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Stop Cat Mutilation: DON'T Declaw!

Profile photo of Christina-F

Posted July 18, 2011 by Christina

Declawing a cat is the equivalent of cutting a person’s fingers off at the first knuckle.

cut-here-declawing-cats

To cats, clawing is a natural, healthy, and important behavior. Cats claw to exercise and enjoy themselves, to maintain the condition of their nails, and to stretch their muscles—claws are also a means of escape if your cat is being pursued.

Don’t ever let anyone convince you that it’s okay to declaw a cat—it’s not.

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 that’s not noticeable to anyone besides the cat.

DECLAWING IS NOT LIKE A MANICURE.

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 Declawed cats might become morose, reclusive, withdrawn, irritable, aggressive, and unpredictable.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.

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.

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  • 919 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    simple solution, get a GOOD scratching post or something like it, people spend hundreds of dollars to get their cat’s paws mutilated for no reason or lazyness, I have 3 cats and enough of their own furniture to even mess with mine, they don’t ever scratch my couch or my carpet. I trim their nails often and I’m very happy my cats have claws because I truly love them, anyone knowing this and putting their cat though it cannot say they love their cats, it is inhumane.

  • Profile photo of itsjustvivi

    1059 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    We’ve had the same furniture problems with my two lovely girls, my mom wanted to declaw them and asked the opinion of the family. Before i gave her an answer i came across some research and this article i’m very glad that this was able to change her mind about declawing my cats. Since then we’ve gotten them their own scratching post and they seem very happy with it.

  • Profile photo of lilmissjuly

    1073 days ago

    VN:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Thank you soooo much peta for opening my eyes! im sooo thankful.
    ever since i could remember my mom wanted to get my cat declawed. i thought it was a good idea at one point.
    my mom get soo mad at the fact all couches would be so shredded, even my hands would be all cut up from playing with the kitty.
    More happy to know i can help and get the word out there.
    and im sure many cats out there are thanking you

    <3 you peta2
    have a purrfect day :)

  • 1351 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Declawing cats is cruel. Plain and simple. If you don’t want a cat to scratch up your furniture, then DON’T GET A CAT. It’s like debarking a dog or defanging a snake. Cats need their claws for so many things and to take that away from them is to not truly love them or care about their feelings. The sad part is that a lot of people don’t realize how cruel and inhumane it really is. When I tell people that I have cats, normally the first question is, “Are they declawed?” I always respond with a resounding, “NO! That’s an evil thing to do!” And people say, “Well, don’t they scratch up your things?” ……Um. Yeah, they do but it doesn’t bother me because I have cheap, crap furniture anyway. Even if I did have expensive furniture (I never will because of my cats), you can replace a couch. A couch doesn’t feel pain. You can’t replace your cat and he/she will be in extreme pain for a long time, even the rest of their lives, all because you’re a materialistic jerk.

  • 1365 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    I would never have any of my cats declawed!

  • Rhi

    1407 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I agree with this entirely. Love this article! Its abuse!

  • 1410 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    The paws of a declawed cat resemble stumps rather than paws, and because an amputation has taken place, a stump is the appropriate term for what is left. The Internet alone holds a library of information on the effects declawing and the immediate and long term effects as well as advice on how to teach a clawed cat to use a scratching post. With just a simple search, there are also valuable comments from humane veterinarians that range anywhere from something as simple as why a cat needs to scratch to a more complicated testimony from reconstruction vet surgeon and how he is trying to repair contracted and painful paws as a result of declawing. There really is no excuse any longer to argue for declawing. The evidence is that it is not only unnecessary, but there are ways to satisfy even the most materialistic home owner by providing proper outlets for the cat to scratch when needed. Catnip, scratching posts, cat trees, treats and lots of praise love and patience is all that is required. I love CatAWhack Paws. For the longest time, I thought I was the only one in the world who was fighting to stop declawing. I was shocked to learn that educating the public was most important because many of the educated veterinarians are not telling their clients the entire story.

  • 1414 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    It’s sad when people go through with it. I can’t declaw my cat-it’s not right. But I did make little booties for her to wear when she’s inside so she doesn’t claw my couch up…

  • Jax

    1426 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    We had to get our cat, Patches, declawed. My grandma didn’t like her scratching on her cheap furniture. Now she poops on top of everything. She was a great mouser too…and since we live in the country that would be rather useful.

  • 1435 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    1

    Just saying. I have a cat, named Zoe, she’s 11 years old now, and she’s been declawed (front paws only) since we got her, and she was just months old. She’s fine. She’s a spaz, she’s lovey, cuddly, purry, she’s my baby, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m her biological mother. I do see her trying to claw things sometimes, even though she doesn’t have them, but it doesn’t seem to depress her. She’ll just turn around, notice I’m watching her, then stare at me like a weirdo until I pet her. 😛 She’s a weirdo and a spaz, but she’s my baby. And to be honest, I don’t think it would make a difference if she hadn’t been declawed. When she’s upset, she uses her back claws, and I’ve gotten used to it. I’m sure I could deal with front claws too. She’s just a kitty kat, she lives indoors, I will NEVER let her outside, not in this neighborhood, and I love her to death, as I’ve probably said too many times already. So I’ll just say this: Cats don’t need to be declawed, they’re happy either way, and if you’re such a wuss that you can’t deal with a few scratches, get a goldfish. And now I’ll shut up. 😡

  • 1437 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    my aunt has 13 an she refuses to declaw them bc of how inhumane it is.

