The Agonising Pain Suffered by Declawed Cats

by Ruth

Photo added by Michael - My message to pro-delcawers: look at this photo and think of the pain -

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

Photo added by Michael - My message to pro-delcawers: look at this photo and think of the pain -

No one with a kitten and a puppy would consider having the puppy declawed, so why do they think it is acceptable to cause the kitten pain and disablement by having him declawed?

Anyone who knows much about cats knows how brave they are, how stoic and how they hide their pain, because to them it is a sign of weakness.

poster for article on declawing of cats

This quote from an ex vet tech shows just how much pain cats go through after declawing:

This cat had its surgery, as it was coming down off the pain meds (now mind you I was outside the building having a cigerette), I heard this horrible screaming. Sounded like a human, non stop, it was awful. I ran inside and everyone ran in the room where the cat was and it was chewing at its own paws (they were already bandaged up), blood everywhere. They had to sedate the cat and give it more meds for pain.

When it came down from that, it did it again. His poor paws needed stitched up, he tore them up with such pain he was feeling. They had to give him pain meds again and put one of those collars around his kneck so he could not get to his paws.

When the meds wore off again, he cried in such pain. So I just held him and petted him and talked with him, rocked him in the chair. The way he looked at me broke my heart.

And from someone else who heard a cat in pain after declawing:

I took my cat to the vet one day because she had a cut on her foot that turned into an abscess nothing too serious but I heard a cat crying the whole time I was there so I asked the vet what was wrong and he said it had been declawed.

He also made the comment that it was doped up on pain meds and still crying, he also made sure I knew he wasn't the one to do the amputation, the vet that owns the place did it, and told me he would never even think about doing such a thing to an animal.

I went home and cried, and every time I see someone on here asking about if they should get their cats declawed I get so upset and hope they read about it and know exactly what it is to declaw a cat.

Just 2 examples of the aftermath of the cruel unnecessary operation called declawing. For those cats, to show their pain that way proves just how extreme that pain was.

Please don't be fooled into thinking that laser declawing is kinder, it may not be as bloody as other methods and the wounds may heal quicker, but it is as much the painful amputation of the last toe joints and it still disables cats and causes them the same physical and mental problems.

What a pity that all cats in pain can't howl as loud and as long as dogs do because maybe then pro declaw people might realise that cats feel pain equally as much as dogs do.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

The Agonising Pain Suffered by Declawed Cats to Declawing cats

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The Agonising Pain Suffered by Declawed Cats

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Oct 07, 2011 Why?
by: Anonymous

Our first cat as a couple was a lovable Siamese male. He had all his claws. My husband-to-be wanted to have him declawed, but I said no -- the cat was an adult and I don't agree with declawing, I think it is cruel and unnecessary. If you do not want to run the risk of being scratched, don't adopt or buy a cat.
After Crookshanks (our Siamese) passesd away, we adopted two cats -- a male Siamese that we named Edward -- he was already declawed and very social, but he doesn't like other cats. we also adopted our Bella -- I think she is a Van. She is very shy and quiet, ans she prefers a female rather than a male to handle her. She is quite small, perhaps she was a runt. She has her claws, and the shelter told us that she was the only cat that Edward would tolerate. They get along fine -- they do fight at times, but they never hurt each other. I think maybe they are playing, though.
Do not declaw your cats. It is cruel and the cat will always remember that you took them to the vet and the pain that they experienced because a human who put their needs and wants above those of a cat or kitten who loves their owner. You wouldn't do it to a child -- why would you do it to a cat who looks upon you as a mother?

Nov 25, 2010 To Anonymous
by: Barbara

I'm afraid that's the stupid blinkered thinking that has enshrined declawing into acceptable custom, comparing labour to declawing is like comparing Santa Claus to Hitler. As you only commented to try and stir up trouble I suggest you find something better to do with your energy and make comments somewhere else where they might possibly be appreciated, because they sure are not appreciated here. Bye!

Barbara avatar

Nov 21, 2010 To crazy anonymous
by: Mel

Are you for real?
Comparing childbirth to declawing is the most stupid comparison ever.
The pain worth the end result you say,yes having labour pain is definately so,but suffering pain from the amputation of toe ends is a different matter.The end result is disablement,many complications and living a life not as a cat but as an adapted creature for the selfish satisfaction of idiots like you.
You didn't have your cats declawed yourself and I would admire you for taking on disabled cats if you weren't so stupidly smug in thinking declawed cats don't suffer.
OPEN YOUR EYES,look at their deformed paws,compare them with healthy cats paws and see how terrible it is to do this unthinkably cruel needless surgery.

