The screenshot of an Instagram page shown below indicates to me that there is bias against the cat with respect to the declawing operation. This is shown by outrage when a dog is declawed but much less criticism when millions of cats are declawed. I have highlighted the words in the comments which indicate this bias in favour of dogs and against cats.
A declawed chihuahua just arrived at my cemetery, I have never been so disgusted and horrified in my life. It sickens me enough when I see poor kitties without their claws who have had to suffer, but this has taken it to an entirely different level…..I am so sad……
Why would anyone declaw a dog? That doesn’t even make any sense!!!!
In the first comment, she implies that declawing dogs is worse than declawing cats. And the other lady asked why would anyone declaw a dog implying that there is a reason to declaw a cat.
These people are rightly outraged that this dog has been declawed. But when you read their comments you can sense the bias in favour of dogs and against cats with respect to declawing.
There is anger and disbelief when this chihuahua is declawed, yet there is passive acceptance, and apathy, when millions of cats are declawed annually. This is very unfair towards the cat. Where does this bias and unfairness come from? In the USA declawing is associated with the cat and accepted by a lot of people as we know but it is not associated with the dog. This is one reason why there is shock at declawing a chihuahua. It’s a habit almost to declaw cats.
Below I set out some possible reasons but whatever the reasons this bias is unjustified. The reasons are to do with the human’s different relationship with cats and dogs.
The cat is more independent and is hard-wired to hide pain because, in the wild, the cat is solitary. Dogs live in packs and can express their pain to other pack members to get help. Therefore they make it known to their human guardian that they are in pain.
Also the cat is a greater individual predator and therefore inherently more dangerous when alone. Dogs are predators in packs. Alone dogs have an obedient relationship with their human guardian.
A cat’s claws are sharper1 and her reactions are quicker. The claw is one weapon. For dogs the jaw is the weapon. The lithe, athletic and outstanding predator capabilities of the domestic cat frightens some people, I would argue, which when added to a desire to keep their furniture in perfect condition, results in an acceptance of the declawing operation amongst a large percentage of people.
These people should not have cats. That is the answer. The answer is not this obvious and unpleasant bias against the cat illustrated here on Instagram.
And I believe the bias might go wider than this. There is probably bias towards dogs in other aspects of ownership (‘guardianship’). We know, for example, that dogs are taken to the veterinarian far more frequently than the cat (AVMA report). Dog guardians spend more money in respect of their dog’s health than do cat guardians on their cat. Is this because cats hide pain? (ways to identify a cat in pain).
Note: (1) indoor cats have sharper claws because they are not worn down in use on hard surfaces. If cats were let out more in safe environments there would be less reason to declaw.