Lived with 2 declawed cats, knew several others

I’ll start off by saying that I’m neutral in the declaw debate. I can see why some of those who have their cats declawed do, and I can see why others, like this site, believe it’s an inhumane act.

Yes, I know that it’s actually the removal of the first toe joint, not just the claw. I know of the complications, like infections and regrowth of the nail. I know of the long-term side effects like phantom pains and biting.

My belief is that every cat reacts to the surgery differently. Is the pain unavoidable? Yes, of course, it’s their feet and there’s no wheelchairs for cats. Unless you have the cat so packed with painkillers that it doesn’t make an effort to move, which no vet would recommend regardless of the type of surgery (spay, cancer removal, etc), the cat WILL walk around at some point between the day you take it home and the day its paws are completely healed.

Rusty, my mother’s first cat, was originally not declawed. As a kitten, he had a window smash his feet and the first TWO joints on his toes were broken. The vet couldn’t fix the first joint; it’d been smashed beyond repair. She did her best to save the second joint, however, after the first set were removed. So, in a sense, he was “declawed”.

Rusty’s feet healed and the only noticeable difference was that he was then afraid of windows (which my mother didn’t mind, considering he’d already been hurt once and was supposed to be indoor only anyway). He quickly returned to doing all of the normal kitten things that he’d done before the accident; tearing through the house, attempting to scratch the (now useless) post and furniture, peeing in his litterbox like a good boy.

There were no phantom pains, and he still gave his “love bites”, which were when he’d stand on our chest and nibble and lick our chins, not actual bites. Rusty lived to the happy age of 22 years before his kidneys failed and he had to be put down.

Nala was the first cat that was, in a sense, mine. Rusty had been my mother’s, and the cute kitty in the shelter was so appealing to a young girl who’d just seen The Lion King. The shelter told us that she might not be the best choice, because she was picked out of a feral community and they didn’t know how old she was, but after several minutes of watching her rub against my legs, they let us take her, warning us that she might not be the nicest cat to strangers because of her rough start. Now, when we got Nala, the shelter itself was declawing all new arrivals because they had discovered that the declawed cats were finding homes faster, probably because people liked the thought of not having to worry about their furniture or post. Nala was declawed before we brought her home.

We’re not sure how old Nala was when we got her, possibly a year or two. She adapted quickly to our home, enticing an older dog my family had rescued before I was born to play for the first time in that dog’s life. She, like Rusty, did all the normal cat things. She was less even tempered though, which isn’t a surprise considering she was a feral, so when we children did something that displeased her she’d give us a quick swat with her paws. No claws, but it was a sharp enough tap to let us know to stop what we were doing. She did bite, once, in the first week. I’d picked her up and tried to cuddle too hard, and she let me know that was unacceptable. I still have that scar; three stitches to my lip taught me that kitties need to breath too. However, she never bit again.

Nala also lived with two other dogs during her lifetime, after the first one we had died. One was a GSD that never quite learned to not chase the kitty until Nala decided to chase back. The other is the puppy we have now. She put her face too close to Nala’s, and was quickly taught who was boss with a swat to the nose. Again, though she didn’t have claws, she did know how to defend herself well. She was also afraid to go outside, and we lock our doors so there’s no chance of anything nasty getting inside. Sadly, Nala died in her sleep from colon cancer this past December after we’d owned her for 14 years.

Another thing I think I should mention is that we once had a mole and a house sparrow come in through a small rip in a basement window screen. Nala effectively killed both; I watched her chase the mole before I realised it wasn’t one of her electronic mice (which are covered in brown cloth, very easily mistaken in the dark basement), and before I could save the creature she brought it back to me and expected me to be pleased with her gift. I hadn’t realized the sparrow had gotten in as well; she left that one for my sister. Needless to say we fixed that screen right away.

Sometime this summer I plan on adopting another cat, from the same shelter we’ve always gone to. They’ve since stopped declawing, and it seems more people are interested in mousers, which I know claws come in handy for. I will again try to adopt an already-declawed cat, mostly because I live with my mother who doesn’t believe cats can be taught not to scratch the furniture (which, some clawed cats I’ve known have been rather stubborn about when the walls or table are more to their tastes than a post). I also know clawed cats who scratch only their posts faithfully, so while I don’t agree with my mother, it is her house. Thus, an already declawed cat is more suitable than one who’s claws, and toes, I’d have to pay to be amputated.

As for the other declawed cats I’ve known (Tigger, Tiger, Midnight, Tiger{x2}, Fat Girl, Garfield, Puppy, Midnight{x2}, Lera, and yet another Midnight), Lera and the last Midnight had phantom pains. Tigger was hesitant to use his box before the surgery, and there was no change in that behavior, so I can’t say it was caused by the declaw. NONE of them were biters except Garfield, who had been previously abused before his family got him, so whether that was from the declaw or not they couldn’t tell. Fat Girl even went outside on a leash, though only for a quick potty break. They all did normal cat things. and several of the first few I mentioned had clawed companions as well that they peacefully coexisted with, even wrestling and playing together.

I’ve known several clawed cats too (Lupus, Smoke, Suzi, Bitsy, Elvis, Elvis’s 3 litters {3, 1, and 6 kittens}, Raven, Sammy, Obediah, Felix, Luther, Calvin, Cozy, Diamond, and a Siamese, Ragdoll, and several domestic shorthairs who’s names I don’t remember). Some are indoor/outdoor, others are strictly indoor. Those who lived with declawed friends did not pick on them. They acted much the same as their declawed companions, except they of course either decided to scratch their posts(Suzi), the furniture (Smoke), or both (Lupus), as they wished. And it’s not a fault of the owner for lack of trying, because Suzi, Lupus, and Smoke are owned by the same person. Different cats have different tastes.

I also don’t think it’s right to call vets who declaw criminals or money grubbers. I’ve seen that way too often on things that most people would support their vet recommending, like vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries. One person went so far to say that they’d never go back to their vet for recommending not letting their dog go through the first heat cycle. Another said that because their vet recommended getting their new kitty updated on vaccinations, the vet must just be after their money and not looking after the protection of the cat against diseases like rabies. These people were not on this website, but another one I frequent, so I’m not pointing any fingers here.

It’s not right to lump everyone in a specific category. My vet has permanently “fostered” unadoptable special needs cats in her office (labled as foster, but their home is the office), has done her best to care for every animal we’ve brought to her, whether stray or owned by us. When our GSD suffered bloat, a condition that would have had us paying several thousand dollars we didn’t have to an after hours clinic, she helped us through it by convincing the clinic to let us pay in small payments. Without her, we would have had to pu t our dog down. The office’s official greeter is a cat she personally rescued; his former owner had thrown something at his head and smashed the right side of his face in. He cannot see out of that eye, cannot breath out of that side of his nose, and cannot open his mouth more than just to let his tongue out. She hand feeds him three times a day, a pretty messy job considering he’s friendly enough to try and smear the extra fish gruel on whatever he’s headbutting afterwards. A person that compassionate, that patient, that caring cannot be called criminal or cruel.

Lived with 2 declawed cats, knew several others to Declawing cats

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Lived with 2 declawed cats, knew several others

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Apr 12, 2011 Declawed Cats
by: Anonymous

I appreciate the in-depth comments of this piece.

Not wanting to have my furniture destroyed, I adopted 2 older declawed cats and have never lived to regret it. They are indoor cats and very well cared for and loved. I adopted a kitten last year and the vet suggested declawing her as she would have an advantage over the other cats in my household. We did. After surgery we filled the litter box with shredded paper until her front paws healed. Declawing her has not seemed to make any difference in her climbing or using her litter box now (she’s 8 months).

The “idea” of declawing, as described, awful. However, I will either get another declawed cat or pick another kitten that has time to adjust to declawing. I hear it’s harder for older cats to adjust to being declawed. My first choice would be an older cat which are usually harder to adopt.

May 17, 2010 Straight from the horse’s mouth
by: Ruth

We have permission to quote this written by a vet tech who we will not of course identify as she is in the precarious position of working for a clinic in which one vet declaws. She hates the procedure but feels she can do more good by ensuring the welfare of her patients by being there on the spot and she can also help educate people as to the cruelty of declawing.
She says:
‘Even with our supposedly superior methods of pain control, we still routinely have declawed cats tearing off their bandages and thrashing in pain upon awakening from the operation. It was the sheer amount of pain control medication that we give these cats that first clued me in to how truly odious this procedure is.
Typical pain control protocol for a declaw at the clinic where I work includes both pre- and post-operative injections, nerve-block injections in the paws, oral meloxicam to go home with, and the application of a transdermal fentanyl patch- this last of which is such a strong opiod-based painkiller that, when used in human medicine, I have heard it is typically only prescribed for the terminally ill’

This demonstrates just how much agony cats suffer from declawing and we already know that some vets not only declaw, but give clients the choice of pain medication by paying extra ! The thought of how many cats are suffering from this senseless abuse is heart breaking.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Mar 24, 2010 80% of declawed cats are euthanized
by: Rose

If anyone is in touch with Ms Neutral,she should read this which was written by a vet.
So please pass it on to her.