Nov 20, 2010 Bad vets
by: Kath

Yes anonymous those people did have bad vets,the vets who declaw cats.
Good vets do not declaw cats.
End of.

Nov 20, 2010 You are crazy
by: Rose

What temporary pain anonymous?What end goal?
Pain from declawing goes on and on and the only one with an end goal is the selfish lazy owner who needn't bother buying a scratching post.The declawed cats end goal would be to wish to wake up one day and find the ten amputations suffered was a bad dream.
Childbirth produces a child,declawing produces nothing but a life of disablememt.
YOU are the crazy one.

Nov 20, 2010 To anonymous
by: Ruth

Women choose to have babies and they know the pain they will have to endure,that pain passes and their reward is a baby.
Cats don't choose to have their toe ends amputated, they don't know the pain they will have to endure and if they could choose they would not endure it because they get no reward.
In fact they get punished by being crippled for life.
I hope your cats are not in pain, but don't forget cats hide pain, do you check their stumps regularly ? I hope so. Don't forget too that they are likely to develop painful arthritis as they age, I hope you are prepared to take them to a vet for the expensive pain medication they will need to stay comfortable when they do.
Also don't forget you have deprived them of one of the greatest pleasures in a cats life, enjoying the very necessary claws they needed but someone took away.
Declawing is banned in many countries as animal abuse for good reason,that reason is that it is very cruel !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Nov 20, 2010 You are all crazy
by: Anonymous

Must have had really bad vets. We adopted 2 declawed cats from the pound who showed no signs of pain ever, and area living very happy lives (as inside cats always). Lots of things cause temporary pain. Ex. using your thought process we should outlaw women having children because the temporary pain is not worth the end goal.

May 17, 2010 Vets who don't declaw
by: Ruth

I hope you live somewhere near one of the good guys on the above list AL.
Everyone PLEASE BOYCOTT declaw vets just as AL's mother is doing.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

May 17, 2010 OH ...MY ....GOD
by: AL

My mom phoned the doctor to book in her 5 months old kitten for speying and was asked if she wanted her declawed that it was better if she was gonna do it the same time.
My mom changed her mind with shock when I got her on reading these pages.
She's now gotta find a vet whose not gonna do that.

May 17, 2010 To Roxane
by: Ruth

Thank God you found out before it was too late. Knowing your cats have been saved means more to us than winning the lotto !
PLEASE help us get declawing made illegal by signing our petition and spreading it far and wide. We can't reach everyone to let them know the truth so it MUST banned and soon !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

May 17, 2010 And the truth from one who knows
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

May 16, 2010 Hell NO!!!!
by: Roxane

I thought about doing this to my two cats, but after watching this (on the declawing cats page on PoC) I will not.I would not want someone to do this to me. I feel sad for those cats.

May 16, 2010 Painful
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Why do some people mutilate their cats in this painful way, when a good scratchboard is all it takes?
Just looking at the picture and reading the text is painful enough for me. Thanks to Ruth and others for the information.

Finn Frode avatar

May 15, 2010 Just so sad
by: Tracey (England)

Ruth, yet again your article was amazing even the thickest of people should be able to understand that this is just so wrong.

I am sat here with a very heavy heart fighting back tears.

Tears for the poor cats who have suffered unimaginable pain, and yes you may all disagree with me but tears for the people who have lost their cats because they trusted their vets, but yes most of all the poor little souls that ultimately trusted their guardians to protect them and never hurt them especially letting them die in agony for the sake of a sofa.

I know you brave troops feel the same for the guardians because usually you are the first to say that they should have known better and not trusted their vets. This is true but a lot of people do trust them. Haven't they sworn on oath after all to never hurt any animal? But if any good will come out of the loss of these poor little souls it is that they will never de-claw ever again because they know now that its torture whichever way its done. Guardians I hope you will spread the word.

By god you vets I cant put into words how angry I am right now; I am filled with so much hatred for you all. You let these defenceless cats go through so much pain!! I hate you with all my heart; you're not fit to co-exist on this planet with any animal.

