Veterinarians Who Say Declawing Cats Saves Lives Are Lying

At council hearings where the subject of banning declawing has been debated, veterinarians represented by the AVMA, have insisted that they declaw cats because it prevents owners abandoning their cats. The argument is that owners have problems with their cats’ claws because of scratched furniture and scratched granny and so on. These owners want to get rid of their cat and decide with the collusion of their veterinarian to declaw the animal instead. Even if the reasoning were true it’d be pathetic. These people should not have cats. The veterinarians are saying declawing does some good. OMG this is a weird and sad way of thinking.

Dr Pol declawing a cat
Dr Pol declawing a cat
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The truth is that it is all a fiction. The vets are desperate to justify the unjustifiable. They are desperate to find a reason why they mutilate kittens at the behest of their cruel clients. So they came up with the “we save cats lives” argument.

We know their pathetic argument is untrue because in 8 Californian cities1 declawing has been banned. All eight cities banned declawing during October to December of 2009. Therefore we have some history to call upon to see what happens when cat declawing ceases in an area.

Seven of the eight cities or towns where declawing has been banned have provided reports to the Humane Society of America. The Daily Beast has seen these reports.

Each report tells us that there has been a decrease in the number of cats abandoned (relinquished) to shelters since the bans took effect.

In Los Angeles the decrease in relinquishments is down by 43 percent. The reports clearly indicate that not being able to declaw your cat does not lead to more cats being abandoned2. This totally and fatally undermines the veterinarians main argument as to why they declaw.

Okay, we knew the argument was rubbish anyway but it is nice to have confirmation.

Financial value of cat declawing usa
Financial value of cat declawing usa

We also know that vets declaw for money. There are an estimated 21.6 million declawed cats in the USA. This figure may be too low. Even if it is correct, if it costs say $100 to declaw that makes 2.16 billion dollars of revenue from legalised mutilation of domestic cats and kittens. Bizarre, right?

Whenever you hear a vet say he has to declaw because the owner plans to get rid of her cat, remember this page.

Also remember that if a cat owner wants to get rid of her cat because of the cat’s claws, guess what? She should never have a cat in the first place.

Note 1: West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Beverley Hills, Berkley, Culver City and Burbank.

Note 2: Obviously the reasons for cat abandonment is complex and not solely dependent on a cat’s claws and scratching but vets would have us believe that there’d be a massive increase in cats being dumped at shelters in the eight cities mentioned above; not the case.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

5 thoughts on “Veterinarians Who Say Declawing Cats Saves Lives Are Lying”

  1. There are scores of declawed cats for adoption at the big shelters in Albuquerque.
    One issue with cats is the misconception they cannot be trained. Most respond wonderfully to clicker training.
    Initially someone may declaw to save the sofa. The end up with an animal that in my opinion malfunctions not only because of pain but psychological damage
    from having a tool they are hardwired to use chopped off. Dr Pol is horrible example of veterinary medicine.
    BTW one of the behaviors that is common but seldom addressed. When you remove one form of defense. Like claws may cats become biters.
    From the vets view. If I don’t declaw this cat will be dumped. Either at a shelter or outside to fend for itself.
    There are vets that will indeed do anything for a buck. There are those that will refuse no matter what. So here’s a hypothetical question. You are the vet. Your practice follows the guidelines set out for declawing in a modern practice. That means you offer, push every alternative and failing that explain exactly what happens when you declaw a cat and the behavior problems that are likely to be worse than a scratch on granny’s leg. The client insists. You know they’re going to find Vet X within a few phone calls. He might make Pol look good.
    Ethically , and I am not a vet. I would refuse. I would feel bad for the cat but I believe people are responsible for their decisions good and bad. The thing is either way the cat ends up mutilated.
    As per the 100$ to declaw. Those are butcher prices.
    I look to see this whole argument moot in the next few years. A ban is coming.
    I love my cats , claws and all. Those wicked little tools. I cherish every claw mark on my very expensive desk left by Kitten. The feline equivalent of a water buffalo landing on my desk every day for 11 years to join me in tea.

    1. Thanks ME King. Nice comment. Agreed – a ban is coming because it must come. It must come because declawing can never be justified when done for non-therapeutic reasons (99% of the time). Worse: it is a legalised violent assault on vulnerable kittens and cats.

  2. Irish Cornaire

    Bullshit,declawed cats are the ones most abandoned/surrendered due to garnering behavioral problems,I have one,her former owner threw her away and now I know why,she refuses to use the cat box and i tried everything to curb her of her behavior but nothing has worked so I clean up after her daily!

    1. Absolutely. I can remember one of the AVMA representatives at a council meeting spouting all that BS about cats being relinquished. Now we have definitive proof that vets cannot use that argument anymore.

    2. Absolutely. Additionally, a lot of people don’t want to adopt declawed cats because they are afraid that they’d have behavior problems or they have a clawed cat at home or they don’t want to completely renounce the possibility of letting the cat outside or they just like cats with claws.

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