The number of declawed cats is estimated at around 25% of the total cats in the U.S. All things being equal, that same proportion of cats ought to show up in the shelter population. But clearly it doesn’t.
We know from studies that twice as many declawed cats as clawed cats are relinquished to shelters, but less than 10% of cats put up for adoption are declawed. This implies that a large percentage of relinquished cats don’t make it to the adoption process, meaning they were euthanized. So the data already supports statements from shelters that they euthanize about 80% of declawed cats that come in.

Maybe Ms Neutral and others like her will get off the fence if they know this.

Mar 24, 2010 Keep up the good work
by: Alex

I’ve signed your petition.The link to it has gone to my heart,that poor cat unconscious,helpless with bandaged paws must have awoken to hell on earth.
How cruel, how un-necessary,how can anyone ask a vet to do this to their pet?How can any caring vet do it?
It’s sickening,it’s abuse,it’s WRONG.
Please don’t ever give up letting the world know about this,it HAS to be made ILLEGAL.

Mar 23, 2010 Well said
by: Benedicta

Good point Richard M and one I agree with.

There is no convincing the unconvinceable and that is precisely why declawing must be banned in the countries where it is not banned already.

The people determined to see that happen have my deep admiration.

Mar 23, 2010 There is no gray area. It is animal cruelty.
by: Richard M.

I’m shocked, and scared actually that our future generation is “neutral” on an issue about animal cruelty. I understand the initial confusion considering the family, the vet and the shelter have mislead this person. But when one learns the truth about an issue such as hurting animals for no valid reason, to remain neutral or indifferent is a very dangerous thing.

I think it is admirable of those of you who spent the time to convey to this person that there is no gray area here. But sometimes when one has a closed mind, or is taught to be convinced one way, time is better spent educating those who are seeking the truth and able to accept it.

Mar 23, 2010 She has misunderstood
by: Ruth

I can’t understand where this person has got the idea that we’d prefer a cat to be dead or caged rather than rehomed.
She has obviously misunderstood what everyone was trying to get though to her,that she should NOT adopt a healthy clawed cat only to have him declawed.
She wants a declawed cat, so she should adopt a declawed cat, there are plenty.
What she should NOT do is adopt a healthy clawed cat and therefore deprive him of the chance of a good home where he can keep his rightful claws.
Even one more cat deliberatly disabled is one too many.
It’s a pity she can’t see that.
Another thing puzzlng me is, most Rescue Shelters now have a contract to be signed to say the cat won’t ever be declawed,so there should be no question of her adopting a clawed cat and having him declawed.
Apparently Shelters check up and can take the cat away from the person who broke that contract.
The sooner declawing is banned the better:

Mar 22, 2010 To anonymous
by: Babz

Good riddance!

Barbara avatar

Mar 22, 2010 Ms neutral doesn’t read properly
by: Kathryn

Two points jump out that she misread.I’m sure the rest of you can find more.
1.No one said Petfinder did not list pets in no kill shelters.
What they said was declawed cats killed on admission to the shelter because of physical or mental problems from the declawing don’t make the adoption list.
2.The declawed kitten wasn’t smashed IN a door, it was smashed OFF a door by a small child able to pick it up and do this because it had no defence.A smart swipe with claws would have caused the child to drop the kitten.
Ms neutral needn’t worry about me emailing her as I have far better things to do than bother any more with a closed minded immature girl who thinks she is so important that ANYONE at all is going to waste their valuable time emailing her.
When this comes up on a google alert guess who will have egg on her face.
Not any of us.

Mar 22, 2010 Missed the Point 3
by: Author

To those who said, but what if someone throws your cat out? What if someone abandons your cat at a shelter? Then I will be furious with whoever did that, because it will not be my family. The only reason we would EVER get “rid” of a cat is if we could no longer provide for it financially, and we have friends who would take it in until we got back on our feet.

California also bans a lot of things. If you own a ferret in some parts of CA, they can take it from you to be killed, or even jail you. For what? Owning a ferret. Not abusing it, not neglecting it, but providing it with a loving home. Does that make it right? Not at all.

I’m done here. Between the insults and the misguided idea that I am “closed minded”, I don’t see any point to convincing people who believe a dead cat is better than a live one. I am in fact being open minded; I have said I remain neutral. I see your opinions, I see your facts (what few of you used facts). I have provided facts and opinions of the other side, and have still remained neutral. That is what it means to be openminded. You, in fact, are being closed minded, because you refuse to see the other half of it.

Tracey, Micheal, if either of you are still reading this. I will not reply here anymore, but if either of you wishes to continue talking with me on this issue or others, you may email me. I’m aware that putting my email on this page means I may get others, and if so, I will continue to defend myself. My email is In******@co*****.net

I will always believe that a cat that’s loved in a home is better than one dying in a cage. Good day.

Mar 22, 2010 Missed the Point 3
by: Author

To those who said, but what if someone throws your cat out? What if someone abandons your cat at a shelter? Then I will be furious with whoever did that, because it will not be my family. The only reason we would EVER get “rid” of a cat is if we could no longer provide for it financially, and we have friends who would take it in until we got back on our feet.

California also bans a lot of things. If you own a ferret in some parts of CA, they can take it from you to be killed, or even jail you. For what? Owning a ferret. Not abusing it, not neglecting it, but providing it with a loving home. Does that make it right? Not at all.

I’m done here. Between the insults and the misguided idea that I am “closed minded”, I don’t see any point to convincing people who believe a dead cat is better than a live one. I am in fact being open minded; I have said I remain neutral. I see your opinions, I see your facts (what few of you used facts). I have provided facts and opinions of the other side, and have still remained neutral. That is what it means to be openminded. You, in fact, are being closed minded, because you refuse to see the other half of it.

Tracey, Micheal, if either of you are still reading this. I will not reply here anymore, but if either of you wishes to continue talking with me on this issue or others, you may email me. I’m aware that putting my email on this page means I may get others, and if so, I will continue to defend myself. My email is In******@co*****.net

I will always believe that a cat that’s loved in a home is better than one dying in a cage. Good day.

Mar 22, 2010 Missed the Point 2
by: Author

To the person who thinks so highly of the people I know to say that because they have no heard of baiting and I have, I must be friends with them. I don’t know what sheltered bubble you live in, but if you’re going to preach to others about cruelty, then learn about other, more vicious acts. is a pretty good site, and there are others you can look up about the vicious act of dogfighting. Go onto youtube and watch videos of police raiding the rings, retrieving mauled and starved animals. That is the real cruelty.

The person who gave me a story about a child shutting a declawed cat in a door? I fail to see how claws would have done anything in that situation. A door does not stop just because claws are there. The only thing that would have been prevented is the cat would have scratched the child for picking it up. The door can still smash it.

Same for a cat being set on fire. In fact, I just read about someone doing that last summer. A clawed, healthy, outdoor cat. She died. The story? Claws did not help her, she was caught in a cage. There was a kitten rescued a few months ago. Children threw cinder blocks at her, crushing her leg and part of her face. She had to have the leg amputated, and she died later as a result of complications with the head trauma. She also had claws.

In fact, I have a story of my own that a friend told me once. There was a cat who fell off a balcony onto an iron fence, where it was impaled. A woman, a violinist, in a neighboring appartment saw the injured cat and, thinking of the cat’s safety, went to rescue it. As she picked it up, it scratched both of her hands to the point where, later, she was unable to play or make a living. Because of her kind act, the cat was able to live through the ordeal. However, if it had not had claws, she would still be able to make a living. Perhaps the owner wouldn’t have even allowed the cat to be outside, and it wouldn’t have been impaled in the first place.