Finally Michael I think you are very brave to publish such a graphic picture. It also makes me wince with pain and compassion.

I am now going to send this link to everyone I know with a reminder to please support the ban and please let everyone they know about this vile, disturbing torture.

May 14, 2010 Good work Ruth
by: Angel

We need as many of these anti declawing articles as we can possibly get because there is a spate of "promoting laser declawing" videos around at present.
The "butchers" err sorry I mean declaw vets must be getting worried that too many of us are now against them.
A lot of cats claws have been saved by the perseverance of the education of people who had no clue what declawing was.
They of course could have found out for themselves but it's far easier to live in cloud cuckoo land than to seek out the truth.

May 14, 2010 Thanks everyone
by: Ruth

Thank you for your comments everyone,all decent people know how wrong declawing is and long for it to be banned.
Kathy can we quote you on that please ? Not identifying you of course, but sometimes someone hearing about it from someone who has actually witnessed declawing helps to convince that person how painful it is.

Now I really am stuck for ideas of how to illustrate the cruelty of declawing, next.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

May 13, 2010 sick

Declawing is so sick. We can only preach the horrors of it. I have seen this procedure first hand. I almost fainted and after that I could not be in the office when the vet that I worked for did this procedure. MInd this---THE CAT OR KITTEN SCREAMS OUT IN PAIN WITH EACH CLAW THAT IS PULLED OUT, I repeat PULLED OUT. Even though the cat or kitten is asleep, it SCREAMS OUT. This is a truly sick procedure that cannot be outlawed fast enough for me..

May 13, 2010 Disgusting
by: Anonymous

Disgusting out and out cruelty.
Senseless needless uncalled for pain inflicted by sadists on behalf of clueless morons who don't deserve cats.

May 13, 2010 Cats
by: Carol

Yes it's a pity cats are too dignified to make their pain and feelings known like dogs do.
Cats have been tormented and maligned many times in history but now people should know better and stop this abuse of them taking away their healthy neccessary parts.
I agree with Edward,what are the American people doing about it,why are they letting it go on.
From what I can make out most people trying to stop it are UK or Australian people.
Ignoring it won't make it go away,that's for certain.

May 13, 2010 ps
by: Edward

Where are you Americans?
Get at it and print off all these posters,stick them up everywhere,let everybody see the truth.
If I was over there man thered not be a city in the whole country without these posters up.
Declawing wont go away if you do nothing.

May 13, 2010 Great work
by: Edward

Another great page from the never ending imagination and determination of our worthy troops leader.
Man it had me in tears again,pictures do speak louder than words and every picture tells a story.
When will it all end?

May 13, 2010
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

" A photograph is eqivalent to a thousand words", is ver true in this photo of a cat in the process of being "De-Clawed".
Its senseless keeping pets if you alter their behaviour cruelly.

Rudolph avatar

May 12, 2010 Cats deserve the same respect and compassion as dogs
by: Michele S.

That's a great tool for educating people Ruth. I think you raise a very valid point in saying that most people wouldn't even consider declawing a dog. Too many people don't understand that just because their declawed cat may not be showing obvious signs or pain or distress, it doesn't mean that they aren't suffering in silence.

It's absolutely heart breaking to think of these declawed cats enduring a painful existence trying to pretend as best they can that they are okay. Or the cats who were so physically or mentally traumatised that they couldn't keep up the act, and ended up being dumped or surrendered for euthanasia because of their newly acquired behavioural problems.

Declawing is such an evil thing to do to another living creature for no good reason, that it really should be illegal everywhere.

Let's pray that many more American and Canadian cities follow the humane example set by the8 California ones who voted to ban it.

May 12, 2010 Deare Lorde save us
by: Anonymous

Deare Lorde the evil people who abide on this planete will destroye it forsoothe.
Anyone doing wrong to the Deares creatures will have to atone for their sins.
However this does not helpe the suffering of the Lordes creatures in the interime.
We must praye that this evil practise and all the othere atrocitiese to innocente creatures is to be swiftley and cleanely ended without delaye.
Only goode people can save this planete nowe,togethere we will overcome the evil.

