Too many cat owners don’t understand the declawing operation judging by a mini-poll which I am running on PoC. I am not out to blame anyone..except veterinarians. Where are they when it comes to educating cat owners? Take a look at the results of the poll below:
The correct answer is the one at the top of the list of three. About 30% of visitors doing the poll still believe that cat declawing is the removal of the claw and no more. This is very incorrect. It is the removal of a lot more than just the claw. The veterinarian chops off the end of the cat’s toes from the last joint. This removes everything from the last joint including the claw. It is not infrequently botched.
You can see what is removed in this picture.
The point is that a lot of vets use the equivalent of a crude guillotine to slice through the last joint. The device looks like something out of a builder’s tool box. This often leaves bits of bone in the paw. You can imagine what that does to the cat: pain, pain and more pain.
Sometimes the claws grows back. Guess what? That causes pain too.
There are other complications.
Too many vets have abdicated their responsibilities to cat owners and cats in failing to explain to their clients the true nature of the declawing operation called ‘onychectomy’. This misleadingly means ‘nail excision’.
It is a lot more than removing the ‘nail‘. It is a partial amputation of ten toes. The cat walks on his toes. See the image below for a how we would walk on our hands if we were a digitigrade.
Imagine what that feels like for the cat. Then imagine shards of bone in the paw as well. No don’t image in it. It is too horrible to contemplate.
Poster and Mystery Shopper
I am shocked at the results of the poll but can’t too critical of cat owners. The blame is with vets. The AVMA should make it obligatory for all their members to place a poster on the wall of all veterinary clinic receptions explaining the full extent of the operation. The AVMA should also instigate a nationwide mystery shopper program so all vet clinics are visited once a month to check the posters are up and also to check the general level of service. It is time to educate the cat owning public about this legalized cat cruelty.