Is it men or women who are making the decisions to declaw cats?
Is it men or women who are making the decisions to declaw cats? This conversation is sure to get your juices flowing and the arguments growing!
It may be the case that in households where there is a man and a women, either married or cohabiting that they make a joint decision to declaw. In other words the decision to declaw the family cat is not gender based.
Or it might be that on average the woman of the house makes the decision to declaw the cat. This is possible because women are usually the motivators to adopting a cat and probably the people in a family environment who do all or most of the work in looking after the cat. This is because historically women are the housekeepers and looking after the cat is part of housekeeping or at least it can be classified like that.
Also women are more inclined to prefer cats over dogs, while men tend to prefer dogs over cats. We know this.
There is also the factors of protection and caution. It is possible that the wife or female partner is more likely to decide to keep the cat in permanently as it is safer for the cat. Women in general take decisions that reflect a more cautious approach. It seems likely that full-time indoor cats are more likely to be declawed because the argument is that they don’t need their claws as a defence. Keeping cats indoors full-time and declawing go together. Also the concept of full-time indoor cat is consistent with seeing the cat as completely domesticated while, in fact, it is not. The domestic cat is a whisker away from being wild again. A more cautious approach to life would also encourage a person to declaw because the argument for declawing is made on the grounds that cats can be dangerous through scratching and biting. Women are more inclined to avoid dangerous situations.
OK, now before we have a feminist revolution on PoC because I am hinting that possibly – in general and on average – the woman of the house makes the decisions about the cat, I will say that women are probably better suited to being cat caretakers and guardians. They are naturally predisposed to a caring role and they are more gentle and less threatening than men (in general – there are many exceptions of course). Cats are like babies in some senses. Sometimes, they can even meow like a baby cries. And this is deliberate as some cats have learned to meow like a baby as they know it pushes the right female buttons! Why then do they have them declawed?
There is another argument that possibly favors the conclusion that it is women who decide to declaw their cat. Veterinary medicine was formerly a male dominated profession. There are now (at 2011) more female veterinarians than male veterinarians. By far the majority of students at veterinary college are females. It is the veterinarian who makes a significant contribution in decision making when it comes to declawing. The “cat owner” listens to and normally accepts the vet’s advice. Most veterinarians in the USA declaw cats as a routine.
Let me say though that I actually do not know who out of the male or female of the family makes the decision to declaw. I am guessing. I need some help. One thing I do know, though, is that if an analysis was made on who runs the family household you would probably find that the woman’s decision is followed more than half the time if there is a difference of opinion. This is despite the fact that it is still a man’s world. The world is generally patriarchal. Although I feel that in America there is greater equality between the sexes than in many other countries.
Finally there are many single households. Research indicates that a cat is more likely to be adopted by a single woman, perhaps middle aged and older. If the profile of cat caretakers leans towards women it would seem fair to say that it is women who more often than not make the decision to declaw.
I am not trying to start a sexist war just a discussion about where the decision to declaw comes from. Comments welcome.
Note: I hope that I have presented a balanced argument. I am not sexist.