Those who said that chipping, or microchipping, helps pets. I also gave examples of how it could potentially hurt pets. You say it keeps cats from being euthinized, but so does declawing in cases of “death or declaw” as someone put it. You can’t compare it to cropping, docking, debarking, or devoicing. Tails, ears, and voices do not hurt people. Claws do. You can’t compare it to detoothing either, because dogs are trained from an early age not to bite, and I have proven that declawed cats do NOT, in fact, bite more. And I have links to back up that statement. In fact, here’s one:

Mar 22, 2010 Missed the Point 1
by: Author

You have all obviously missed the point of my posts, and are only reading the bits and pieces to take out of context what I wrote to write me off as some ignorant, selfish, heartless pet owner. There are some people who commented who I would very much like to meet in real life, like Tracey and Micheal. Though Micheal disargeed with me, as is his right, he was eloquent enough not to throw around insults. Tracey was the only one who actually replied to me, instead of just continuing the same thing she’d said first. I would enjoy debating and discussing many things with them, as I can respect them for being knowledgeable about their opinion, even if it doesn’t fit mine.

To those of you who think I’m wasting your time, know that I did not “hold a gun to your head and frogmarch you” to your computer. You did not have to respond to me. It takes less time to simply press delete in your email inbox, or so click away from the page. I did not come here to start a fight. In fact, I was directed here because I was looking up pictures of ragdolls, turkish vans, and japanese bobtails to show a few of my friends. When I saw people who had their cats declawed be called a bitch, or be given stories where claws would not have helped anyway, or be told that a declawed cat was better off dead, I posted my own stories about my cats to prove that a declawed cat can still be happy.

It was when my ability to care for pets was being called out that I fought back, as is MY right. If you don’t want someone who knows how to debate to fight back after you take a stab at them, then do not comment at all. People WILL defend themselves.

Those of you who said Petfinder did not list pets in no-kill shelters, I have links for you. , , and are all no-kill shelters. Also, saying that the cats NOT listed on petfinder are obviously all declawed is not something anyone can prove or disprove. While it’s true not all shelters require or use the internet to advertise, the thought that there are somehow over 50k cats missed is complete bunk.

Mar 22, 2010 Rubbish (by the owner of 6 rescued cats)
by: Carol

Crystal Lynn do you think we care how we look in your eyes?
All we care is that an immature girl should realise what she would be doing by having a healthy cat crippled to please her mommy.
No one has said she shouldn’t adopt one already crippled but neither you nor she can deny her words that she’d rather get one already declawed than HAVE to pay for it done!
Is that neutral? Not in my eyes!No one HAS to pay,no one HAS to ruin a cat’s life.
If this girl does have a healthy cat declawed then it is by her own choice to please her mommy who holds the purse strings,not because she HAS to.

Mar 22, 2010 ps
by: Rose

Sorry this is my third post today.
OK in my first I said enough said but on reflection it wasn’t!
Nor was my second enough said.
Ms anonymous should try coping with small twins(who incidentally have NEVER been scratched by our fully clawed cats)working from home,and voluntary animal rescue too.
Maybe it would help her grow up a bit and not take for gospel what mommy thinks is best.
The people I know on here have responsible jobs, families and pets to care for too,yet we all make time to check our facts and try to educate others.
By all means stand up for your young friend when she is in the right but you do her no favours by defending her when she’s wrong.

Mar 22, 2010 To Crystal Lynn
by: Rose

Being a little bit rough?
Giving our valuable time to educate people as to the reality of the cruelty of declawing and not getting through to those people is more than a little bit rough on us,don’t you think?
Criticizing the ownership capabilities of others?
I wonder why we criticise the ownership capabilities of people who believe in paying corrupt vets to amputate their cats healthy toe joints?
Could it be that we can’t stand by and watch cats painfully disabled do you think?
OWNERSHIP says it all,you must be another American who thinks cats are possessions.
You say you are not here to state your side,dear lady there ARE no sides.There is only the stark truth that millions of cats are suffering in some way or other from a totally uneccessary painful procedure because their ignorant or selfish owners don’t want a cat.They want their idea of a cat.They want an adapted cat.
They shouldn’t ever be allowed to have a cat is the truth because cats need their claws!
Taking those claws away is WRONG!
Don’t twist facts,the reality is that this girl who can’t get a cat without her mother’s approval,stated that if she couldn’t get an already declawed cat she would HAVE to pay to have it done.Tell me this,would a REAL cat lover do that?No,they would wait until they COULD find an already declawed cat.None of us would EVER EVER have a cat deliberately crippled just for the sake of having a cat.
All the people on here trying so hard to penetrate the mindset of people like ms neutral have done a lot of research.Some have actually seen cats suffering,I know at least one has an adopted declawed cat.I know a few of these CARING and COMPASSIONATE cat LOVERS now.
The people against declawing and determined to get it banned are steadily growing.
So you can tell your friend ms anonymous that coming on here with her biased thoughts and statistics don’t impress us in the least.
Hang your head in shame for condoning the most painful and cruel operation a cat can endure, because as someone aready pointed out,if you are not against it,you are for it!
Tell your friend that when her caring compassionate wonderful vet stops making blood money from declawing we’ll believe she does have those qualities.
I also suggest you do some research yourself, look at this for a start
Link removed because broken
oh yes there are many many many more stories like this,if you want a long list of links to cats suffering I’ll gladly give you it.
NO cat should ever be put at risk by being mutilated for convenience sake.
Cats are born WITH claws because they NEED those claws.
Maybe you can share that with Mommy’s girl.

Mar 22, 2010 To Anonymous
by: Bob

First of all, you cannot compare declawing to spaying/neutering. Spaying and neutering are done to keep cats from reproducing uncontrollably and making the problems that shelters have placing animals worse than they already are. These are also operations comparable to those done to HUMANS by their OWN accord for the same reasons. Humans who are free to make up their own minds have these same operations done, they are called vasectomies and hysterectomies. When was the last time you heard of someone going to their doctor and asking him to remove the last joints of their fingers? Never, because anyone who can speak for themselves and make their own decisions would never agree to have such an operation done. Well, the cats that you and your vet “love” so much CANNOT make that decision, you are doing it for them. It is COMPLETELY possible to train ANY cat to use a post, I myself have trained a 10+ year old feral to use one. It’s not hard, if you’re not lazy. As far as your mother not being selfish and ignorant… if she is so adamant about having a living animal mutilated to save her inanimate furniture, then yes, she IS both ignorant and selfish. So you can’t defy her because she’ll cut off your funding? I guess it’s all about money. So if you don’t get your own cat, she will, and she’ll have it declawed? Here’s your solution. Go adopt one of those 2100 cats you speak of in shelters here in Pennsylvania (yes, HERE in PA, I live here as well) that are already declawed. The damage is already done to them, and oddly enough, they need a home. Then you won’t have to spend any of your (or mommy’s) hard earned money on having it done yourself. You argue that your neutrality doesn’t mean you’re for declawing, but you’re wrong. If you don’t care enough to stand up for the rights of an animal that cannot speak for itself, an animal that you will supposedly care about, then yes, you are just as bad as those who are pro-declaw because you condone it with your indifference.

It’s people like you that make me ashamed to admit where I am from because you give those of us wh actually care about animals a bad reputation. You will obviously never change your flawed logic, and I think I speak for all of the regulars here when I say that you will NEVER change our minds, so do us all a favor and stop trying.

Mar 22, 2010 To Crystal
by: Rose

Oh so it is Ms anonymous is it?
She obviously called in reinforcements who know her because she can’t fight her own battles any more.Can’t justify herself any longer and can’t upset mommy incase she doesn’t pay for college.
This is the Ms anonymous neutral who thought she could change the minds of people who know that declawing is done by criminals and people who condone it are accessories.
She doesn’t have to get a cat you know,if she can’t get a declawed one she has no right to have another cat specifically crippled to please mommy.
Enough said!

Mar 21, 2010 A cruel and unnatural procedure
by: Tracey

First of all I would like to point out the first sentence of the first paragraph in my comment; ‘Declawing any cat is a cruel and unnatural procedure’ I believe this to mean ANY CAT not just big cats. Virginia’s PA forwarded this to me after I asked for assistance with anti de-clawing.

You made no comment to the third paragraph I notice?

I totally agree with Ruth! I don’t give a damn about the mothers or the mauling kids! I DO give a damn about the cats unable to defend themselves! I cringe and shudder to think of that poor kitten. Tell me please; why would a mother need to get a cat de-clawed if she was bringing her child up correctly not to maul a cat or kitten? I’ve heard of no child being scratched to pieces in the UK by a cat but I’ve heard of plenty being savaged by dogs! If dear mommy doesn’t want precious to get scratched don’t get a cat! End of!!!

I was reading an article today about a cat being set on fire by two girls just for the sheer hell of it. I feel sorry in my heart for that poor little cat and I can’t print what I would like to do to those ‘girls’ AND their parents. Do you suppose that was a de-clawed cat they managed to get hold of? Do you think that if it was a cat with claws it may have stood a fighting chance, using its claws in the way they were meant as a defence to scratch, struggle and get away?

