Does the declawing of cats in America damage America’s reputation?

Does the declawing of cats in America damage America’s reputation?

by Michael
(London, UK)

This is Michael introducing a short post by an Australian. I have to introduce it because it is very harsh and some might say it is rude and impolite. It might upset Americans. I don’t want to upset Americans!

But I feel that I have to publish it because it seems to have some merit as a discussion point.

Personally I like America. I like the space, the prices and the people are friendly.

But the perception of America by non-Americans can sometimes be wrong and it seems that there are a lot of people who dislike the American style of doing things. A lot of people dislike the British style of doing things too for that matter.

But only Americans declaw cats. It is the only place in the world where this peculiarly horrible idea exists that you can treat a companion animal as a modifiable object to suit the cat owner and make the cat more convenient to the detriment of the cat and his or her health.

Is declawing a bad symptom of the American way of life and the reason why this Australian is so critical of Americans?

Or is Nicki just an exception? Here is the unabridged and unamended text of Nicki’s short post:

“most of u americans are parasites u are hated all over the world and u know who u are DECLAWING CATS should be made illegal in ur country but instead other pathetic things are illegal instead ur law is barbaric l hope any of u that declaw ur cat gets bad karma and u lose all ur fingers and toes from a disease this is what u deserve see how u like it mongrel lowlife dogs from hell! ( and this message is not to all americans as l know alot of u do the right thing towards ur pet cat just to some of u)” — N.Fox (Nicki – Australia)

Do you think Nicki is way out of line?

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Does the declawing of cats in America damage America’s reputation?

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Aug 09, 2011 No she isn’t she could just put it better
by: Leah UK

No she isn’t out of line she just isn’t great with her grammar which makes her appear uneducated.

I used to feel that the USA was very like the UK but since de-clawing I’ve realised we have very little in common.

I used to watch the American programmes on Animal Planet but now I can’t because when I see a cat all I can thing ‘I wonder if that poor little soul is de-clawed?’

Jul 04, 2011 Thanx Kathleen:)
by: Nicki Fox

Thanx kathleen lm glad u didnt get offended by my letter as l did say most americans not all as even in my country there are cold blooded aussie monsters that burn mame kill ect innocent animals and it makes me so ANGRY l never went out to offend anyone in the first place as l have heaps of american mates in australia and they are awsome people l have many mates actually from all around the world and one best mate that l adore as we are both the same think the same anyway thanx again mate take care …cheers…:)

Jul 03, 2011 My thoughts
by: Kathleen

Well, declawing happens in Canada also, let’s not forget…though personally I believe that if the US were to abolish the practice, Canada would be likely to follow suit. As an American, I did not find Nicki’s letter personally offensive, because I agree with her sentiments, though I do tend to believe (as I’ve said here before) that harsh words tend to be counterproductive when trying to persuade people to see your own point of view. I believe that the cultural acceptance of declawing in the US as opposed to most of the rest of the world has *everything* to do with its portrayal as an acceptable and innocuous practice by the American veterinary establishment. Americans are in thrall to doctors; they are seen as authority figures and they are trusted to a fault, and Americans tend to seek medical/pharmaceutical/surgical solutions for every problem they encounter in their own lives, so it is no real surprise that they do so for their pets as well. Vets in other countries present the unadorned facts about declawing in a way that American vets do not, and so it is not surprising to me that the same demand for the procedure is not found in other countries. I do agree that there is also the fact that companion animals are still seen as property rather than as sentient beings by a majority of Americans, but in this attitude as well, I feel they are supported and encouraged by the veterinary establishment. American vets’ firt priorities are generally to the human client, not to their animal patients, and it seems to me that this is not the case in the UK and other countries. The cultural paradigm shift that we want to see happen in the US is not likely to happen without the cooperation and support of a greater percentage of the veterinary community. As to the question of how much declawing damages America’s reputation…well, I think it does do that among educated animal lovers, but in the grand scheme of things, there are probably a lot of other things America does that damage its worldwide reputation a great deal more. ๐Ÿ™

