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Declawing To Protect Children — 10 Comments

    • No problem. Don’t worry about it. The important thing is that you commented and make some interesting points. Thanks for visiting.

  1. I’ve always been against declawing, but we have a cat (a former feral) that is about 98% great. However, every now and again he’ll attack, and he always goes for your face. I’ve been patient with it when it was just my husband and I, but now we have a 2 year old daughter. She is incredible with our cats. We have one that’s well socialized and it’s I believe me how well she knows to treat her gently. The second one is a scratcher so she’s not allowed to let her. On occasion she’s tried to scratch my daughter when she’s just minding her own business but it’s been ok. The third was a feral and he can be unpredictable so she knows to leave him alone. But he’s attacked her, her FACE, twice. When he attacks he doesn’t just tap and run off. He swipes, claws out and bats at you repeatedly. The first time he got her in a few spots, luckily nothing permanent (she was 15 months old). Tonight she was jumping on the couch (but not doing anything to him) and he was about a foot away on the top of the back cushions when he started going at her. Luckily it was a clumsy hit and I was close enough to push him off and he didn’t leave a mark. What concerns me is that he’s done this without her messing with him. We are. It talking about a child that is mistreating a cat! I’ve always been against it but I’m ready to declaw. My first responsibility is to her and at this point, I don’t think she’s safe. I hate the thought of it, but he can do some serious damage to her and it would be my fault for not making a change. I don’t think my husband is convinced yet, but I regretfully think it’s going to have to happen.

    • I understand your argument and as you say your child’s safety is the top priority. My observations are these (no offence intended whatsoever):

      I would not describe your ex-feral cat as “attacking”. It would seem to be more about play but I agree cats can hurt a person in play. You say the other cat is a “scratcher”. I guess all cats are scratchers at heart.

      You have inadvertently created the situation whereby you have a domesticated feral cat and a 2-year-old daughter in the same home together. I guess, in an ideal world, that could have been avoided. And now the cat is too pay the heavy and painful price of that malfunctioning arrangement which you created. Is that fair?

      I’ll leave it at that. For me there are no circumstances which justify declawing. There are ways around things such as claw caps and making arrangements so that child and cats are not left alone (which may be impractical, I understand that).

      • A dog, no matter its size, that repeatedly attacks a member of a household is immediately destroyed. It cannot be adopted-out to another person without signing many waivers of responsibility for the safety and well-being of other humans — it is destroyed. As is right. If you want to domesticate a species of animal you destroy that which is harmful or a risk to humans and only breed those which are not.

        To put an animal’s life above that of a human only makes you a self-evident sociopath and psychopath.

        If the choice is between having an harmful animal destroyed or declawing it, what then is your choice. Those are the only two options you get.

      • Well, yes in an ideal world that situation would not be created, but you are assuming a lot. The actual situation is that my cat Jack was rescued by a dear friend right before a blizzard. Jack had an orange sized wound on his back and that’s why they rescued him. They ended up needing to move and couldn’t take him so I took him since they had no other option for him. I guess I could have let him get euthanized or tossed to the street, but we took him in and love him. We did not have a child then so it wasn’t a problem. By your assessment, when I got pregnant I should have adopted him out? Turned him in to the humane society? What do you suppose we should have done? Not get pregnant for the next 8 years or so that my cat is alive? I’m older so that would have meant I never had a child.
        So that you know, the two times he scratched my daughter, my cat and daughter were not alone. We were all there with them but he was showing no signs of aggression. The most recent time, she was jumping up and down in place and he was a foot or so away. Out of nowhere he scratched at her face and kept scratching until we broke it up which was only a couple of seconds. Luckily, no damage was done that time. That does not sound like play to me. The first time he scratched at her, she was on the couch with my husband and she reached out and pet him very lightly, then drew back to my husband. Several seconds later when there was no reason to think there was any danger, he reached over and repeatedly scratched at her face/head. That time he did draw blood but luckily nothing permanent. Again, that’s not play. Since that first time, she has not been allowed to touch him in any way at all. Unfortunately, the second time (when she was jumping without having any interaction with him) she was not touching him at all so what is frightening to me as a mother is that it’s not predictable.
        What I would say to you (no offense) is that it’s easy to make blanket statements and not actually understand every scenario that falls under that blanket statement. I love Jack, but its my primary job to protect my child.
        Do I want to declaw Jack? No.
        Did I purposely create the situation I’m in? No.
        Should I make him an outdoor cat and let him fend for himself so that I don’t have to declaw him? I can, but then that’s cruel, isn’t it?
        Should I let my daughter continue to live in a situation where she is in danger because of an unpredictable cat? No.
        Should I adopt him out? I don’t think he’s adoptable because he’s about 10, has had a lot of medical conditions and has scratched a child twice. Unless you’re offering.
        It’s very easy to sit at a computer and make judgment calls and fill in the blanks to the parts of the story they don’t know.

        • I cannot believe that you are putting the life of your cat above that of your own child. Are you not even aware that cat’s Toxoplasma gondii parasites can make your own child autistic, blind, or die if ever requiring any chemo-therapy or other immunosuppressive therapies during your child’s entire life? If your child is female then she has 2X’s the risk of committing suicide during her life even though she suffers from no mental or emotional illnesses.

          And this doesn’t even begin to address the other diseases that your cat might have already transmitted to your child by breaking your child’s skin and drawing blood.

          There is something seriously wrong with you. You yourself shouldn’t have been allowed to breed–indeed, not even your parents should have been allowed to breed if this is how little value you place on even your own offspring’s life over that of any cat on earth by even beginning to question whether that cat’s life is more important than your own child’s. Seek counseling–after you have had that cat destroyed to save your child’s life.

          • Wow! “Dr. albert Corsaire”! I didn’t know I had the good grace to be in the presence of an all-knowing, omnipotent blogger. How wonderful it must be to go through life knowing everything that will occur before it does or to know the right answer and course of action in each and every instance! Had I possessed such qualities I would have known she would have been scratched before it happened! Too bad that I am not cut from such cloth and that my daughter is doomed to have a merely mortal mother. I guess my love and care for her will not suffice in protecting her, and that I have somehow failed as a parent for not predicting that my cat would scratch her.
            I must say that I also applaud your truly inspirational way of getting very important information out there! I have always found that using ugly, hurtful words, insults and scare tactics is the BEST method for productive discourse.
            Bravo to you! But of course, you already knew that.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with this article. The only time that I have ever been injured by a cat was by my grandmother’s declawed cat. I was really young back then and I (stupidly) chased the cat around the house. She didn’t give me much in the way of a warning. She bit me and hissed through a mouthful of finger. Now that I am older (and wiser), I pity the poor kitty because she must have felt defenseless and afraid.
    My (anti-claw) mother also talks about how her declawed cat started biting when he got older. She euthanized him, because back then (the 1990’s) she was under the impression that he was addicted to catnip. Now, I think he might have had arthritis brought on by declawing.
    My current (claw intact) cat has never injured anyone. However I believe that if he was declawed, he would probably become a biter as he is already overly nervous and high strung (he was a feral cat). Losing his main line of defense might have made him go off the deep end.
    The purpose of this (rather rambly) post is to emphasize that declawing can and does cause negative consequences. Think and research this before doing it. We have the whole of the Internet at our disposal. We should use it.

    • Thanks Alyson for visiting and supporting the anti-declaw lobby. People who don’t like declawing, don’t like because it is totally unnecessary 99.99% of the time and a cruel mutilation for the person’s convenience.

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