I can’t second guess this but it makes me think that each one of you who has ever had a cat de-clawed to suit your selfish purposes you won’t always be in a position to protect it. If you loved it you wouldn’t mutilate it then leave it vulnerable.

Mr neutral/anonymous or whatever you call yourself you speak of people in your neighbourhood taking cats for bait or laboratories. How awful but you know something? Living in such an area would be even more of a reason not to get a de-clawed cat or have one de-clawed. What if one of these people got into your house? I would want my cherished pet to at least be able to have a fighting chance.

You all speak so surely of your de-clawed cat always being indoors but what about those who get a cat on a whim and then throw it out? Or those who have it de-clawed then decide they don’t like what it’s turned into so throw it out?

Someone spoke about mittens, what an accurate analogy. How would you like to fight for your life wearing mittens? Or claw your way to safety? Even as we speak there is a de-clawed kitten unable to breathe being mauled to death by a child, a de-clawed cat being set on fire unable to escape, a de-clawed cat being ripped apart by a dog unable to scramble to safety.

You may not think you are treating your cat as a second class citizen but believe me by being neutral you are doing just that.

You are eloquent and you are in a perfect position to convince those around you that this is cruel and wrong. Please don’t continue to sit on the fence.

Mar 21, 2010 The owner of Suzi, Smoke, and Lupus
by: Crystal Lynn

Woah, Woah, Woah folks. Aren’t you guys being a little bit rough here? My lord.

“Methinks Mr or Ms Anonymous doth protest too much”
None of you are any better in my eyes. She’s not even protesting a thing, she’s remaining neutral, while all of you are flinging names and criticizing the ownership capabilities of others who you’ve never spoken to. How disgustingly rude.

I’m not here to state my side, but I’m here telling you people to be reasonable. The girl cannot get a cat without her mother’s approval stamp on it. Would you rather a declawed cat die in the shelter or be adopted? None of this “It shouldn’t be declawed in the first place!” bull. Just tell me, would you rather see ANY cat die for your beliefs? Should a cat die in a cramped cage for any reason?
No, it shouldn’t.
Feel free to die for your beliefs, but don’t sentence others to the same.

Mar 21, 2010 Anonymous – Declawing IS cruel and unnecessary
by: Michele S.

The simple truth is that millions of people worldwide live happily with cats and their claws. So why should we indulge the minority who would rather make an animal suffer a cruel and unnecessary amputation just so that they can have a cat? The fact that already declawed cats are available for adoption in shelters disproves the myth that declawing guarantees them a home for life?

Neutering and spaying are not just done for owner convenience. They have proven health benefits for the cat themselves and is the single most important factor in increasing lifespan. Declawing has no benefits whatseover to a cat, and unless you know of any cats who walk on either their ovaries or their testicles, then please refrain from comparing declawing with neutering.

Microchipping is accompanied by a temporary sting (just like any other vaccine) but it has benefits. In my case it means that my cats will not have to endure being put into quarantine for 6 months upon arrival in the UK. In Europe, the Pet Travel Scheme has provided the opportunity for many animals to be re-homed in neighbouring countries.

Don’t know where the comment about tying a cat to a pole came from as I don’t know anyone that cruel or stupid. Maybe you do?

As I said before, a vet’s professional responsibility should be the welfare of their patients. When faced with someone threatening “death or declaw” the vet should be questioning why a person who lacks the necessary compassion and tolerance to make a good owner even bothered getting a cat in the first place. Why aren’t more vets offering behavioural education instead of amputation?

I wish you had grown up in a country where vets put animals first, as then you would share our horror at the idea of maiming a healthy animal.

Mar 21, 2010 Failed
by: Carol

As Shakespeare would say:
Methinks Mr or Ms anonymous doth protest too much.

What a lot of work put in to try to convince TRUE cat lovers that declawing is not abuse and that a vet who declaws is not a criminal.
Sorry Mr or Ms anonymous,but you have failed miserably.

Mar 21, 2010 Take those blinkers off
by: Kathryn

I see now,you have volunteered at vets offices so that means you know everything there is to know about cats does it?No wonder you defend the’caring compassionate’vet who is so kind and generous yet amputates cats toe ends for money.Have you actually watched a declawing?
Have you watched your wonderful vet cut or burn off a cat’s healthy toe joints?If not you should and you should stay with that cat until he wakes up in pain and shock.You should see him throw himself around the cage or hunch in the corner,depending on how strong he is.You should clean his bloodied paws before he goes home,then go home with him and see him reluctant to walk around and dig in litter because of the wounds caused deliberately by your caring vet friend.
See him pestered by kids and the family dog,if he’s wearing an elizabethan collar,see him laughed at by the family as he stumbles around.
Go with him to your caring vets every time he has stress illnesses from the amputations,see his paws shrinking as he ages and see the arthritic pain in his joints because of being unable to walk or to exercise as a cat should.
But no you wouldn’t do all that would you as you say you know for sure cats don’t have phantom pain,so you would say none of it is true and that they don’t have arthritis pain either.
YOU don’t feel the pain,that’s all YOU care about.
You’ve wasted your own time and ours,you are so blinkered.Maybe you will take your blinkers off and see for yourself when you’ve finished college and don’t have to please your mother any more.
Maybe you’ll have learned to think for yourself by then.
I certainly hope so.

Mar 21, 2010 I agree with Ruth
by: Susanne

Use the great mind you were given to advocate FOR the animal. Think like them, put yourself in their shoes, feel their pain & frustration, be their voice since they don’t have one, and great things will come your way.

Mar 21, 2010 Still not impressed part 2
by: Ruth

As for declawed cats being popular with USA mothers because they can’t claw their children.Yes and don’t we know it! Time after time we’ve heard the excuse the cat has to be declawed for the child’s sake. Right, so that poor cat has no defence against a child mauling it like a toy.Not long ago a small child smashed a declawed kitten off a door and killed it.In our country mothers watch over their children and their cats, we don’t leave them unsupervised until they are old enough to have learned to respect animals. If a child is scratched by a cat with claws, then it’s the mother’s fault,not the cats.
So,as sometimes happens,after the cat has suffered 10 amputations, he is goaded by a child so much that the cat bites him.Believe you me a cat bite is far worse than a warning scratch.The cat is ‘kicked out’ to use words I’ve read many times before, as a ‘bad cat’
But the cat isn’t bad, it’s the mother who is bad !
Come on, with a brain like yours you could put it to good use, you must know in your heart it’s wrong to think disabling cats for any reason at all is accepable. Be a pioneer in your family, educate your mother,your relatives and everyone else you can,including your vet.
You’ll never convince the regular REALLY compassionate caring people who come to PoC that declawing should not be banned worldwide!

Mar 21, 2010 Still not impressed part 1
by: Ruth

You missed the point even though you went to such lengths as to quote statistics.
You say a fair minority of cats in shelters are declawed,you’ve obviously been on Petfinder to find the statistics within 500 miles of your home. But there is NO WAY you can have counted the unadoptable declawed cats in the No Kill Shelters caged for life and NO WAY you can know how many were killed on admission to the Kill Shelters, because statistics are not kept for those cats,they are not on any list. The statistics you quoted are the cats which make it to the adoption lists,that’s all.How many don’t ? Who knows ?Why don’t we know ? Because it would prove how many declawed cats are unadoptable because of mental or physical problems from the declawing,that’s why.
It’s not the people here who think cats are so worthless they needn’t be counted,it’s the AVMA and USA vets. Do you know declawed cats aren’t counted in USA lab experiments either ?The cats are so worthless they are not even classed as cats to the AVMA and USA scientists.So what does that tell you ? It tells you a declawed cat has no value to pro declaw people. Why do you think we in other countries are helping the compassionate caring Americans who want declawing banned (and make no mistake there are more and more people finding out the truth of the cruelty of the operation)? Well it’s because we love cats with the claws they were born with and need and we care about EACH and EVERY cat, not just our own.I think you’ll find most of us do voluntary work with animals,also care about other people and the environment too.
BTW We don’t have Kill shelters here,our animals are not throw away possessions, they are part of the family.
Yes I live in England but as we don’t have any declawed cats you can’t say anyone here said they are unadoptable.The only declawed cats in our country are the ones abandoned by USA Service people when they return home to America.Apparently our law doesn’t cover USA vets in those places.Not so long ago there was an article about cats abandoned at a USA Air Force base in our country.I wish I’d kept the link or looked into it further at the time.
Does anyone else on here still have any information about it ?
Even before declawing was banned here our vets wouldn’t do it,they have always stuck to their oath to harm no animal.

