The reason why America culture permits cat declawing

The culture of America is responsible for cat declawing.
Image: MikeB
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I’ll start of this discussion – and it is no more than a discussion as this is my opinion – by quoting Dr Bruce Fogle DVM from his book Complete Cat Care. He says this about cat declawing:

Declawing cats is a cultural issue – In some countries cats routinely have their nails removed when they’re neutered. In other countries this type of surgery is considered mutilation, and performing it is enough to have a vet’s license revoked. Personally, I performed this operation in the first years after I graduated but I stopped once I thought about what I was doing. I haven’t declawed a cat now for over 30 years. I think it’s a barbaric procedure.

Dr Bruce Fogle DVM

The key is culture. It is the culture of America and to a lesser extent Canada to declaw cats. A countries culture reflects the attitudes of the nation’s citizens.

America is a young country compared to the UK for instance. America is a relative baby at 246 years old. The founding fathers sealed the Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776. The kingdom of England – with roughly the same borders as exist today – originated in the 10th century. It was created when the West Saxon kings extended their power over southern Britain. That makes England over 1000 years old, almost five times the age of the United States.

It is the young age of America which creates a culture which in turn allows cat declawing to take hold first as a commercial idea dreamt up by a veterinarian and then a habit cemented on the fear of the cat’s claws.

And this young culture is rooted in the early years of the development of the US when settlers had to hunt to survive and the ethos of the Bible guided them. The New England colonists—with the exception of Rhode Island—were predominantly Puritans, who, by and large, led strict religious lives.

Being strictly religious the Bible was an important book of rules. And the Bible has a very well-known passage in it which makes clear that humans have ‘dominion’ over animals and that animals exist at humans’ whim.

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth

[Gen 1:26–28].

Armed with that guiding principle and with only 246 years to get it out of their minds, Americans decided it was okay to mutilate cats for their convenience.

The end of cat declawing has started. It started several years ago with several cities banning it and more recently a couple of states (New York and North Carolina).

Clearly it takes longer than 246 years for a culture to evolve to the point where it is realises that declawing is immoral.

It is speculated that the idea for declawing cats began with dog fighting another cruel human habit.

Origin of cat declawing?
Origin of cat declawing? Click the image for an article.

This is not a criticism of America; a country I really like. It is just history. The way things happen and my opinion. Many will disagree. But the sooner declawing becomes history the better. We can thank people like me living in England for highlighting its barbarity. This was not apparent to many in the US and it is still unapparent to many thousands of American veterinarians who still push it down the throats of American cat owners.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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