook who said: ‘There is one difference, I think. A declawed cat’s entire body is affected, not just its fingertips’

She is right of course, thanks Clare.

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

Poster by Ruth

Declawing throws cats off balance, this forces them to learn to walk in a very different way and can cause painful and irreparable damage to the spine.

I personally know two people with missing finger ends, but for a long time I hadn’t realised that as they cope so well. They had adapted of course, just as declawed cats do. But the big difference is that after the shock wore off, their whole bodies were not affected at all by the loss of their finger ends. They walked as they always had.

Had it been toe ends they lost then of course that would have affected the way they walked.

We must remember that a cats toes are equivalent to our fingers not to our toes, but they not only grasp with their fingers, they walk on them too. A healthy clawed cat uses his paws like we use our hands, for many day to day things. But human amputees brains are affected !

From Ruth who is a Physical Therapist Assistant:

‘In almost 3 years I’ve only talked to one amputee who didn’t have phantom pain. The feeling that the missing limb is still there seems to be universal and can persist for years’

…Thanks Ruth.

Scientists like using cats in experiments on the brain because they say a cat’s brain is so similar to a human brain. Therefore, almost certainly declawed cats suffer from phantom pain too.

Part of a human’s frontal lobe controls the use of his fingers, just as part of a cat’s frontal lobe controls the use of his claws.

When people say ‘My cat doesn’t know he doesn’t have his claws, he continues to sharpen them’ they are so very mistaken. The cats brain tells him he needs to dig in those claws for exercise and also to remove the outer husk as new claw grows underneath it and that is what he’s trying to do. He doesn’t understand why his body isn’t doing what his brain is telling him to, so he keeps on trying!From Dr Jean Hofve D.V.M:

‘Declawing changes the way the cat’s paws function, and this creates stress on the joints of the paw, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and spine. The cat’s gait changes, as weight is shifted backward from the toes to the large rear pad of the paw.

Research has demonstrated that, after declawing, cats shift their entire weight more toward the hind legs. This is quite a feat, considering that the front legs normally bear about 60% of the cat’s entire weight.

Within 6 months or so, normal weight distribution among the four legs is restored to pre-surgery values. However, changes and stresses within the paw persist and may even worsen due to normal contracture of the severed tendons due to scar tissue formation.

Over time, this altered stress can contribute to the development of arthritis.

In most older declawed cats, the toes are completely “frozen,” immovable even under deep anesthesia.

Declawing causes observable changes to the cat’s anatomy that are not only visible on radiographs (x-rays) but are obvious to anyone who cares to see them’

..Thanks Jean.

No human would choose to have their finger ends amputated but a cat has no choice. He puts his trust in his caretaker, but sadly that trust is misplaced in people who pay a vet to remove their cat’s very essential finger ends/claws, thus disabling him in many ways, for his entire lifetime.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Comments for

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Sep 25, 2011 As always the facts
by: Leah England

Thanks yet again, Ruth for putting the awful practice of de-clawing well and truly on the map.

Once again inspirational graphics that fully support the horrors and of course the facts. I really don’t know how you do it but thank God you do.

The poor crippled unfortunates need you and if this just save one cats toes then thats one less cat crippled for life.

I have nothing but admiration for you.

Sep 25, 2011 Clare is right
by: Ted

Clare is right there is one difference and a big one at that!
Also people lose limbs by disease or accident.
Cats limbs are taken from them for no reason at all except having the misfortune to live with cruel or ignorant idiots who pay a doctor to maim them intentionally.

Sep 23, 2011 Posters
by: Anonymous

Ruth I’ve been browsing your declawing photo album on facebook and I think someone ought to print off all your posters.
Then make them into a booklet and leave them around vet clinics to educate their clients.

Declawing would grind to a halt!

Sep 23, 2011 YES
by: Anonymous

YES another great article indeed!
Let’s get this circulating and educate the great unwashed!

Sep 23, 2011 Great article!
by: Maggie

Another great article, Ruth! I agree with every word! Defingering a human doesn’t affect the human body at all, but declawing a cat sentences that cat to a life of disability and pain, in a body that has been denied the right to work to it’s full extent. Why can’t people understand that? Why do people continue to mutilate their cats, when clearly it affects the cat’s entire body, and wrecks the cat’s entire life?

Sep 23, 2011 Brilliant
by: Rose

You’ve surpassed yourself lately Ruth with your articles and especially your posters which as I often say don’t actually need words as they say it all.

I was reading where people who have lost fingers can now get prothesis.
Ironic isn’t it that while some doctors go all out to provide false fingers for damaged humans,some vets go all out to damage cats deliberately by taking their fingers away!

Sep 23, 2011 Thank you
by: Ruth

Thank you Barbara for your unfailing support of my posters and articles and all you do to educate about the cruelty of declawing.
Thank you Ruth for your helpful input for this article and for your comment.

Just to let everyone know, I wasn’t making light of a human amputee’s problems, it must be devastating. I looked at it from a cat’s point of view for my article.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Sep 22, 2011 Excellent article
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

Great article! You did an excellent job condensing the neurological info I shared with you down into a really concise, salient point, Ruth.

I liked the comments from Dr. Jean at the end, concerning contractures. Physical therapist assistants are very concerned with preventing contractures. If a patient cannot move a joint adhesions will develop within that joint and tissues will shorten so that the joint can’t be moved ever again. What your mother told you when you made a silly face is sort of true: “Look out, you’re going to get stuck that way!” Of course it doesn’t happen in a few minutes or even days.

Of course a cat’s remaining toe joints will get contractures following declawing– the tendons to the muscles which would move those joints are severed so they can no longer be moved by the cat. How can the resulting contractures be comfortable? Imagine having a joint get stuck to the point you couldn’t move it normally. Is that something any person would want for himself? Of course not. That’s why even when someone is completely incapacitated we still go in and perform ROM on his or her body. Any doctor or therapist would agree that preventing contractures is a necessary and merciful goal for just about any patient. What medical professionals for humans work to prevent, some medical professionals for cats are outright causing. It boggles the mind.

ROM= range of motion

Sep 22, 2011 Brilliant as usual
by: Barbara

Another well thought out article with a really good poster, thank you Ruth for your dedication to saving cats the trauma of losing their toe-ends

Barbara avatar

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