Mar 21, 2010 Move on Anon
by: Babz

I took the time and trouble to answer Anonymous’s post as did several other people and we tried to explain why declawing is criminal, but it does seem a waste of time to try further seeing as Anonymous’s mind is closed and he/she obviously believes in the rubbish he/she posts. I can only say that for all the time that must have been spent on individual replies that it seems Anonymous has nothing better to do with his/her time than try to pick arguments for the sake of doing so. How very sad…………………..

Barbara avatar

Mar 21, 2010 An American against declawing
by: Gia

I just read this piece and all the comments. I would like to be on record saying that the majority of Americans do not think like this author and would never consider declawing their cat. The anonymous author, he or she, is the minority here. The AVMA reports that 75% of American cats HAVE claws.

The vast majority of Americans understand that spaying and neutering is something that has health benefits for the pets and the entire community. Cosmetic and convenience surgeries like declawing, debarking, ear cropping, and tail docking have no health benefit to the animal and can harm the animal adversely. The majority of Americans understand this.

If the word “chipping” is short for microchipping, that has saved millions of pets from being euthanized and instead reunited with their owners, so I am not sure why that is even part of the argument. In fact, the House of Reps in Georgia just passed a law to the Senate that would require every shelter & vet in their state to scan every animal in an effort to get them back to their owners before they are killed. So, clearly, “chipping” is a good thing that helps pets.

Personally I do not think it is worth the time to argue with people like the author who is debating if something that is already deemed as animal cruelty by most of this world is cruel or not, or has adverse effects on the animal. This has already been established. It’s already a misdemeanor in 8 California cities including Los Angeles, the 2nd largest city in America. If you de-claw a cat there, you face jail time! The ordinances state that declawed cats are a public health 7 safety risk because the scientific data proves they use their teeth more (cat bites are more infectious that scratches) and use their litterbox less, leaving their waste around the house which is not good for anyone.

Unfortunately, because declawing is still a $3 billion industry for American vets, some people like the author can’t see the real motives yet behind why vets pander this surgery. I’d recommend they spend some time in the back of shelters where they can count how many declawed cats are abandoned & relinquished with behavioral problems – that will be an eye opener.

Mar 20, 2010 To Jane A
by: Author of the Article

Then it is a crime to remove healthy sex organs. Those, too, are healthy body parts.

It’s interesting that everyone believes I am blindly following my mother when I have stated my side on this. My mother has given me that choice. I choose to try my best to find one who has already had the surgery. It is not a sign of immaturity, it’s a sign of respect for the rules my mother has set down in her own house. It’s also interesting that Americans must be so uncivilized to everyone here if they have a different opinion.

To Michele S:
Just as easily as a spay/neuter or a microchip can be a painful thing done just at a lazy owner’s whim. Many owners here don’t spay/neuter to cut down the overpopulation. They just don’t want to deal with the humping and the mess of heat. Many owners let their cats outside, where people can pick them up and sell them to labs or dog fighting rings to be used as bait. They put a microchip on the animal to “ensure it comes home”. A cat does not come home after being tied to a pole where it can be ripped to pieces.

A declawing vet could also be taking into the consideration that the owners of that cat gave them an option: declaw or not at all. In their minds, a declawed cat is better than a dead one. My mind is that a live cat is better than a dead one, period.

Mar 20, 2010 To Susanne
by: Author of the Article

I’ve also asked friends, anti-declaw friends, if they’ve seen a difference in our cats and theirs. They’ve also said no, and even that their clawed cats were more adverse to people touching their paws than ours. That’s how I can say they act no differently.

You don’t seem to understand that while cats are masters at hiding pain, they’ll let you know when you yourself hurt them. Read what I said in above comments. Even with phantom or actual pain, a declawed cat hiding the pain will quickly tell you how it hurts when you touch their feet, if they are really feeling pain. As said, that’s how people find out that their cats are hurting and know when to take them to the vet.

I am neutral, yes. For promoting laziness? If the owner’s tried everything and has failed, that’s not laziness. I have yet to meet someone like that, however. Would I get my cat declawed out of my own choice? Probably not. It depends on whether or not I can convince the cat to use a post, and if it’d be possible to convince the cat to only scratch that one thing it chose to love, whether that’s a couch with a side easily hidden or an actual scratching post.

Humans are not meant to walk on all fours, and my back would hurt regardless because of the length of my legs compared to my arms. It also hurts us humans to walk on only our fingers and not our palms, so my hands would hurt too from walking like a cat. Also, gloves would be better than mittens, because mittens restrict movement of your entire hand where gloves are closer and restrict movement of individual fingers. The stress on your joint from leaning on it will also hurt your fingers, because you have your fingers bent under themselves and putting pressure on them like that is how bones break in a fall. The closest thing would be to cut off the joint entirely on your fingers. You can still use your hands, just with limited reach.

I can show pictures of declawed cats standing, walking, jumping, etc, compared to clawed cats. With the right searching, I could find the muscle and skeleton references for you too if need be. They will be very similar.

Chipping also comes with many health problems but is done at the owner’s convenience. Leaving a cat to choose an indoor or outdoor life comes with problems, but is done at the owner’s convenience. Why is this more acceptable?

Mar 20, 2010 To Babz (part 2)
by: Anonymous

While a show of pain will mean death in a cat’s world, have you known cats that will cry if they hurt? Will cry if their feet are hurting them when they walk, or if someone presses the tender pad that has a thorn stuck in it? I have. Those cats are in pain. Cats that limp, are in pain. Cats that cry when you touch their feet, are in pain. Cats who carry on as normal are not. While cats hide sickness, if they truly did so in every case, more cats would be dead because their owners would not have picked up that they were sick. There are physical signs of sickness and pain, and a good cat owner learns to recognize these signs in the otherwise stoic cat. That is how I know Rusty did not hurt.

I’m not sure why GSD is in quotations, unless you’re mocking me for saying what Queen was, which would be German Shepherd Dog, or GSD. Queen chased Nala once, twice, three times. Nala turned around the third time and gave her a good swat. That is not constant torment or neglect on my part, that is animals deciding the heirarchy or the house. It lasted less than a week. As for forced to swat at, isn’t that what a cat teaching boundries does? A good smack with their paw, claws either out or in depending on the cat, is to warn they disliked what you just did.

As explained before, I’m after an already declawed cat because it is what has been required of me. There are not a majority of declawed cats in shelters, my earlier comments will show you that there are only 5% out of all homeless cats in a 500 mile radius. Could I care less either way? I don’t judge a cat by what it does and does not have physically. It’s a friendly cat, and I would not turn my nose up, with or without claws. That’s not caring less either way, that’s providing a cat a good home where it will be warm and loved regardless. My mother’s requirements are not my own. As someone who’s never seen or lived with a declawed cat, you can not honestly say you know they act any differently or experience any of the side effects you have just mentioned.

You can believe I’m a criminal, but a cat that’s happy in a house is better than a cat that’s dying in a cage.

Mar 20, 2010 To Babz (part 1)
by: Anonymous

“If you’re not for me, you’re against me.” The world isn’t always so black and white.

I know exactly what microchipping is too. The complications? The chip can go in wrong, be brutally removed by people who would steal a pet for fighting or labs, can be placed in the wrong part of the body and cause discomfort to the cat. Theories on long term side effects include sudden death, cancer, arthritis, and constant scratching or worrying at the chip. Microchipping is only for the convenience of finding your pet after you’ve lost it. However, there are also vets who refused to chip mainly because of the recent studies showing it causes cancer at the injection site. Nearly every shelter recommends chipping your pet.

People risk their pets’ health over things which are widely accepted practices, like chipping or receiving more of a vaccination than they really need. Some things are purely for convenience, like microchipping which does absolutely nothing to benefit the cat’s health and may in fact harm it.

As said, I have made up my mind. I am neutral. I do not turn my nose up if a friendly cat is offered to me, whether with or without claws. My mother’s house is my mother’s house, and her rules remain in her house. And, a soft toy does not have the charms that a headbutt in the morning and a purr in your lap carry.

Please read the example I just gave for accepted practices done purely because the owner wants it, not because of the health of a cat. You’re also talking as if declawed cat owners do not care about the health of their cat. There are people who declaw for more reasons than the sofa, like Rusty’s case. In my experience, the negative side effects are not long lasting, as once the paws have recovered, nearly ever declawed cat I know has not experienced any pain. Phantom pains and the like were nonexistant in the cats I have lived with. Both Nala and Rusty loved to be handled, every part of them. Including their little paws, which they let us look at when we trimmed their back nails.

