I first came to know about declawing when I was searching for an interesting topic to write about my blog a few days ago. Here in our country, declawing is not or is not widely practiced and that is why I didn’t know of it.
Declawing is an operation or surgery that removes the claws of cats by amputating the front part of their paws or toes. If you compare it to Humans it means that you are amputating the front part of your finger and toes.
Imagine my shock after I learned that it is being practiced in some countries. The cat lover in me was spurned at the thought of it. I mean its ok to declaw a cat if it is for its own good. Like if it can help save his life especially if its health related.
To declaw a cat for the convenience of its human owners or to save some of his/ her house furniture is a sad and cruel act. I know that some owners does not now the effects of declawing to a cat. It is later in the cat’s life that they experience the health and behavioral problems associated with declawing.
Furthermore, as a blog owner and a cat lover I wanted to raise awareness on this issue and its negative effects on a cats health and behavior. So I decided to create a page and category dedicated to raising awareness on declawing and why this practice should be banned and look at alternatives that can replace declawing.
As this is the first article about declawing in my blog I decided to ask other cat lovers and cat owners on why they think declawing is inhumane and if there are alternatives or suggestions that can be done to prevent declawing.
I posted my message to a few Facebook cat groups that I am a member of, and asked the members if they can comment or message me on their views on the topic. Some of the cat group deleted my message outright I think it is against their rules. A few deleted my message and thread after a number of comments from the member were written. I just want to say sorry to those who commented because I was not able to save the post.
Out of All the cat groups that I posted the message four cat groups allowed me to post it and let the members give their thought on the subject. A big thanks to the four namely Crazy Cat Ladies, Cool Cat Group, Best Cat Group Official, and Cats and Kittens Sharing Group. As of this writing I deleted all the posts because I am aggregating all the comments into this article.
Thoughts Of Some People About Declawing Cats
I was able to get more than sixty comments about the subject and all of them differ from one another. The only thing that was in common for all the comments was that they are against declawing. Some even saved cats that were declawed and some owners declawed their cat without much knowledge of the health and behavioral consequences that would happen to their cat, which now they are regretting having done.
Here Are Some of the Reasons and their Views on Why they are against Declawing
1. Zafrina Burton Definitely against declawing! Isn't it thr equivalent of cutting off our fingers at the knuckles ? It's one of the only ways they can defend themselves. ..!! If people are worried about cats scratching there are products like caps that they can put on the Claws..
2. Anonymous - One thing that's often overlooked when presenting reasons why cats shouldn't be declawed is that, without front claws, a cat is unable to exercise his/her shoulder and back muscles effectively; they can develop the muscles used to push, but not the ones used to pull.
3. Sara Josephine Smith I don't understand why people do it. I think it's inhumane to cause a cat to go through that just to save the appearance of some furniture. It can cause nerve damage
4. Teresa Lewis Slaven It's like us having our fingernails ripped out one by one. They are very defenseless after this happens. Heaven forbid they would ever get loose. It's extremely inhumane and a horrible thing to do to your cats.
5. Izzy D. It can cause psychological damage to the cat and instil anxious traits into the cat. Can cause nerve pain if the whole joint isn't successfully removed, which in turn leads to a fear of using the litter box and can cause behavioural problems. This will lead to either abuse/ neglect of the cat, or donation/ abandonment, as the owners will think the cat has turned "feral" on them and that it won't listen. When in truth there has been severe psychological damage to the cat. Most de claws happen around 6months of age; when they are brought in for spay/neuter, that is also right around the time when many cats are brought for donation or given up as the cats attitude has changed according to owners. Just imagine what your life would be like if you were missing the end finger/toe joints on your hands and feet, I can tell you if done improperly the pain at the tips would drive you mad. Hope this helps a bit
6. Cat Wood Its like cutting off the tip of your finger. it causes them lasting pain, sometimes for the rest of their life. with proper care, i.e. clipping their nails, it is completely unnecessary and just plain cruel
7. Carly Trautwein It's akin to debarking in dogs - a surgery that permanently compromises your cat's quality of life & ability to defend themselves, that's done for the sake of human convenience. Because it's easier to have your cat's toes amputated than to clip their claws or train them to scratch appropriate items instead of the furniture.
8. Quinn Tattersfield Simple- How'd you like to be de-nailed?
Just because you can't tolerate a Cat retaliating, or giving you a light scratch (either by accident or induced harassment)
9. Maddi Ostapiw Human convenience should never trump an animals right to defence. Declawing is torture simply so that humans can have an aesthetically pleasing house without scratch marks, and it's barbaric. If you can't deal with an animals defence mechanism then you have no right to domesticate that animal within your home - get a hamster instead smile emoticon
10. Jo Ross The claws are there for hunting climbing and defense.
You're essentially taking away their ability to take care of themselves. Stealing there independence.
How would you like your finger and toenails ripped out?