  • 1438 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    When I was six, I found my kitty Anastasia Paw. My mom had her declawed to have her be safer around me. The sweet cat never held it against me, I had no idea what it did to her and I was too young to speak up anyway. If I could change things, I would. Shortly after my neighbor got a dog he bit Annie, hurting her so severely that we had to send her to live with my aunt, who failed to take her to the vet regularly enough to find her tumor in time. She died young and she deserved the world. I will never stand for this again, for the rest of my life, I will defend my feline babies and any others as well. Rest in peace, Anastasia Paw. <3

  • 1441 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Omigosh, I think I’m gonna cry. :'(

  • 1441 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    ONe question. Why? poor kitties.

  • 1441 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    So incredibly cruel! Imagine having your fingers cut off ? A cat at local animal shelter was adopted and the first thing they do to poor sensitive stressed out kitty is to declaw her. She had such a hard time and was in so much pain she couldn’t use her litter pan. The family then dumps her back off at the shelter like trash. The poor thing held her paws up for 2 weeks and was terrified and in pain. I’ll never understand why some people can be so insensitive and cruel to animals. I clip my cats nails super easy to do .

  • 1443 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    “Declawing” is such a misnomer. The procedure doesn’t even actually remove the claws – it cuts the tendons that allow the cat to extend its claws. The claws are still there, they’re just stuck inside the cat’s foot. Kind of like forever walking around with an ingrown toe nail. In the mean time, the extensor muscle isn’t being stretched out anymore by the tendon, so it just shrinks back into the foot. Hmm, a muscle snaps and squishes up inside the body… hmm… Cats big and small walk on their claws, anyway, not like on the pads of their feet like dogs. It would kind of be like if you had to walk on the “knuckles” of your feet, instead of on the sole. I volunteer at a refuge that has big cats, and some of them come in having been declawed. How problematic declawing is gets blown up in big cats – lions and tigers can develop something called “floppy paws,” where their joints become overworked and their paws sore and they do actually just walk around flopping their paws. Compare that to the graceful, noiseless stalking that big cats are normally capable of.

    In California, a veterinarian created a surgery that’s able to reverse or at least restore some of the damage done by declawing by reconnecting muscles to tendons and whatnot. She also supports anti-declawing legistation – check out pawproject.org if you’d like more info.

    • 1379 days ago

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

      0

      Actually what a lot of you guys are referring to here as declawing is tendonectomy, a procedure even worse than declawing. In tendonecomy, the tendons that are attatched to the claws (that make the claws retractable) are severed, and the cat retains it’s claws while not being able to use them. In such cases, the claw will keep growing, will need to be trimmed to prevent them from growing into the pad of the foot… I wonder what would happen if the cat got lost…

      Declawing is removing the claw and first bone.

      In either case, the cat must defend itself in other ways, and must relearn to walk. Frankly, I think the USA should follow in Europe’s footsteps…

  • 1443 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    I have cats at Home and I would never do that to them if I see any cat in pain I will do anything to help them ^^

  • 1444 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    My kitty (If i had one :/) would never ever ever get declawed!!

  • 1444 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Awh…I Didnt Know Declawing Hurt Them His Much :'(

  • 1444 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Does filing your cats nails hurt them also? Thinking about it

  • 1444 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    When we bought our first cat Simba he came declawed unfortunetly. We soon bought another kitten named Rocket. My mom wants to get him declawed but she doesn’t have the money (yesss!) I have tried to explin that this hurts them but she won’t listen. PARENTS!!!!

  • 1445 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    ohh man… :(

  • 1445 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    i feel so bad for cats who go through all this…

  • 1445 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    that’s sad :( they can just file them down

  • 1445 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    when we were trying to adopt in Maryland we had a very hard time finding an agency that did not require we declaw them & keep them trapped indoors. This was in direct conflict with our beliefs on cats & animal cruelty.

    John tried 8 or 9 agencies in several counties in Maryland & Pennsylvania and Luna House was the first to say “NO DECLAWING” and said cats should be free to go in & out as they please! they had us sign a contract promising we’d NEVER DECLAW! :)

  • 1445 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    yeah ive never understood declawing.. I dont think anyone i know has had that done because it’s just wrong.. I knew they are more likly to bite though.. Karma to the morons who are nasty enough to do it.

  • 1445 days ago

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]

    0

    Awwww, poor kitties :( If I ever get a cat, I will not be doing this!

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