Mar 20, 2010 To Kathryn
by: Anonymous

I already was educated with your opinion by others. I am not hearing this for the first time, nor will I be for the last. As long as America does not ban declawing, I’ll hear it.

My mother is not ignorant or selfish, though she is rather stubborn when it comes to her beliefs and opinions. It’s also not a fact of me accepting what she tells me to blindly, after all, it is her house as I said. And she wants a cat, whether it’s mine or hers. My neutrality does not mean I don’t have my own mind, it means I can see both sides of the coin and I will not turn down an otherwise perfect cat, with or without claws. As said to Edward, my requirement is that it can get along with dogs, cats, and kids. It’s a cat, whether it has claws or not. If I adopt a cat with claws and it can keep it’s claws, I would of course be responsible and give it a scratching post and reward it for using the post. If not, I would still get some sort of cat tree, just make sure that my cat could enjoy it even without the claws. THAT is my neutrality.

Have you monitored several cats, declawed and not, plus a control group of both, and seen exact, proven, differences? You believe I have not lived my entire life with declawed cats. I suppose there would be a year’s time inbetween Rusty and Nala, and half a year’s time inbetween Nala and whatever shelter cat I adopt in June. Otherwise, I have lived my entire life with declawed cats, with friend’s clawed and declawed cats. I have volunteered at vet’s offices and shelters, and have experience with both clawed and declawed cats. You cannot tell me that I have less experience than anyone except someone who has done what I said above, closely monitoring both clawed and declawed cats throughout the cats’ lives.

And again, you act as though Nala was truly bothered or abused. During the introduction week, Nala taught both dogs that she ruled the roost. That’s not uncommon in a dog/cat household.

Mar 20, 2010 To Tracey and Jo Singer
by: Anonymous

2nd class citizens? No, I think not. I am a person who prefers animals to people. Again, I’m sad to see that you still believe all vets are solely after the money.

Your first paragraph addresses big cats. One can only assume she means tigers and lions and felines of that nature. While beautiful, wild animals belong outside, in the wild, owned by no person or organization unless the people caring for it are preserving an endangered species and plan to reintroduce into the wild. A domestic cat would be killed quickly on the plains and jungles where big cat roam, with or without claws.

As for your second paragraph, was it the same person who posted a similar comment on this article?
If so, that person’s story changed from that article to this one. In the paragraph you’ve quoted, you said they broke through a glass door. In the one I read from the linked article, she said she left the screen door open.

If it’s the same person(I believe it is, the stories are too similar to be a coincidence), they need to get their story straight. If the one I’d read first is the true story, that is her fault for leaving the door open. I would never prop a door to the outside open while an indoor only pet could reach it. Whether my pet was a rabbit, a cat, a ferret, or even a snake. We also have solid wood doors, plus a protective glass door on the outside, which are kept locked and thief-proof because someone tried to break into the house last summer. I’d like to see a dog of any size get through those. So yes, I am still neutral.

I gave one in Rusty’s story; pure medical reason. If his smashed toes were left as they were, they would never have set properly, and he would never be able to use that foot again.

I would also say that a far painful surgery would be something along the lines of cancer or limb removal. If you’re meaning for cosmetic or behavior control purpose, de-voicing is far more painful and has more breathing and eating risks than most sane people are willing to even consider. Anyone who reads this would be shocked, but yes, there are “de-voiced” cats. I’ve never met one, and nothing is damaged by a cat’s voice.

I also said I knew of those short and long term side effects. Again, nearly none of the cats I’ve ever known have ever had these problems. Especially not the lampshades. As for not letting people touch their paws, my friend’s clawed cats don’t even like that. I believe it’s more the cat’s personality, socialization, and bad habits than actual side effects.

Mar 20, 2010 To Edward
by: Author of the Article

Please read what I told Rose. Will my mother put a gun to my head and march me to the vet’s office? Probably not. Would she not let me keep the cat unless her requirements were fit? Probably, even if that means she’d take the cat to the vet’s herself while I’m at work or in class. As said, it’s HER house, thus a cat that fits her requirements IS more suitable. Whether you would call it that or not, everyone has a “requirement” for the pet they’d like. Some require a certain species; cat, dog, ferret. Some want a certain coat, age, gender, lifestyle. That’s why there are siamese and japanese bobtails; one person wanted a cat that acted a certain way, another person wanted a different personality. I personally have a requirement for an animal I own. It must be good with other animals like dogs and cats, and it must be at least tolerant of children. That’s not much to ask, is it? It’s not picking something off a shelf, but it’s not choosing at random either. Not getting a cat is also not an option, as like said to Rose, it’s either going to be my cat or her cat.

As said, Rusty could have lost the will to live. Cats do that not infrequently. His declaw was also not avoidable. As for Nala, you’re assuming she was chased for longer than a week. The GSD chased her, for a few days when we first brought her home, and she let the puppy know that was unappreciated. Same with the pup we have now, first time meeting she poked Nala in the face, and Nala let her know not to do it again. Without claws. While you’re not impressed with Nala’s unhindered hunting skills, there are those with indoor only cats that are. I live next to a highway, and I’d prefer not to have to scrape my pet off the road as I’ve seen happen to either outdoor cats or strays.

As said, the three previously mentioned clawed cats have the same owner. They’re not BAD cats, no, but they’re also not interested in all of the same things. They have different personalities and different backgrounds. One domestic kitten is going to take to a post, any post, faster than an older, feral, cat who’s never been trained to scratch only a post. Is that a reason to declaw a cat? To me, not really. To another person, who’s tried everything and has had to replace doorframes, couches, tables, and walls? Maybe. I’ve never owned a cat that caused that much destruction, only dogs going nuts from separation anxiety. However, as said, my mother’s rules are her rules.

Mar 20, 2010 To Rose
by: Author of the Article

Before agreeing to take a cat into surgery, she does try to talk the owner out of it. The same as when a person comes in asking to have their cat put down; if it’s an otherwise happy, healthy, adoptable cat she tries to convince the person to either keep the cat or surrender it, rather than end it’s life. You also talk about “all the declawed cats in shelters”, but as I said to Ruth, that’s in fact a minority. In fact, there are 48,944 cats who DO have claws waiting for homes, who have been for months or even years. Compared to the 2,125 who are declawed. That’s less than 5% of homeless cats in a 500mile radius of my house.

As said, I live with my mother. Her requirements are as follows: female preferred, front declawed, spayed. As this will be completely MY cat, not just in name but in complete responsibility, I WOULD be the one to HAVE to pay to get an otherwise clawed cat declawed. Growing up, being immature, or otherwise being childish have nothing to do with the situation. It’s either I do it to MY cat, or she gets her own cat does the same. Moving out first is also not an option, because she will refuse to pay for my college the instant I’m out that door, and $54k is not something I have. It’s also not a matter of me trying to save myself some money, which that sentence seems to come off as. It’s me trying to find a cat that pleases my mother vs me trying to MAKE a cat that pleases my mother.

Mar 20, 2010 To Ruth
by: Author of Article

After hearing from a friend in England that any cats found to be declawed in the shelter are put down on spot, I have a reason to be desperate to convince people that declawed cats are still CATS. A living, happy, otherwise perfectly adoptable animal deserves a chance to live in a home where it will be loved.

As for cats not committing suicide, that’s true. They can, however, lose the will to live, as is evidenced when you have a bonded pair and one dies before the other. There are many stories of cats who lose something they loved, who stop eating, and soon afterward die. So no, a cat can choose to die after losing its claws.

As for it being a criminal offense in your country, I don’t doubt that. However, the connotations that come with that word describe someone who my vet, and others I’ve known, are not.

Perhaps in your country they are unadoptable, maybe you live in the same country as the previously mentioned friend. In my country, many shelters tell people that the cat cannot claw their children, which makes them very popular among mothers. Also, in my country, out of the 51,069 cats currently in a shelter within 500 miles from my house, 2,125 are declawed. That’s a fair minority of declawed cats in shelters. Many of them are older(10+), sickly pets. In the first page alone, all but one is labeled with having FIV. I’d say the reason they’re being abandoned is not because they’re declawed, but because their owners are either irresponsible and don’t want to deal with an elderly cat, or because their cat’s health bill can’t be paid by their wallet(which, considering the economy, sadly happens more often).

Mar 20, 2010 To Micheal
by: Author of Article

I live in Pennsylvania, USA. I’m sorry to hear that you still think that a wonderful woman like my own vet is a criminal, a cruel moneygrubber. However, as said, she’s done a lot for us for free, or for reduced prices, when we went through a rough patch from the economy and could not afford some things. That does not fit the profile of a moneygrubber, who would demand that we either pay or put down.