May 12, 2010 More hard hitting pictures
by: Sue

Well done Ruth.I love how you put into pictures what your blog is about.
The simple minds of the people who don't realise what a cruel procedure declawing is might take in some of your graphics.Even a child could understand what those cartoon pets are saying.
I'm sick of reading that laser declawing is kinder.
NO method of amputating the cats toes is kind.
Those stories of cats in agony are so terribly sad.
Why would anyone put their pet at such risk.
They DO NOT love cats.
As for the vets who do this to cats,I have no words to describe the hatred and contempt I feel for them.

May 12, 2010 The blame
by: Colin

I agree with Micheal,the vets can NEVER be forgiven.I add that nor can the people who have this done to their cats.The vet doesn't threaten them with dire consequences if they don't,does he/she?
Those people have freedom of choice as to whether they have their cat mutilated or not.
They have to share the blame.

May 12, 2010 Heart breaking
by: Fran

Heart breaking stories and this is only the tip of the iceberg.We will never know how many cats are suffering in various ways behind closed doors.
I love your poster Ruth,maybe it will penetrate even the thickest brain and show them how wrong it is that cats suffer so and dogs don't.
I wouldn't want dogs to suffer too but cats are sometimes put through this for the sake of the dog of the family.
That can't be right.

May 12, 2010 So, so heartbreaking
by: Babz

What amazes me is that we are not talking here about unavoidable, life saving surgery, we are talking about a procedure that no cat should ever endure because it is cosmetic and the one doing the choosing is the owner (I will not use the word guardian in relation to someone who pays a vet to disable their cat - they guard nothing!)The owner who doesn't feel a scrap of fear, pain or confusion.
The cats in these stories have had their paws ruined and lived in pain for the remainer of their lives and some have even lost their lives and yet this operation is legal????????????????
How? Why? And for how much longer is this going to be encouraged by professionals who, were they to be doing the same thing in any of the 38 countries where declawing is banned, would rightly be prosecuted and punished for cruelty.

Barbara avatar

May 12, 2010 And another with permission to share
by: Rose

I'm ashamed to admit that I had it done to a cat that I had. When I saw her poor, mangled little paws after the fact I vowed to never do that again. What was left of her digits was limp, useless skin that she had to walk on. It was horrible.
I lost her to leukemia about a year ago. Her short life was spent tottering around uncertainly on nubs where toes should have been. Please don't make the same mistake I made in regard to de-clawing

May 12, 2010 Declawing killed my cat
by: Anonymous


I did it and it killed my cat. I had to use paper pellets litter after he came home and was healing and he rejected the litter, held his water, and got a blockage in his urethra.
It caused kidney failure and he died.

May 12, 2010 And another one .......
by: Rose

I have permission to use this story ...she says:
I took Star and Angel to the vet to have them declawed using the "laser" technique because I had read that it was less painful and there was a quicker recovery. I spoke with the vet to find out risks to the cats. I had the preliminary blood work to done. I had a "recovery room" at home with special litter and nothing for the cats to climb up on or, more importantly, to jump down from. I thought I had done everything to ensure my cats' safety and successful recovery.
2 weeks later Star died. She had had problems from the surgery from the start. She may have bitten at her toes on the drive home from the vets because when she arrived home, her paws were all bloody. I took her back to the vet right away and they applied more "glue" to re-seal the wounds. I immediately I regretted my decision after seeing my cat bleeding unnecessarily. After bringing Star home for the 2nd time, this time with a cone to prevent her from biting at her toes, she appeared to be recovering. Initially she was eating and drinking, but then she started to withdraw, spending more and more time by herself - which was very unlike her. Star had always been a very social and loving cat - always wanting to be petted or picked up and carried around the house. By the time I noticed she was not eating, I took her back to see the vet. They thought she was just dehydrated and wanted to keep her overnight to give her fluids through an IV do some blood work. Within 6 hours, I received a call requesting permission from the vet to perform CPR on my precious Star "because she was turning purple" (that is a quote). Within 3 minutes I received another call telling me that Star had died.
The vet cannot give me a good explanation as to why my Star died. They claim it was probably due to a heart condition. Whatever the medical reason, I have to live with the fact that she died because I decided to have her claws removed.
What I've learned from my experience is that claws are an essential part of a cat. They are a body part. To remove an essential body part for the convenience of an owner is wrong and you are putting your pet's life at risk to do so - I understand that now but I paid a very expensive price. If you don't want the entire cat, consider another pet that doesn't have claws or get a cat that has already been declawed.
I can only hope that at least one person who reads this chooses not to have their precious cat declawed. In this way I will feel that Star's death served some purpose.

