The declawing of domestic cats is now among the most commonly performed surgeries on the cat today in the United States. Declawing is also one of the top contenders on the controversial hotlist that is sure to stir up strong emotions between animal lovers. But for the group of people that claim declawing is the ultimate cure all, the easy tune up for which it is portrayed to be, for people who think declawing is the right option for their cat, I urge you to reconsider your action plan.
In my unique experience in dealing with cats where I live, I find that most people who want to declaw their cat are not willing to tolerate any medical or behavioral issue at all. It is like all issues are supposed to just be smelled in the air, and mystically wished away. The problems start at the very thought of wanting to declaw a cat. The surgery is counterproductive in that it already implies the owner wants a quick fix to any and all behavioral issues that arise. It scares me because if they can't take care of one behavioral issue without turning to science or medicine to fix the problem, what about future issues? I also worry because being adults, they should have access to research about the surgery and the pain involved.
I am very much against the declawing of cats and here is the reason why. I find that most cats that are declawed cannot live as happy life as cats that have claws and they cannot defend themselves. Cats claw to reduce anxiety, to release all the pent up energy, and to stretch his body and unkink his muscles. I also adamantly consider scratching to be a great time for cats to bond. Multiple cat homes will strongly benefit from a cat tower where the cats are constantly chasing each other or playing tag with each other on the towers. Even basic scratching posts can be fun!
The most common problem after furniture scratching is cats are often declawed for lashing out at people or attacking them. At this point in time, it is already determined that the cat is just being spiteful, mean or hateful. A cat is neither of these things. Chances are if we get off our predetermined mindset that our cats are trying to do things to frustrate us, we will stand a better chance of finding a solution. I worry because if a cat is lashing at people, the cat must be bored, or in other terms not getting the right exercise for his age or he has not been taught the proper social skills. I found this out when Felix was attacking me, but he does not attack me anymore since I’ve introduced play therapy and scratch post.
And what about dogs? When I was growing up, I had a declawed dog. My guardian couldn't stand owning a dog that clawed at everything and he did not want to deal with the dog's behavioral problem up front like a true animal advocate would. Three weeks later, he got rid of the dog because of issues regarding the declaw and the dog was just not working out. Another thing I have realized. A big portion of people that declaw do not care for an animal's worth, they are like temporaries to them.
Tiger, my first cat, was declawed when I was thirteen. I admit to accepting the surgery. Everyone, even the vets and my mom assured me that it was the best thing and my guardian said that we would have to get rid of him if I said no. For a person that has only witnessed animal abuse, for a person who had a step dad that shot the ones I had, who always wished they would have a cat of their own, would readily say yes to a surgery they thought was only as mundane as removing claws. Since I did not have internet, I did not know that declawing was actually the amputation of the toes at the last joint, tantamount to the removal of fingers in humans and now I regret it.
Just some of my built up thoughts on declawing. Some things I wanted to express and get out there so other people could comment on them.
Selected Associated Pages: