More Than One Voice

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

one voice ruth poster cat declawing
Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

It seems hard to believe now, but just over five years ago I discovered that the declawing of cats was almost routine in some parts of the USA. It was a horrible shock, because even before this was banned in our country, our vets considered it unthinkable, knowing how essential a cat’s claws are to his health and fulfillment.

Now it feels as if I’ve known and been helping to educate and fighting for declawing to be banned, for ever.

I was browsing Yahoo Answers when I first saw on the cats’ questions page someone asking what she could do to help her newly declawed cat who was in pain. Most of the replies said she would be OK eventually as cats got over it pretty well. Someone even said that many vets didn’t give cats pain medication so that they wouldn’t attempt to jump around until their toe ends healed.

I could hardly believe it was legal or that no one commented how very cruel that surgery is.
I said to Barbara “It’s like the song ‘One Voice Singing in the Darkness’ I feel so alone in my horror at this legalised abuse of cats”.

and she replied: ‘But now we are two voices, I’ll join you Ruth’

We started an internet group called ‘The Claws Connection’ and soon we had lots of members from all over the world and ‘Just One Voice Singing in the darkness’ became many voices:

‘Shout it out and let it ring.
Just One Voice,
It takes that One Voice,
And everyone will sing’

We invaded Yahoo Answers and began our campaign to educate, meeting up with many more anti-declaw people, there were some after all. Our UK anti-declaw people were known as ‘the troops’

We then invaded Facebook and I started the group ‘The International Coalition Against Declawing’ which now has 256 members many of whom are actively educating others and more are joining us all the time. We have remained long distance friends with lots of people all over the world, in our shared cause.

The campaign grew and we ‘met’ people like Annie Bruce, the author of Cat be Good who had campaigned against declawing for so long it had taken its toll on her health. She was very pleased to hear other countries where declawing was banned were taking notice that America was lagging behind.

I started an online petition which eventually had over 4,000 signatures, many from famous people in the animal world, such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Jeremy Angel, Helmi Flick and J.M.Willis and many more, too numerous to list.

Eventually, sadly the petition was lost when the web site went down for good, but The Paw Project had used it at some of the Californian Cities fighting for a ban, as proof that so many people were against such cruel surgery, so it wasn’t entirely wasted.

But best of all I came across PoC and ‘met’ Michael, a great anti-declaw advocate and he and Babz and I and other visitors wrote many educational articles about declawing and I designed posters showing the horror of the cruel surgery.

Sebastian’s Diary was a great hit even though someone said it was too English. PoC has saved many cats claws.

Vet techs started telling people the truth about how cats suffer when waking up from declawing, they described how some threw themselves around the recovery cage opening their wounds and how some hunched in the corner, shocked and bewildered.

The AVMA turned a blind eye to all this even though their policy was that declawing should only be a last resort for serious scratching behaviour. They ignored the fact that far from this surgery being done as a last resort, kittens were being declawed along with neutering and they also ignored the fact that vets were advertising a neuter/declaw package or declawing with discount. They ignored all of that and they still do!

Now there are thousands of people enlightened to the truth that declawing isn’t ‘just removing the claws’ (bad enough) but the amputation of the cats last toe joints.

Sadly there are still people who don’t know this, nor the physical and/or mental consequences of declawing and while some vets have never declawed and some have stopped declawing, there are still many who are making many dollars from the suffering of cats.

There are also people who even knowing that declawing is cruel think their furniture is more important than a living creature’s health and welfare.

The vets who break their sworn oath to cause no animal to suffer and who profit from declawing cats, will not stop until declawing is banned. The anti-declaw movement is growing daily and we will not stop until declawing is banned.

The Paw Project are doing wonderful work, apparently the film they have made is very educational and is saving many more cats claws. We haven’t been able to see it in the UK yet.

So, the battle to educate and to work towards that happy day when declawing is banned worldwide, goes on…….

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

30 thoughts on “More Than One Voice”

  1. Ruth, I just saw this today as I have been away from the computer since Christmas and I am dealing with a sick kitty. Thankfully, she seems to be doing better now. What a wonderful article! I work for a vet here in the US (only 1 day a week) and she is against declawing. She feels it is an unneccesary procedure and will only do it if the cat will be dumped if not declawed since most of the shelters around here are not no kill. We educate folks on the procedure as well as training the cat to use scratch posts and using nail caps. We declaw a cat so infrequently that I actually can’t remember the last time we did it. We probably do 6 or less per year. I also have to say that she is wonderful about pain management. I worked for a different vet who did “routine” declaws and the poor cats suffered so dramatically afterward. The few cats that my current vet has done had no personality changes and did not wake up violently. We kept them in hospital for several days on pain meds and send them home with pain patches since many owners don’t like to medicate cats. While I am still against declawing and would never do it to my own kitties (though I have owned cats that were declawed by former owners), I have to say that I think the vet I work for has the best pain management protocol. That said, I would like to see it banned and I would surely like to see landlords/apartment houses, etc. be stopped from requiring it for their cat owning tenants.