May 12, 2010 from a woman that laser declawed her cat
by: Susan

"...she jerked her body, meowed at me twice while looking into my eyes and then she died. It's been over 3 months and I am so much worse off then I was before, I am dreaming of her, I have so much guilt for what I have done. I lost my baby, she would have been 14 this April, she was still playful, she loved us, she counted on us to take care of her and I let her down, over some stupid furniture that now I have been wanting to burn, Material things are nothing, my cat was my life and I took it for granted. Laser Surgery was not better, yes I made mistakes, not seeing the signs, and that is part of my guilt, but the decision to get her declawed is the worst decision I have ever made, it took a life, my Tazzy's life. I will not be able to get past this, what I have done, the torture my baby went through. DON'T EVER DECLAW, I would do anything to have her damaging my couches right now, I would let her tear my house down to have her right now, I hate myself for what I have done. Learn from my story PLEASE REMEMBER MY STORY FOR OTHERS."


May 12, 2010 Winced
by: Michael

When I read this I winced in emotional pain. I can sense the deep pain that these cats go through. It is horrible. And 20 million cats more or less have suffered this.

I believe that this not only affects cats but us. It makes life on this planet less good. It adds to the sum of pain, stress and discomfort on this planet. It is very sad ultimately. And the vets can never be forgiven.

Michael Avatar

2 thoughts on “The Agonising Pain Suffered by Declawed Cats”

  1. I don’t live in the US and I never even knew that declawing was a thing until recently. I have a cat who is 10 years old. I was absolutely certain that she would develop arthritis, because I keep seeing that it is very common. Eventually, I asked her vet about it. He told me not to worry at all. He said that he thought it was a very common problem among cats, too, but he’d never seen one actually suffer from it. He also talked about it with other vets who said the same. Having read up on declawing, it makes me wonder if that is the reason why so many cats have arthritis there?

    • Hi Maria. Thanks for the comment.

      When I started this website I had no idea that declawing of cats existed. It is hard for me to imagine that time, now. Today I am a hardcore anti-declaw campaigner for the simple reason that it is unnecessary, cruel and it does not respect the cat. PoC is about respecting the cat, domestic, feral or wild.

      There are over 150 pages on declawing cats on PoC and thousands of comments but generally Brits don’t know about the declawing of cats. I would doubt that there are 1,000 people in the UK who know about declawing of cats. Well, that might be an exaggeration but the percentage of the population is minuscule.

      It just does not enter the head of a Brit because they have never seen it. Nor have they ever imagined it. The veterinary operation of declawing a cat does not exist in the United Kingdom. It never has and therefore the operation is as alien as flying to the moon.

      My answer is:

      Hi Maria. Thanks for the comment. You know what, the vets who do the declawing in breach of their sacred oath don’t have a clue how many cats that they declaw end up with arthritis because of what they did. They don’t want to know. But it is almost bound to be a good number because cats are digitigrades. They walk on their toes. If their toes hurt or the last phalanx is missing putting them off balance and setting up stresses, common sense dictates that there might be health problems. As there are about 20 million declawed cats in the USA it is probably that there will be hundreds of thousands with arthritis.

      OK enough of the health stuff. The bit that interests me today is the cultural stuff. The fact is that it isn’t just Brits who don’t know that Americans declaw cats. Most of the world doesn’t know either. I can say that with some confidence because the UK is the closest country to the USA. We have the same language and similar levels of education etc.

      Almost all of the Middle and Far East, Central and South America and Africa won’t have heard of the declawing of cats. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the rest of Europe.

      Is this significant? Well, who knows. As mentioned, one thing it does tell us is that declawing is unique to America and therefore someone better than me should figure out why because it will tell the rest of the world a lot about the underlying psyche of Americans.

      Also, if people in other countries knew about it perhaps, like me, they would criticize it. That would not make much of a difference in the US of A. But it would make a small difference. If we can make a small difference we should make it because small things grow into bigger things.

      Before an American like Woodsman starts to swear at me, let me say that I like America and Americans. I just don’t like animal cruelty. I hope people will accept that.


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