Jun 30, 2011 Hi Gail:)
by: Nicki Fox

Gail l didnt mean all americans love l have heaps of awsome american mates in australia and even in my country there are heaps of aussies that are VERY CRUEL towards animals l had to deal with a few of them in the past and luckily l changed there ways the ones l dealed with where teenagers and the boys became animal lovers in the end so l did not MEAN all americans mate l know my letter was HARSH but lm sorry l was so angry when l found out that this practice is legal in ur country it SHOCKED me mate as l have heard that ur country does this declawing but l wasnt 100% sure if this was true until l read what was on this site but please read the rest of my posts mate as l do explain that not all of u believe declawing is right lm sorry to offend anyone from america but like l just said it might be legal to declaw in ur country but there are heaps of aussies that agree that cats should have there nails removed permanantly and my own country angers me to when l hear aussies say this plus we have a big problem in australia heaps of people dont like cats they make out that cats kill heaps of wildlife ect but after l explain to them that the poor cats that get dumped in the bush have no choice but to kill and eat wildlife to survive so they should be angry with the owner for dumping the poor cat in the bush in the first place plus not only cats kill and eat wildlife when l lived in an aboriginal town in darwin there were so many dogs running around and puppys galore and l witnessed and others did aswell these dogs attacking and killing birds lizards ect and most of the time they did not eat them so people in general need to observe a bit closer and not turn a blind eye because they choose to hate a certain animal because it suits them the FACTS are FACTS anyway gail l opologise for my harsh letter and l wont write harsh letters anymore as l dont want to offend anyone expecially americans cause us aussies and americans get along so well we are well known around the world that australia and america are good friends:)

Jun 30, 2011 Hi Nicki
by: Gail (Boston, USA)

Please know, Nicki, that your original comments (although harsh) do not apply to every American. We are growing in leaps and bounds to try and stop declawing but this country is HUGE and each state has their own laws. It’s virtually impossible for the federal government to get involved as each state is autonomous in most areas.

Declawing is absolutely barbaric! The shelter I volunteer with is no-kill and will not allow adoptions to anyone even remotely considers declawing. Each adopter must sign an agreement that includes NO DECLAW and when we do home checks (yes, we do check up on our furkids), should we find someone lied and had the cat declawed, we confiscate the animal and that person is put on a “do not allow adoption” type of list that is circulated among the volunteers through our group email account. Here’s our shelter if you would like to look it over:

In this state (Massachusetts), we were successful in getting a law passed recently to make devocalization illegal. Imagine…some people would actually have surgery done to their ‘pets’ to prevent them from barking/meowing. How absurd! Horrific! It took thousands of people badgering the State until they finally caved. We are hoping to do the same with declaw but it’s an uphill battle.

Not to worry, Nick. We true Americans know that declawing is torture. All we need now is to continue exposing the greedy vets for the money-making atrocity this practice is. We will win eventually but it takes time and EDUCATION! At the shelter, we continually educate every person that comes through that door and I know of other shelters that do the same. Keep the faith Nicki – your heart is in the right place and I am not offended.

Jun 30, 2011 Hi Jane:)
by: Nicki Fox

Thats what shocks me why dont people gather up in the streets of america and make declawing known to others that its a barbaric act and that vets need to stop this revolting practice once and for all in my country it is even illegal to dock the tails of puppys no one can do this anymore and if any ones caught they are not only severally punished by the law but will most likely get death threats this monster of a bloke seeked his dog to kill a bush cat not long ago l watched this on the news well this monster has to hide as he got heaps of death threats from cat lovers he had to hide serves himself right thats what he deserved he looked very cold blooded when l seen his face on tele we still have heaps of lowlifes that kill and mame ect innocent animals around australia but if they are caught they get into so much trouble now with vets jane in my country they are not considered trust worthy anymore but there are a few that are and are very good vets like the bloke on tele called BONDI VET he is unreal and l love his shows l havent seen his show for a while as l have been busy lately but l tell ya he is one of the best around heaps of vets are only interested in there pockets these days and thats it and there fees are over the top lve also thought perhaps in the states there is so much happening that alot of people have lost faith in standing up these days for so many things and its very sad u know even in my country people have lost faith in standing up to so many things and it saddens me that australia is not what it use to be like anymore all of us good/kind people need to get together and start standing up again otherwise these beautiful animals are going to dissapear one day:)

Jun 30, 2011 It’s happened too long
by: Jane A

Hi I agree with Nicki and other comments that declawing damages America’s reputation and that it’s a shame as a lot of people hate that it goes on and want it banned.
It’s not fair to typecast people but it happens all the time that people see bad things and forget about the good things.
But really declawing has happened there too long already and why isn’t everyone there demanding that vets stop doing it?
That’s what I can’t understand.

Jun 30, 2011 Hi Ruth:)
by: Nicki Fox

Thanx for ur reply mate l was on facebook but l deleted it as it got very boring and l would rather be in this cat site l love it lm glad l found it sorry mate otherwise l would love to be in ur group yes my babys are very spoilt l didnt have a great childhood ruth my parents were very cruel to me and my bro alway hated my guts my mum never wanted me as she wanted another boy so l turned to animals for affection and love and thats exactly what l got from them and its so weird ruth till today when lm in contact with any animal its like they know what hell l went through as a child and they take to me straight away when l was very young l would sit in the grass near this tree l loved as a child and l swear this is true all these drop tail lizards would come out from under the house and walk all over my legs as l sat there and they would let me hold them l would bring a couple into my bedroom and put them in my bed and l would snooze with them at night until the next morning then l would take them back outside and bring another two in l also grew up with heaps of pets as my mum loved animals aswell so we basicaly had a mini zoo in my suburb and our backyard was massive so they all had heaps of room l also had this large container l would sit beside my bedside table and l would collect insects and watch them before l fell asleep sometimes l would collect spiders and other times different things so l surrounded myself with animals and insects thats why l highly respect the animal and insect kingdom with out animals ect on this planet if tomorrow all the animals died then l will want to die along side of them as they mean everything to me and l wish so much that more people out there wake up to themselves and realise that animals can give us so much love more than a husband or mother ect and they dont ask for that much in return just a bit of food to fill there tummys and kisses and cuddles:)

