Declawing Saves Lives? Rubbish

People who advocate cat declawing, which as we know includes almost all American veterinarians, consistently say that declawing saves the lives of cats. Even if that were to be true it would be bizarre because what declawing advocates are saying is that the unnecessary partial amputation of at least 10 toes of a cat saves his life. If that situation were to be genuinely true you’d have to conclude that the world in which we live is slightly mad.

The fact of the matter is that even some shelters declare to the world that declawing saves lives because they say that a cat has a better chance of finding a home since he or she cannot destroy furniture.

Declawing advocates say that it’s better for the cat to be declawed than to be homeless or euthanised. Some people might be beguiled into believing that this sounds reasonable in a rather distorted, bizarre way. For the moment, setting aside common sense, The Paw Project-Utah (PP-U) confirms what any thinking cat owner already knows, namely that declawing does not save lives.

PP-U refer to a couple of cats that have passed through their hands, Abby and Zoey, as examples.


Declawed cat Abby
Declawed cat Abby
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Abbey is a 10-year-old calico cat.  Abby’s owners surrendered her to a high kill shelter because she started to pee outside the litter box. Abbey is declawed and her painful front paws are the reason why she stopped using the litter box.  Her owners abandon her because of behavioral issues arising out of the brutal operation that they paid their veterinarian to do to her.

PP-U say that sadly this is an all too common problem that they hear about from shelters. They confirm that there are an innumerable amount of the declawed cats that get dumped at shelters for behavioural issues whereupon they are euthanised for a lack of space.

In this instance, PP-U was able to rescue Abby and she is now in a loving foster home. Many other cats are not so lucky.

Litter box aversion, as it is commonly called, or peeing outside litter box because it is too uncomfortable to use it, is a big problem amongst declawed cats. Some cat owners don’t understand why their cat is doing this. They become frustrated and they end up taking their cat to a shelter. The entire problem of litter box aversion in these instances is due to sensitive paws caused by declawing.


Zoey declawed on all four paws
Zoey declawed on all four paws

Another example is a cat called Zoey. Zoey was an abandoned kitty who was helped by PP-U. Zoey is a 4 year old black, long-haired attractive cat who was abandoned at a shelter.  Zoey’s owners had her declawed on all four of her paws.  She stopped using the litter box because it hurt her paws too much whereupon her owners took to the local shelter.

Zoey was adopted from the shelter who waved their usual adoption fee.  Because she has all of her paws declawed she is more prone to stress in new situations and she became stressed in her new home and stopped eating.

Her owners were unaware of the emotional needs suffered by declawed cat. In addition, they were unaware of the fact that a cat who does not eat for a day can lead to a life-threatening situation.

The owners waited for an entire week before bringing Zoey to Dr Doub at PP-U at which time she was suffering from severe hepatic lipidosis.  Her liver was beginning to fail.

Zoey’s new owners were unable to afford the veterinary care required and ultimately they sign over their cat to PP-U.  I have great admiration for The Paw Project-Utah in taking into their care this cat who needed their expertise.

PP-U have since been able to find a loving foster home for Zoey. PP-U discovered that Zoey has fragments in her back paws that need to be removed once she is healthy enough.  At the moment she is using a paper litter in a litter box.

You can go to this page if you want to contribute to her veterinary care and rehabilitation.

The truth is that any thinking cat caretaker knows without a shadow of a doubt that declawing does not save lives.  It is a confidence trick perpetrated by veterinarians on  cat owners who don’t know better.

My thanks to Paw Project Utah.

11 thoughts on “Declawing Saves Lives? Rubbish”

  1. It’s total rubbish, it’s propaganda put out by vets to get people to pay them to amputate their cats precious toe ends and it outrages me! I saw a video of little Abby playing after she had some treatment for her poor painful paws, she was enjoying herself and obviously felt much better but oh the poor little soul her back feet were hopping like a rabbit, it made me so sad for these poor cats who’s paws are damaged for ever.

    • Yes, we have the same ideas about “saving lives”. You must have used a different name or email address which is why the software believed you were a new visitor 😉 no problems.

  2. Each of my cats i have owned down the years, always use to claw things i did not want them to claw. I was a novice at the time and i asked around and talked to vets about the problem. Thank god, no one ever suggested declawing to me as an option. I have been most fortunate. I simple put out extra post at areas i see them frequent most. I bought this one post and it is almost all the post i need. It’s called the Ultimate Scratching Post. Its tall, Its firm and they can even sit on the top of it with an optional seat sold separately. My present child Tyler uses it all the time. No unwanted scratching. First thing in the morning when he arises, he leaves the bedroom and runs into the living room right to the post and starts stretching. There is much to learn about cats if you wish to keep them safe and happy. I’m glad i did homework. Butchering would never have been an option for me. Might i add one more thing? I went from a non liking cat person to a now cat lover! Back in my younger and less aware years, i always thought of cats in the same manner i did rats. That was what i equated them to. After years with this attitude, i thought hard about having a fur friend and weighed the balances of having a dog and or cat. Cat seemed the most attractive option with ease of care. I finally jumped into the arena and chose my first friend Chad. Love at first sight, and from that point on, there seemed quite nothing like a cat. I’m a happy conversion in my change of thoughts about cats. Thank you.

  3. If they are going to amputate for a sofa, does anyone believe they would keep a cat that is peeing on the floor, or biting? Not likely.

  4. You raise some very good points Michael that bring to light the serious effects of de-clawing (amputation) that many people would not know about.
    I think it’s more than a confidence trick. It is an evil lie to make money whilst lying about the suffering it causes.

  5. Declawing vets don’t want to admit that declawing costs cats their homes and often their lives too. I just wonder how long they can go on denying the truth.
    They can’t pretend not to know about the Paw Project and their research and their hard work in repairing cats mutilated paws. Have they no conscience? Declawing vets perform surgery to ruin cats paws, Paw Project vets perform surgery at great cost to ease the pain of the cats they are able to help. How many more cats are suffering and will never get the chance to be helped? How many more are doomed to suffer while declawing is still legal?
    I can’t understand anyone who doesn’t like claws getting a cat as a pet, declawing should not be an option!
    It’s heart breaking to see cats still being mutilated even now when there is proof of the cruelty of declawing. The vets still doing it are just money grabbing butchers!

    • The “declawing saves lives” argument is the only one the vets have and it is pathetic and obviously a total failure of an argument. We all know it and I am surprised the vets still spout it as a defence to their behaviour.

    • I am a vet and I had never heard of the Paw Project until about 2 months ago when I was asked to be State Director of the Paw Project for Oklahoma because I am one of the few vets in OK that does not declaw. When I have mentioned to other vets I know about the Paw Project they have not heard of it either. So apparently we need to do a better job of disseminating information to vets about the Paw Project.

      • Strange that as we in the UK have known about and supported the Paw Project for years and have watched and shared their film.
        They have 94,611 likes on their main face book page, so almost 100,000 cat lovers obviously know about them.


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