11. Sandra Lee Brown I didn't know what declawing was until a couple of years ago when I started being a part of cat groups...it's not something that's done in Australia (that I know of) I was horrified by this extremely barbaric practice....cruelty to animls is never a win.
12. Ashleigh Louise Garrett It's cruel and more often than not, painful for the cat. It's mutilation for the poor cat because of humans wanting to keep their couch pristine.
13. Nicole Lauzon The statistics alone are awful. So many cats have life-long paw issues after declawing, and finding claw that remains in the toe or even partial claw growths happens all too often. I had a rescue who was fully declawed in his past, and one of his little pink toe beans was cut in half frown emoticonHe also had half of a claw that could still grow out of another toe.
14. Sarah Frances Round Cats are born with claws for an evolutionary reason, human intervention is simply not required. I may have been able to get my head around it if it was in any way for the benefit of the cat, but it is not, it is just selfish human's imposing their wills on kitteh's that can't speak up for themselves.
15. Carissa Sorensen I've read some statistics on it, and it's absolutely horrible. They end up with lifelong problems due to the de-clawing, when it only takes a couple of minutes to trim your cats claws. When you remove the cats claws, you remove one of the only forms of defence they have. They can no longer defend themselves, catch their prey appropriately, or climb trees (which I know my two love to do). It's the same as de-barking a dog. I wouldn't do either. I just think it's cruel, and as other people have said, all for the fact that people want clean, pristine and unclawed furniture.
16. Megan Renee Brown For one they are essentially removing toes to the first knuckle.
17. Jessica Louise Fossey It's the equivalent of taking our fingers off to the first bend (the bit with the nail on it would be completely removed). Declawing a cat isn't just removing a claw, they are removing part of the bone within the feet. Ridiculously inhumane, especially because cats are predatory animals and rely on their claws for not just catching prey but climbing and scratching
18. Jacky Lawrance De-clawing cats is illegal in New Zealand as it is deemed cruel and inhumane. People who do this to their pets are not true animal lovers as it is done for their convenience and not for the benefit of the cat. They should be ashamed of themselves.
19. Paige Danielle Sidebottom If they ever escape they need to be able to defend themselves against other animals, also claws help them climb up a tree if they need to escape a certain situation.
20. Boony Boon Omg i didnt know ppl did this.... i have no non swear or angry words to express how i feel about it. Humans are a disgrace
21. Emily James Words cannot describe how much I think it's nasty evil thing to do to cats, I'm glad no one is defending it.
22. Sydney Van Horn Is it even legal anywhere other than america?
23. Chelsea Hardin I'm completely against it. They were born with claws for a reason. Who are we to decide that they need to be declawed? There are plenty of alternatives to declawing.
Check out The Paw Project. I never liked declawing to begin with, but after watching that documentary, I completely oppose it now.
24. Raquel Jordan Hey guys! I came across this petition today and though it quite ironic since we were just talking about this yesterday! smile emoticon
25. Joy Williams hate declawing i think what if some one pulled your finger nails out cat claws are important for there lifes
26. Lisa Erlacher Jovanelly It's inhumane like cutting a humans fingers off above the joint I heard it compared like that once. I have never done it and never will. I have known people that have felt so desperate and had done it to save furniture and walls etc. rather than give their cat up. I have in place throughout my home various scratching devices for my cat to use. It works out well for my cat.
27. Kathlyn Thompson I think declawing is mutilation and should be outlawed.
28. Kashfia Ahmed Hi there! Declawing is illegal/banned here in Australia. But I'm highly against it because so many countries still practice this inhumanly procedure!! Declawing should be banned globally for its cruel nature. It does so much harm to your kitty's overall health, also trigger behavioural issues such as biting. I can't imagine my babies with no claws! I regularly trim their nails. If you start doing it early as a kitten, it's no hard job. Always reward after nail clipping or grooming so they know it's not torture.
29. Tara Skrecz Declawing is a painful mutilation.
Imagine your toes and fingers severed off at the knuckle. It's inhumane, cruel, selfish of humans to dismember a natural and necessary body part of their cat for the sole purpose of
preserving a piece of furniture.
The cats dignity, and safety is robbed for a coffee table. A cruel act that's beyond my comprehension.
Ban this abuse!!!!!
30. Lucy Wakelin As far as im concerned apart from it being totally cruel and heartless for someone to have done there's one simple reason it has absolutely No benefit for the cat and the only reason would b for the humans own wishes and reasons and as such anyone like a that has no right to own a cat it's a totally selfish act X
31. Lisa Cumming I'd didn't realise people did this as I live in Australia until we got Pay Tv ... What an absolutely cruel and barbaric thing to do ... The animal rights laws are horrendous over there ... It seems to me the humans come before the cats ... What about if the cats outside how does it protect itself ? Only a dickhead would do this ... It makes me sick.
32. Charl Bartlett Thankfully this cruel and barbaric procedure is banned in the UK. Why have a cat if your main worry in life is a few scratches on your furniture!
