Categories: Declawing

Declawing surgery: cats bounce off the walls because of excruciating pain

Close-up of the amputated claws of a cat

Just got this from Jennifer Conrad in an email. She quotes Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Professor of Behavioral Pharmacology and Director of the Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and internationally known specialist in domestic animal behavioral research, explains declawing:

“The inhumanity of the procedure is clearly demonstrated by the nature of cats’ recovery from anesthesia following the surgery. Unlike routine recoveries, including recovery from neutering surgeries, which are fairly peaceful, declawing surgery results in cats bouncing off the walls of the recovery cage because of excruciating pain. Cats that are more stoic huddle in the corner of the recovery cage, immobilized in a state of helplessness, presumably by overwhelming pain. Declawing fits the dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint, and dismember all apply to this surgery. Partial digital amputation is so horrible that it has been employed for torture of prisoners of war, and in veterinary medicine, the clinical procedure serves as model of severe pain for testing the efficacy of analgesic drugs. Even though analgesic drugs can be used postoperatively, they rarely are, and their effects are incomplete and transient anyway, so sooner or later the pain will emerge.”

What can we say? We hope that someone reads this and we hope that it stops a person from asking a veterinarian to mutilate her cat. We hope that this person understands what she is about to do. We hope that this person sees sense. We hope that this person does not just listen to her veterinarian when he or she misrepresents this horrifying operation to her.

You could not get a better quote from a better person. This is why I am publishing it here, on this website, verbatim. People who want to declaw their cat should read the quote at least twice, sit down, digest it fully, read this article as well, rethink what they’re doing and then finally they may change their mind. They should. And if and when they change their mind about this horrific veterinary operation they should then preach what they have learned to others. As many people as possible.

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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.

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  • Well over a decade ago, in my first years as the Cats Expert for, I sent a proposal to my local California State Assemblyman for a "disclose and wait" ordinance. e.g., when a cat's owner requested a declaw surgery, the veterinarian would be required to disclose the exact procedures used in declawing a cat, along with the potential side effects that could result, such as behavior problems, including urinating out of the box (resulting from pain when covering waste.) The disclosure would be in writing, and include a video depicting the declawing procedure. A three-day waiting period would be required to give the cat's owner time to digest the material.

    Nothing was done with my proposal, and I found out later that the Representative's assistant had intercepted the paperwork and destroyed it; and of course, the Rep had never been aware of it at all.

    Back then, typical response from many members of the veterinary field was much the same as it is today: "If owners can't have their cats declawed, they will just either have them put to sleep, or surrender them to a shelter."

  • yea its just terrible ruth i feel very dissappointed thankfully over here that sort of thing doesnt happen.

  • I don't see that there is any way at all that all vets don't know how cruel declawing is, they DO know but they don't care because it makes them money! :(

  • i feel sick just reading this. WHY OH WHY WOuld anyone do this their pet. So sad SO pleased its illegal over here in nzl.

    • It is strange to me that vets condone it and many cat owners see it as a normal thing to do.

      • weird michael i really just dont understand it. I couldnt ever do that thats totally cruelty. i think its just like animal abuse. just my view anyway

  • Thanks for this article, Michael.
    I just sent it to Banfield and Companion Animal Clinics.
    Hope that is OK with you.

    • Absolutely, yes, Dee spread it anywhere it might do some good. The source of information is the best. The world should know the reality of declawing and how brutal it is.

  • Horrible, I hate this "procedure" and everyone who offers it or avails themselves of it and renders their cat disabled, if I was President Obama I would outlaw it right across the USA and commit any perpetrators of this sickening crime to Death Row!

  • Yes this is the horrible truth!
    What is most disgusting of all is that declaw vets know how cruel it is to declaw cats yet they keep on doing it!
    They keep cats in until the first pain and shock have passed and the poor cat is resigned to what has happened and then the 'owner' collects the cat, thinking job well done, it was nothing much, the cat is OK.
    I say owner in this case because caretaker is the wrong word for anyone who pays someone else to mutilate their cat. They certainly don't care and they should take part of the responsibility for the abuse of their cat because any true cat lover would never have their cat's claws taken from them even if it was 'only' the claws.

  • I'm with you a thousand percent, Marc. It is the vets that keep promoting this brutal torture- to make the mighty buck. These veterinarians don't educate their clients and tell them the truth about what their cat will go through. They don't offer alternatives.

    I blame these vets for helping to perpetuate this horror, and I can't express this strongly enough. So it's up to people like us to spread the truth- and help change the minds of those people who think it is no big deal- since their vet recommended it.

    • We can only do our bit. I have been consistent in that cause. Declawing is legalized cat cruelty of the worst kind. Every vet who does it should be convicted and sentenced to a year behind bars, fined 50,000 USD and removed from the register of veterinarians.

  • The REAL problem is the f**king vets who promote it. They are disgusting wastes of human skin, every single one of them, they all deserve to be locked up for torturing animals for profit.

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