Mar 20, 2010 No animal should ever be declawed
by: Michele S.

How could the amputation of a cat’s healthy toes for the convenience of others ever be considered acceptable? The plain truth is that it IS cruel to amputate a vital part of their anatomy for non-medical reasons.

Any vet who declaws should be ashamed of themselves for not making the cat’s welfare their priority. It’s a vet’s professional responsibilty to protect animals from unnecessary pain or suffering. Which is exactly why millions of them in at least 38 countries refuse to declaw. As a result people have grown up accepting that cats come with claws and teach them claw manners.

Mar 20, 2010 I agree with everyone else
by: Jane A

There isn’t a lot more I can add as others have said it all.I hope you have taken it all in and will have your mother read it too.
Removing healthy body parts is a crime.The vet you admire so much would be a criminal in many countries and also some Californian cities and anyone who had her declaw their cat would be accessories to her crimes.
Can’t you understand why declawing is banned in so many places?
Do you follow blindly everything your mother tells you is right in her opinion?It’s time to start thinking for yourself,that’s a sign of maturity and why most barbaric customs are gradually being banned throughout the world.
Soon declawing will be consigned to the history books and in years to come people will be shuddering at the present cruelty to cats in the USA and Canada.
Two supposed to be civilised countries.
How shameful is that!

Mar 20, 2010 Would you rather wear mittens or gloves for the rest of your life?
by: Susanne

I don’t understand how you have been able to observe both clawed & declawed cats yet couldn’t see the difference between them when declawed cats are deprived of so many important things like dexterity, proper agility, & scratching exercise for the rest of their lives.

You don’t seem to get that the act of de-clawing a cat doesn’t stop when the knucklebones & tendons hit the floor & the wound site heals. De-clawing FOREVER changes a cats muscular & skeletal systems. Just because a declawed cat doesn’t bite does not mean they are not affected or injured by the amputation. Cats are masters at hiding pain & adjusting to being handicapped – but that does not give us, or vets, allowance to cripple them & cause them lifelong pain for human laziness & convenience.

Are you really neutral about causing this kind of unnecessary injury & pain to an animal for no reason except the laziness of humans?

Pretend you are a cat for a minute with all of your furry (or gloved) clawed finger digits with which you walk on, dig litter, grasp toys, hoist up to a cat tower, defend yourself. Now put mittens on over these hands (as if being declawed) & see how if feels to grasp things, hold things, itch, stretch, etc – frustrating, right? Now get on all fours and tuck the first joint under like a clubfoot and see how it feels to balance, climb, & walk without finger tips (remember that cats walk on the end digit of their toes like ballet dancers since they are digitigrade animals) – I bet your back already hurts, doesn’t it? Now, seriously, wouldn’t you rather go trough life with those gloves on and have full finger ability, dexterity, proper posture and walking?

If you still need more proof, have your declawed cats paws examined – compare the paw pads of the declawed paws versus the hind clawed paws & see the atrophy of the declawed pads. Have your declawed cat X-rayed and see how the spine has altered since the cat is forced to walk on the P2 digit instead of the P3 digit as nature intended. See the arthritis that has set in the wrist & elbow joints. Then check out how the declawed leg muscles have atrophied compared to the hind strong muscles.

I ask you again, are you really neutral about causing this kind of unnecessary injury & pain to an animal for no reason except the laziness of humans?

And YES, vets ARE criminal for amputating essential body parts from cats for NO medical reason. The human is NOT their client, they are the voice for animals & they have no right to cripple an animal to accommodate a lazy human. It is against their oath to do no harm to animal.

You seem to be like so many Americans that have cats, yet don’t understand or appreciate them. If you did, you would not be neutral about robbing them of something that is so paramount to them.

Mar 20, 2010 Part two
by: Babz

And now you’re after another cat & are hoping to adopt a ready declawed cat to save yourself a bob or two, not because you wish to rescue one of the many poor unfortunate declawed cats that are surrendered & hopelessly waiting for adoption but because it’s convenient for your mother & because frankly you couldn’t care less either way, after all it isn’t you going through the amputations is it? And it isn’t you feeling the unavoidable pain so why should you care as long as you get a cat who’s paws end in stubs at the third knuckle.
I am fortunate enough to have never had to witness a cat disabled by declawing adapting to life as an amputee & as I live in a civilised country where declawing is illegal I am never likely to but I firmly believe that those who own a cat & elect to have someone amputate that cat’s toe ends & those with a qualification to perform surgery on animals who abuse them by taking money to amputate healthy & vital toes ARE criminals. It doesn’t matter if your vet is the kindest woman on earth in other matters, the fact that she deliberately disables healthy animals for financial gain makes her a criminal in my eyes & in the eyes of millions of people in 8 cities in the USA & 38 countries of the world.

Barbara avatar

Mar 20, 2010 Part one
by: Babz

I can’t believe that anyone would condone declawing & in condoning I also include neutrality because if you are not actively against it then you are in fact for it.

So you know exactly what declawing is, you realise that there can be complications & yet you’re still willing to accept that it is worth risking a cat’s health for the sake of furniture that it may or may not scratch. You should make your mind up one way or the other what YOU believe (not what your mother’s beliefs forces on you) & if you decide that your furnishings are more important than the comfort of a cat & that the only acceptable cat is a surgically adapted one then you are not worthy of owning a cat at all & should stick to a soft & cuddly toy.

All surgery carries a risk, sometimes it is necessary & life saving so the benefit outweighs the risk but you are talking here about owner elective cosmetic surgery that carries an equally high risk & you mention that the pain cats feel on declawing is unavoidable so you obviously feel that subjecting a cat to this risk & unavoidable pain is acceptable. Tell me please how can that be acceptable? Could it be that as the owner has none of the risk or severe pain to bear & only the desirable outcome of a clawless cat that in fact the owner couldn’t actually care less what the cat has to endure so long as at the end of it the sofa & curtains are in perfect condition?

In the case of Rusty obviously his accident caused him to have his toe ends amputated, fair enough no-one objects to surgery that is necessary FOR THE CAT however your mother obviously enjoyed having a cat with his toe ends removed so much that she decided that from then on only disabled cats were acceptable in her household.

Do you know much about cats? Do you know that to show pain or weakness means certain death in a cat’s natural state? A weak or sick cat living in a group has little chance of survival so a cat’s instinct is to hide pain & illness & so I ask you how do you KNOW Rusty didn’t experience pain in those stumps just as human amputees feel phantom pain in the parts of them that no longer exist?

Nala’s story is a sad one, a sad beginning, betrayed by the rescue centre by immediately being mutilated to make her acceptable by American standards, forced to live with your “GSD” who was allowed to harass her even though her owner (YOU) knew she was vulnerable & then subject to 2nd dog who she was forced to “swat” & defend herself from

Barbara avatar

Mar 20, 2010 To Mr Neutral
by: Kathryn

Well Mr Neutral who professes to know if cats are unhappy or in pain,phantom limb pain included,you are being educated today.
Like others have already said,if you can’t get your pre-disabled cat and so take a perfect cat to be disabled,
for the sake of keeping your ignorant selfish mother happy,then to us you are as much a criminal as the rest of the pro declaw criminals.
Neutral is a sitting on the fence,you don’t even know your own mind,you accept your mother telling you what to do.How old are you?Judging from the way you write you are old enough to know right from wrong.Maybe you can educate your mother now you are educated yourself by the really caring patient compassionate people on here.
I’m afraid your vet isn’t one of those sort of people,she can’t be or she wouldn’t continue to abuse cats.I suppose the people who work for her are as ‘caring’ Yes the ones selling declawing for her and the ones throwing cats healthy toes in the trash bin as a matter of routine,all earning blood money in their wage packets.
Your little stories and names of cats declawed or not declawed will not change the opinions of all of us who have done a lot of research,some of whom have experience of declawed cats in their lives.
So Mr Neutral,go and tell your mother all this because she badly needs some education on the subject of cats welfare being more important than inanimate furniture.Also she needs educating that dogs should be kept from bothering cats.Cats are NOT second class citizens to dogs and should not be treated as such.

Mar 20, 2010 Never a Reason to Declaw
by: Jo Singer

There is never a reason to declaw a cat. Cats need their claws for a wide variety of reasons. They need them for correct ambulation, for protection, to defend themselves when necessary and to be able to stretch their bodies completely.