Jun 30, 2011 To Nicki
by: Ruth

You are obviously a true animal lover Nicki and all your pets must have a wonderful lfe.
I wish all animals had someone as loving and caring looking after them !
We are lucky here in the UK that we don’t have all the dangers outdoors that you do in your country and we live in a cat friendly place so our cats can enjoy scratching on trees as well as their indoor scratching posts and pads.
But your cats have lots to do to make up to them for not being able to go out and obviously they enjoy their lives.
Like you I hate it that some people think cats are just ornaments to sit on a windowsill looking pretty, especially if they have them declawed too.
If you are on Facebook we have a group called ‘The International Coalition Against Declawing’ you might like to join ?
I don’t know much about lizards, they are quite an unusual pet and I’ve never met one even when I was vet nursing !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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.

Jun 29, 2011 To Ruth:)
by: Nicki Fox

Yes love l agree with u u are 100% right that people are lazy to teach there cats to use scratching posts it only takes a few minutes a day thats all l only taught my babys a few times plus l have an old suitcase that they also like using as a scratching post and l leave it half open and they love jumping in and out of the case plus climb on top and use it for there claws so they have the case and a scratching post as well but my babys are spoilt rotton ruth what ever they want they get as long as its good for there health l wont give then rubbish to eat and they have heaps of toys to play with plus a huge bed they can lay on my bedroom is massive plus l have a bathroom connected to the bedroom and thats huge and a huge walk in wardrobe they have access to all these rooms plus they have there own chair with a soft velvet cushion they love snuggling up in l lift up my curtains to so they can see outside the window in my bedroom and bathroom they are indoor cats as l dont want them outside cause lm scared they might get hit by a car or stolen or a dog or someone might hurt or kill them but my kittens are very happy they get heaps of kisses and cuddles everyday around 20 times plus eachday plus l have homeless cats that come to visit 1 huge pure black cat that l feed he or she is gorgeous and another huge ginger cat aswell even where l lived before a month ago my neighbor acroos from me she is a healthy elderly woman she would take in homeless cats and feed them ect and she had heaps and some of them where massive cats l LOVE CATS more than anything in this world and l also love animals but my fav are cats and reptiles expecially lizards well lm getting a lizard for my b-day in sep l cant wait l also live with 2 small dogs one boy is called yoshi and the other boy is called yoda and they are taken care of very well thats what l mean if people dont have any time to spend with a pet why get them in the first place l think its SELFISH ruth and CRUEL and it seems that the pet is there just for the looks like an ornament and it makes me furious.

Jun 29, 2011 Scratching
by: Ruth

The trouble is Nicki that some people think scratching is bad behaviour, but as we know it isn’t, it’s necessary to a cat to scratch to stay happy and healthy.
Like you we’ve always trained our kittens to use scratching posts, it only takes a bit of time and patience and it’s just pure laziness that some people have their cats declawed instead.
What makes me almost as angry as I feel about declawing is that anyone can get a kitten without bothering to learn the first thing about cats.
They punish them in various unkind ways just for doing what cats do and it breaks my heart to think of the millions of cats living in fear, misery and pain because of the fate of being in the power of those people who should never have been allowed anywhere near a cat !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jun 29, 2011 To Rose:)
by: Nicki Fox.

Thankyou rose for understanding l know my letter was a bit harsh but l was so angry when l found out that declawing in the states is legal if they are going to allow a law like that then why not make it legal to remove the fingers off theives remove the penis from child molesters ect at least these mongrels deserve it cats dont deserve to be declawed because they are ripping ur furniture apart u should know before hand that cats do this kind of thing even dogs rip things apart like shoes ect so should they also make it legal to remove the teeth from dogs GROW a BRAIN please and do ur research before u adopt a cat or any other animal as these creatures are not toys they are real they feel just like us so dont be so SELFISH and think of ur self and ur precious furniture first if u prize ur furniture more than ur cat than u dont deserve to have a pet cat in the first place and anyway lve already trained my kittens to use a scratching post and l only trained them a few times so if l can train my kittens lm sure others can but it seems heaps of people are to busy with other things its really the owners fault here not the poor cat that is doing what comes natural and so many vets are only interested in filling up there pockets they dont care about ur pet!

