Too Many Cat Owners Don’t Understand The Declawing Operation

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:

Too Many Cat Owners Don't Understand The Declawing Operation

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

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.

botched cat declaw operations
Botched cat declaw operations stud results

You can see what is removed in this picture.

The product of cat declawing
The product of cat declawing. Have a good long and hard look. If you are not disgusted and/or shocked you should not be a cat owner.

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.

Cat claw regrowth after declawing
Claw regrowth

There are other complications.

Complications Of Declawing

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.

Cat owners don't understand the declawing operation
How we would use our hands if they were cat paws.

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.

21 thoughts on “Too Many Cat Owners Don’t Understand The Declawing Operation”

  1. Oh noes!!! It’s now appeared and I have made a pointless fuss. ‘Michael, messy, impatient, thick poster in comments needs removing please’


    • The settings on the site should allow you to self publish your comments without moderation. Please ensure you use the same name and email address. Thanks and thanks for commenting. I value your comments.

  2. Have just made many attempts to post about this horror and the site keeps telling me that it is a duplicate comment. Now my comment had been eaten and isn’t even awaiting moderation- argh! Help!

      • Thanks Michael. I think tiny, tablet keypads and me not having pixie sized finger tips do not help either. Cats claimed the stylus the second it came out of the bag.

        My patience dissipates after the 27th attempt to correct a typo.

        Some might think it would make type less!😸

  3. A sad thing to have a world where some cocky, young vets are boasting amongst colleagues about the speed in which they can butcher four, perfect feline feet. Other horrific little practices emerge such as a speed addicted vet admitting they are relying on sedation only, such as acepromazine (ACP) or similar rather than use a proper anaesthetic.

    Somewhere on You Tube there is a video of a declaw op done this way, including jokey commentary from the vet & the assisting tech. For extra crassness it was revealed that you can take care of much pain during the surgery by use of torniquets. A shot of a digital stopwatch was edited on the right top corner of the screen. X certification veterinary extreme animal abuse, nothing less.

    The wide shots showed a normal looking small animal operating theatre. Other staff could be seen coming into the room and getting things from cabinets, mentioning other appointments, all looked like it was just ‘normal’. This was probably the most chilling aspect for me.

    The video was online about ten years ago. Sorry, but I won’t be searching for it to link. I limit what I expose myself to these days. Shame vets can’t limit the greed driven harms they cause to those they are charged with helping, humanely.

    • Thanks Jane. Although I agree it is chilling. A lot of vets just don’t understand what they are doing with respect to the cruelty element and their breach of oath. They are unsuited to being vets in my opinion.

      Do you do veterinary work Jane?

      • Yes and it points to a disturbing lack of empathy. Student vets study neurology, biochemistry and a lot of anatomy, how can they not understand the basic, hugely important function of claws? It used to be that it was only the really bright kids got into vet school. Maybe vet schools run modules on sadism in countries where de-toeing is legal?

        I don’t do veterinary work, I did help out at our old vets when I was a teen (free help for my rescues within reason!) until I went off to college. I never wanted to be a vet or a nurse, even so many years back I knew my limits. Socially there are a few vets around here as we live very close to a huge university vet school, so they crop up in odd places.

        I’ve seen a lot of vets & practices due to usually having a “Puss Project” of some sort on the go. Even if it is just keeping a weather eye out & trying to sort out if the cat has a home.

        With the vet care of my animal friends I am a pain in the bum to vets.I ask for all the details,diagnostic rationale, differentials, drug details/choices, anything and everything. My rationale is that the more I know and understand, the better care I can give my furry friends when they need it. Anything that helps me comply with care needs is useful. Currently we have vets who are on board with this and happy to pass on references so we can learn what the vet is going on about.

        Never again, if I can possibly avoid it, will I be fraught with despair and unable to save a cat because I didn’t know the right questions to ask and wasn’t able to spot when a vet wasn’t giving a cat a fair chance.

        I do far less helping animals than so many do, but I won’t pass an animal in need. So many cats are invisibly in need, please people, get your eye in, learn how to spot a cat that needs help, what to do, even just knowing who to ask for help, it could save so much misery and may save an important little life. It can also bring amazing joy when a person & cat are reunited.

        I’m very interested in all aspects of the human relationship with other species. I keep coming back here because there is always something new to learn & so many diverse opinions. The articles are little life savers when I need a break. Interesting comments too, you have a very knowledgable following!

        • It is interesting that you say that a cat owner should have some cat health knowledge to make sure that their veterinarian is fully informed and deals with the matter correctly. I have advocated this over many years. A good cat owner knows something about cat health and how to prevent it and should have a dialogue with their veterinarian in my opinion. It just makes it more likely that the cat will receive the best possible care. Veterinarians are like any other person. Some are good and some aren’t and unless you ask questions and probe you won’t know which one is which. And as you say, cat owners should be observant about their cat. Sometimes I think a percentage of cat owners simply aren’t that concerned or that observant which allows certain illnesses to go unchecked and unnoticed such as mouth disease

          • We need everyone who adopts or buys an animal to take home and digest a basic care guide. There is a vast mass of good information out there. Much of it free and in any format (included assisted) you could need, that there really is no valid excuse for ignorance. As you imply, the will has to be there. For so many, it isn’t.

            • Having tweaked the settings your comments should be published automatically. Yes, I think these people knew what they were doing and screwed up.

  4. The term de-clawing is a sanitized version of the reality. It is an amputation done in such a way as to guarantee chronic pain. Furthermore removal of the claws takes away from a cat it’s main means of self defense, mobility, and agility. The cat knows very well the importance of it’s claws for survival in it’s natural world such as being able to rapidly get out of harms way by easily climbing trees, posts, fences, walls, etc. This must have a profoundly negative affect on the cat’s feeling of self-confidence and capability.

  5. I do blame the owner’s that were already informed of how the procedure works and they went ahead and had their poor cats declawed anyway,one was a friend of mine for 6 years until I booted her out of my life after I found out she surrendered her cat to the SPCA due to serious behavioral issues and no longer using the litter box and I told her this exact thing would happen.

    • Well, thanks for the comment Irish and I agree that this person is hopeless and cruel. She would not be a friend of mine either.

  6. Anyway that you look at it, declawing is simply inhumane. It is cruel, painful, disgusting and absolutely bizarre that a veterinarian could have even perform such a procedure. 😱😰🀒


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