Learning to trim a cat’s nails is the humane way to deal with any claw issues. Cat posts and cat trees provide the idea resource for cats to clean their nail sheaths and to stretch out their bodies. Many cat posts are designed poorly and are not attractive to cats. They need to be at least three feet tall, and covered with a rough texture to attract a cat to use it.

The surgery is one of the most excruiatingly painful procedures that a cat must undergo, even with good pain control. Declawed cats often develop arthritis and other conditions, frequently years after the surgery was performed. These cats often develop biting habits and stop using their litter boxes.

While some people report “no problems” following the surgery, there is always some type of problem that develops. We adopted a declawded cat that chewed all our lamp shades and window shades to shreds.She would not let us touch her paws, either.

My opinion is that if furniture and possessions are more important to a cat-owner than the welfare of their kitty, perhaps it is wise not to get a cat. Get another type of pet.

I deplore this procedure, and hope that soon the USA will join the over 37 countries around the world that have already banned it as it is considered cruelty to animals. There is no justification for this procedure at all.

Mar 20, 2010 Its still cruelty whichever way you look at it
by: Tracey

Hello anonymous

First of all I’m pleased to hear that the shelter you use no longer de-claws cats.

I have to say though that I agree with Michael and Ruth in that the vets that do this are criminals. This is gross animal abuse. They alone could educate the landlords, cat owners and anyone else who feels it’s absolutely fine to inflict horrific pain on an innocent animal. An American recently posted that cats are 2nd class citizens in the USA and Canada and until people change their views this will continue.

I strongly feel that the very people that took vows to protect the animals they treat and to conduct no surgery that isn’t for the animal’s direct benefit will never educate cat keepers because they enjoy the money that de-clawing generates too much.

In the UK we prize the love of a clawed cat much higher than furniture.

I would like to add 3 paragraphs that I hope you and your mother will read and digest. The first is from Virginia McKenna prolific animal rights campaigner, the 2nd and 3rd are from previous contributions to PoC. The 1st lost her cat after dogs broke into her house but you feel that this could never happen to you? After you’ve read the 3rd paragraph I hope you realise that your view on pain is way under estimated than the actual reality of the barbaric suffering, so please read on…..

‘Declawing any cat is a cruel and unnatural procedure. I have campaigned for decades to protect big cats and know that declawing often leaves the animals malformed and debilitated. The perceived need to declaw these amazing creatures – whether in a zoo, circus, or, as is often the case in America, in people’s homes where they are kept as pets – shows just how unnatural it is to confine big cats for human amusement’.

‘I was at home washing dishes when I heard what sounded like a woman’s scream. It wasn’t a woman, it was my declawed cat taking her last breath as three German Shepherds who had broken through a glass door ripped her to shreds.
Yes ignorance is bliss, so keep on thinking you have done the right thing……I know you have not’

‘I suggest you go along one day and watch a de-clawing vet at work. See the cats toe joints cut or burned off, see the blood, and hear the cat cry out even under anaesthesia at each amputation. Watch the cat come round in shock and pain. Is the vet one who give’s pain relief or not? Stay with the cat all night and see him throwing himself around the cage or hunching in a corner. Clean the blood from his stumps before he goes home, go home with him and watch his pain as he has to walk and dig with wounded stumps. Go back to the ‘nice’ vets with him every time he has a problem from the declawing’

Then and only then you and your mother come back and tell us you are neither pro or anti declawing.

Mr anonymous and mother I know what I choose and its cats with claws each and every time.

Mar 20, 2010 You sicken me man
by: Edward

This is why you sicken me…you say….

Thus an already declawed cat is more suitable than one who’s claws, and toes, I’d have to pay to be amputated.

One whose claws and toes youd HAVE TO pay to be amputated.
HAVE TO PAY? Will your mother hold a gun to your head man and frogmarch you to that caring vets surgery to leave a cat there to be put through the most agonising operation a cat can stand?
A cat more suitable?For crying out loud man,cats arent meant to be more suitable,its not going out picking for yourself something to put on a shelf in your home,something suitable to match your mothers decor.Its taking a living creature into your home and giving that creature the life he deserves.If you cant do that without having him adapted to suit your selfish mother then for pitys sake man dont get a cat at all.
And you say ….Rusty suffered no phantom pains…how do you know that man? Did you swap bodies with him for a while? Poor Rusty was one of those already described brave cats who had no option but to go on with his life.
Poor Nala being pestered by a dog which could have been taught swiftly to leave her alone by getting a warning scratch.Its unimpressive she killed a bird and a mole which were actually in your house,handed to her on a plate really.I hope you and your sister thanked her for your gifts because thats what fit and able cats enjoy always,the ability to hunt outdoors and give gifts to the people they love.
Of course its the fault of the owner man if they cant get their cat to use a scratching post.There is no such thing as a bad cat but there are certainly bad owners.
By putting money into that caring vets coffers you are condoning the actions of a person who breaks her oath to harm no animal.
Think on that man and think on you are aiding and abetting her if you take another cat and hand it to her to be crippled for life simply to please your mother.

Mar 20, 2010 Caring vet? You ARE joking!
by: Rose

So,you sing the praises of your compassionate, patient,caring vet do you?That same vet who cares for some animals but mutilates others.I don’t agree a person like her is compassionate,patient and caring at all.If she was,she would be refusing to declaw cats at all.She would be educating her clients as to the fact that declawing is cruel and that any cat can be taught to use a scratching post or pad with time and patience.
You say all cats don’t suffer from the operation, you are assuming facts you don’t really know.You see what you want to see that’s all.
Ask yourself why so many declawed cats are in Shelters.
Are you so selfish that if you can’t get a declawed cat you will ‘HAVE TO’ pay your compassionate, patient caring vet to do 10 amputations on that innocent cat just to please your mother? Grow up,don’t blame your mother for your intended abuse,don’t go out and get a healthy perfect cat to be crippled by that caring vet.Because if you do you are as much a criminal as she is!
Of course you are all’lumped together’as you put it,because anyone who has anything at all to do with cruel uneccessary surgery on a cat, is to me and others who TRULY love ALL cats just as they come WITH their ESSENTIAL toe ends,as much a criminal as the person committing the crime.

Mar 20, 2010 Anonymous, I am not impressed
by: Ruth

You seem to be very desperate to convince everyone that declawed cats can live normal lives, doing normal cats things.
Well I’m here to tell you they can NOT and the reason you are fooled into thinking they can, is that cats adapt to any situation.They have no choice. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, cats can NOT commit suicide,they HAVE to go on living and the only way to do so is to accept what some criminal has purposefully done to them and adapt to living a disabled life as best they can.
As you know so much about cats you should know they are the most stoic of animals and hide their weakness and pain. A dog would be howling the place down if it was declawed and had to walk and dig in litter on wounded paws.
Yes we CAN call the vets who amputate cats toe ends criminals, because in our country it IS a criminal offence and a vet who declawed a cat for any other reason than for the benefit of the cat suffering a serious medical problem with his toes,would lose his/her licence to practice and I’d think would face a prison sentence too.
You think Rescue Shelters like declawed cats as they are adopted out easier, well here’s a bit of news for you,in No Kill Shelters many declawed cats are written off as unadoptable and live in cages for the rest of their lives, because of mental and physical problems. In Kill Shelters they are killed immediately and no one knows they even existed.They don’t even make the adoption lists.
So, because you have experienced the brave stoic cats you write about, you think declawing isn’t so bad, but what about all the weaker cats,the ones that couldn’t hide their pain and weakness ? That are now in cages for life, or dead.
Even one cat suffering, or dead because of declawing is one too many and there are/have been numerous cats like this. Uncared about, uncounted, their short lives ruined by criminal vets who agree to mutilate cats for selfish and ignorant people who DO NOT love cats, they only love their idea of how a cat should be, without claws.
Declawing is cruel,it is wrong,it is inexcusable !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Mar 19, 2010 Criminality
by: Michael

Thanks for taking the time to contribute. I can’t address you by name, sadly.

Where I live (London, England) the act of declawing for therapeutic reasons would be a crime and therefore the person doing it would be a criminal. That is why I say it is criminal behavior turned into normal behavior in the US.

Because it has been “normalised” through decades of use it is part of the US culture and considered acceptable and it is for that reason that kind people as you describe can also declaw cats.

This though does not make it any the more acceptable nor does it stop me calling these people criminals because that is what they are by our standards.

As to being money grubbers, I am afraid money is the sole reason why these vets commit these criminal acts. So once again it is a justified criticism, I argue. It is very sad that the desire to make financial profit leads to an abuse of the cat. This surely must be against everything a veterinarian stands for and trains for. They just don’t seem to get that.

Michael Avatar

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