Jun 29, 2011 I agree with Nicki
by: Rose

That declawing is acceptable in the USA does colour it black for me too even though I like Ruth have got to know some of the good people there.
We don’t say we own cats in our country like the Americans do.
We consider it a privilege to share our homes with them and we respect that they have claws just as we respect our kids have fingers and make a mess and our dogs bark.
We cater to their needs we don’t adapt them.
It seems that to some people in the USA cats have to conform to how they want them to be and not how they are and it’s time the attitude of those people changed.
Maybe then other civilised countries would look upon America in a better light.

Jun 29, 2011 Wise words I live by
by: Ruth

Live and let live.
Do more!
Live and help live.
Do only to those below you
As you would be done by those above you.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jun 28, 2011 To Brandy:)
by: N.Fox

No Brandy it is just declawing that makes me very angry and that it is legal in america and l also watch foxtel thats pay t.v and they have heaps of channels on animal abuse in the states and lm so disgusted to watch so many innocent animals suffer such torture from cruel cold blooded people animals DONT deserve this they give us unconditional love and it BREAKS my heart to watch an animal suffer on these shows most people in general are shelfish and evil l was raised the wrong way in a chemical bronx but l know from right and wrong and no one out there can make up any excuse to me that they tortured there pet cause there family member hurt them as heaps of people hurt animals because they where bashed or whatever when they were a child lm not saying lm perfect as no one is but l do know one thing treat others including animals the way you want to be treated:) (please excuse my spelling)

Jun 28, 2011 The love of beautiful animals.
by: N.Fox

Thankyou Ruth for understanding me l didnt mean all americans as l have heaps of mates that are american that live permanently in australia now just some of them even in my country there are heaps of aussies that believe its a good idea to declaw cats l was told to declaw my cat when l lived in cairns qld years ago cause he was ripping my loungesuit apart as l got him when he was an adult cat from the R.S.P.C.A and he was also urinating on my partners mattress so l lifted up the mattress on the side eachtime l went out and he eventually got the idea but l could not stop him from scratching his claws on my once beautiful lounge l loved him so much his name was duma when l moved from cairns l was living with an english couple and he was to be picked up to be taken to the airport to be flown out to W.A well they decided to steal him and cause l couldnt afford to go back and get him l lost him but now l have 2 beautiful female sister kittens ones a tri color and her name is jellybean and the other is a grey color with tiger stripes through her body and l called her tigerlily l helped the mamma cat give birth 2 her 5 kittens 1 was born deformed and dead and that saddened me so much so l buried her/him in my backyard and gave the kitten a full funeral service 1 ginger boy my niece wanted him so she has him the other ginger boy my neigbor took him and l kept the gorgeous sisters l made sure they went to good homes to they are just over 3 months old and extremely spoilt l love animals expecially cats and lizards they are my fav and l always make sure my pets are well taken care of even my weiro bird cheeky if people decide to have a pet then take care of ur pet properly they have feelings just like us and are far more intelligent than any human expecially pigs l hate it when people choose to mutilate there pet before they sit down and think of other solutions humane ones anyway this is my opinion on pets:)

Jun 28, 2011 My thoughts
by: Ruth

I can understand how Nicki feels as the very thought of declawing being accepted as humane by some Americans makes me feel very angry too.
Each and every UK person I’ve discussed this with has been shocked and disgusted that declawing has gone on so long there and is still allowed to go on. Yes some of them say ‘Oh typical Americans with their love of possessions, what does a cat’s well being matter to them as long as they have perfect furniture’
They can’t understand how some people condone it because even people here who don’t particularly like cats shudder at the cruelty of it even before they know it isn’t ‘only’ the claws removed, that it’s the amputation of the cats toe ends.
To us cats come with claws because they need them, our own common sense tells us that.
But those of us who have joined the Americans who hate declawing and want it stopped, know that it’s not that simple in the USA, people seem brainwashed by vets. Yet some people have been fighting to get it banned for decades now and more and more are joining the fight, they must know it’s cruel so why doesn’t everyone ?
People who take the easy way out and have their cat declawed rather than provide the necessary scratching post for the cat are to blame but even more to blame are the vets who agree to declaw those cats. They know beyond any doubt that it causes suffering.
I’ve never been to the USA and would never want to go, it is tainted for me because of declawing, so yes for me it does damage the country’s reputation which is a pity because there are some very good people there !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jun 28, 2011 Sounds just bitter
by: Brandy

Sounds like its more than just the fact that declawing cats is legal in USA that boils his hate. I think its terrible to declaw cats but I think its equally terrible to carry around that much hate.

but hey why not use this as another point for us to get rid of the practice. Wouldnt want Canada or the USA’s reputation to get hurt.. ๐Ÿ˜›

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