    • Thanks Reno, I’m glad your cat is getting better, I’d rather be ill myself than one of ours!
      Yes declawing needs to be banned so that no cat ever has to live a disabled life, we in the UK look at it this way, it’s not just the surgery itself wrong, it’s taking essential parts from the cat and putting his future health in jeapordy. I’ve read about declawed cats suffering from painful arthritis as they age, it stands to reason they must.
      I worked full time for vets for many years and we only ever once had a client wanting her cat declawed before it was banned here, I’d never even heard of it but a shiver ran down my spine, I couldn’t even for a million pounds have let it happen, I’d have taken the cat home and hang the consequences. Thankfully the vets were as shocked and disgusted as I was and she was told no vet in the UK would be so cruel.
      Show your employer this video and hopefully like more vets are doing now she will refuse to ever declaw any cat again:
      I love this man.
      Sorry but I can’t understand any vet breaking their oath to cause no animal to suffer, it’s awful you haven’t any no kill shelters but I think someone who would relinquish a cat if not declawed shouldn’t have had a cat in the first place and the fact that you have had cats who have been declawed by previous owners proves that declawing does not keep them in their homes.

  2. I only read a couple of the comments, but I so totally agree that cats NEED their claws! Any cat that could not climb a tree would be SO crippled! It would be such terrible damage to the poor cat’s psyche! Anyone that would do that to a cat would NOT care about the cat AT ALL! I can not have a cat now, but I will always love them! It is nothing but horribly cruel! Horrific is an appropriate word for anyone who would not have more sense & should be a star in movies about cruelty! Thank you all for working so hard to prevent this from EVER happening again. I truly didn’t know people were so cruel to cats! God, please save all cats from ever having it happen to them for the rest of time!

    • Hi Lora, thanks for visiting. A point worth making is that the people who declaw their cat don’t believe it is cruel. They think it is perfectly acceptable and so do the vets who do it. Strange isn’t it?

    • Thanks Lora, you are obviously a true cat lover, I’m sorry you can’t have a cat now.
      What amazes me is that all of us here know how cruel declawing is so why doesn’t everyone? How they can think it’s acceptable is quite beyond me.
      I think declaw vets DO know how cruel it is but they don’t care! Nor do the people who think their furniture is more important and like the people who think cats ‘scratch eyes out’ and stupid things like that, they shouldn’t be allowed to be anywhere near a cat let alone ‘own’ one.

  3. I had a quick browse of yahoo answers and could only find one declaw question, some one wanting to know when the cone could be removed from her newly declawed kittens head.
    She had a lot of replies, every single one telling her what a cruel thing she had done. Her excuse that she didn’t want her eyes scratched out fuelled the replies even more.
    So sad for that little kitten and for all the others still being declawed, I could sit and weep, but 5 years ago all the replies were never anti declaw so progress is being made, just not fast enough for us who hate it that any cats are still being mutilated.

  4. Great poster again, Ruth. Michael said comments might disappear, but hopefully not this important post. It doesn’t matter about it being another country Ruth. Animals aren’t political. The world is one big place we all share. Fighting injustice and stupidity is the job of all humans. All over the globe. It is a dirty job, and someone has to do it. We are the right team for the job, such as we can be. Thanks for being the voice for cats. Thanks to Michael, Barbara, and all the other voices here at POC who speak out for a good cause. It is working. Slow as mud, but slogging along is better than nothing.

    • Thank you Dorothy, each and every person educating against declawing is a valuable part of the movement. I always remember when first I ‘met’ Annie Bruce and said what we were doing seemed to be very little. She said ‘Ruth you educate one person, even if that person only educates two more and they educate only two more each, eventually there will be thousands of people educating others and that’s how claws will be saved’
      She was right and so are you, it’s working but slow as mud. But we are making progress and The Paw Project film must surely be putting declaw vets to shame and I hope and pray that people are thinking twice about using their services so they get the message loud and clear that DECLAWING IS CRUEL.


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