Yesterday we talked about surgeries like ear cropping and tail docking, most commonly performed on dogs. Well today we’re talking about a surgery that is performed on cats – Declawing. This is something that many people desire in their cats, thinking it is safer to have a declawed cat. This is not true though and there are many side effects to this surgery. Many people and organizations and even many vets consider this to be abusive, however there is no law against it.
(Sophie, a declawed sweetheart and former shelter cat. She was turned in and adopted this month!)
Here is information on declawing according to PETA:
To cats, clawing is a natural, healthy, and important behavior. Cats claw to exercise and enjoy themselves, to maintain the condition of their nails, to stretch their muscles, and to mark their territory—both visually and with scent.
Declawing is not like a manicure. It’s a serious surgery that involves 10 individual amputations—not just of the cats’ nails but of the last digit of each toe as well.
Cats often experience extreme pain when they awaken from the surgery and often have difficulty walking. Declawing results in a gradual weakening of leg, shoulder, and back muscles. Because of impaired balance caused by the procedure, declawed cats have to relearn how to walk, much as a person would after losing his or her toes. After the surgery, the nails can grow back inside the paw, causing extreme pain unbeknownst to the cat’s guardian.
Without claws, even house-trained cats might start to urinate and defecate outside the litterbox in an attempt to mark their territory. Declawed cats might become morose, reclusive, withdrawn, irritable, aggressive, and unpredictable. Many people think that declawed cats are safer around babies, but, in fact, the lack of claws (a cat’s first line of defense) makes many cats feel so insecure that they tend to bite more often as a means of self-protection.
(Spaghetti and Meatball, two declawed best friends and former shelter cats. They were turned in September of 2012 and were adopted in October of 2012.)
Nearly two dozen countries—including England, Australia, and Japan—have prohibited or severely restricted veterinarians from performing the painful, permanently crippling, and mutilating procedure.
Many compassionate veterinarians refuse to declaw cats, even in areas where the procedure is legal, because declawing is cruel and of no benefit to cats—and it violates veterinarians’ oath to “do no harm.”
With a little bit of patience and effort, it’s easy to keep cats from shredding couches and curtains—without resorting to cruel declawing surgery. Scratching does not cause a problem if cats’ nails are trimmed properly. Scratching posts and consistent guidance about where they may scratch also help cats learn not to scratch furniture or other inappropriate items.
There is a theory that if a cat is declawed the odds of someone abandoning it, or turning it in for adoption are much less. Even though we currently do not have any declawed cats in, we do get them rather often. It does not prevent them from being given up. And it does not aid them in getting adopted. Though many people are looking for declawed cats, the odds of adoption are the same as those of a clawed cat.
(Dan and Roseann, two declawed lovebugs and former shelter cats. They were turned in in August of 2012 and were adopted in January of 2013.)
There is no reason for declawing your cat. With a little patience and proper grooming, your cat will be able to live a healthy life without scratching everything in your house. Take the time and effort your pet deserves.