33. Caitlin Prentice I wish it was banned in the US. It's an abhorrent practice for lazy owners.
34. Caroline Millar If folk think more of their furniture etc than their cats wellbeing and de claw, please don't get a cat. Stick to a soft toy..cats scratch ! And damage stuff...de clawing is grotesque and damages the cat for life..
35. Teresa Miller I am so glad my husband and I never declawed our cats. We have a scratching post they both use. Plus our male cat loves scratching boxes to pieces. I have read articles on what happens when cats are declawed and I wish it were illegal here in Minnesota.
36. Robyn Jones I actually wrote a term paper on declaring for a uni course. The procedure is illegal in many countries and for good reason. The majority of people considering the procedure doe their cats don't realize it is not just a removal of claws; it is a painful removal of the first joint of the digits. Not only is the procedure painful, but the healing process is traumatic. Cats have no choice but to walk in the injury, and they have to use their injured paws to scratch in their litter or outside I'd they are outdoor cats. This can often lead to litter box issues at any period of their lives going forward. Once claws have been removed, it leaves the animal mainly defenseless should it need to protect itself. Largely it is unnecessary as well, these days as there are a number of alternative products that can successfully be used instead. Claws, and the act of scratching, are necessary to a cats wellbeing. Claw use helps to align the spine and helps with organ function and balance.
37. Raelene Scoco In MY opinion any STRICTLY INDOOR cats like mine are Dont need to be declawed their not gonna hurt anything & Godforbid your circumstances change /or if your furbabies are outdoor babies they ABSOLUTELY **NEED** to HAVE their claws for protection!! I mean w/o them thats like saying to your kid well even though ya DONT know how to swim Ill throw you in the pool anyway or letting them ride bikes w/o a helmet! The comparrisions are endless but my point is They are part of your family too which again MY opinion ya DONT treat your "family" member any different! You protect them all just the same! Ok theres my 02 for the day! Lol I LOVE my furbabies & would NEVER do anything to harm/let them get harmed!!
38. Helen Marie Esposito-Visco It's banned in a few states here in the US
39. Anonymous Declawing is primarily a sick North American thing. For me personally, the mere idea of having to list alernatives makes me sick to my stomach. Alternatives??? Cats need claws. They need things to scratch on - scratchers, cat trees and so on. For some bizarre reason that people in the civilized world (The UK and the many other places in the world where declawing is banned) cannot comprehend and rightly so is the typical North American's obsession with cats' claws. North Americans, by and large, cannot seem to understand that cats come with claws for a reason. "Soft Claws" were invented to placate ignorant North American cat owners who insist they cannot live with cats who have claws. I honestly think that if you focus on the psyche of the pro-declaw person and NA culture, you may be able to make a dent in this unhealthy obsession NAs have with cats' claws. It's ingrained in the psyche along with the "Surely my vet/doctor cannot be wrong" way of thinking.
This Is What Some Owners Of Declawed Or Has Experience With Declawed Cats Had To Say
1. Megan Weir Well as the owner of a declawed cat (by whatever lame previous owners she had), I can attest that there are lasting problems with declawing, the most common being litter box avoidance, which is you ask me is 100x more frustrating than scratched furniture. It's totally inhumane to remove part of their feet, leaves them nearly defenseless, unable to climb away from any danger (including vacuum cleaners) and that can cause a lot of stress, also resulting in behaviour problems such as aggression, or hiding. Any kind of surgery that is only beneficial to the cat's owner and is harmful to the cat should be banned. Lots of cats end up in shelters because their owners didn't want to deal with their behaviour changes after declawing. As for alternatives, my clawed kitty really likes his scratching post and doesn't scratch my furniture. I know they make those claw caps too, but i've never used them or found them to be necessary.
2. Jamie Sandridge My mom had my cat's front claws done when he was a kitten. I was too young to know any different. I'm against declawing now that I know what they actually do and that it really isn't necessary. (although it's REALLY nice that he doesn't scratch stuff!) He has absolutely no aggression issues or behavioral problems whatsoever. He does try to scratch the scratching post though, which is pretty funny.
3. Sharon Wren I had it done many years ago out of sheer ignorance. He always had litter box issues & I didn't understand why until years later when I became more informed. I've never done it again nor will I. I regret that decision to this day...
4. Joe Sauer I'm of course against declawing. But to ban it outright is just plain dumb. There are many people that will not adopt a cat without removing their claws for whatever selfish reason, but does that mean you would rather see kittens and cats euthanized because they can't find a home. My mother had two cats that were declawed and they both spent very long happy lives as indoor cats, most likely treated better than most children
5. Gina Cavalli-Boehne It was in the 80s, no internet ect the vet didnt explain ANYTHING. I was young and ignorant to the procedure. I have felt so horrible about what I did to my babies. Both are gone now, one passed at 18. But my point is if I had known I would have never ever done that. Im against declawing now. And I have had the discussion with my vet. Why does he still do it. Because he says if not they end up in shelters vs homes. Some ppl love furniture more than their cats. Its sad. I just wondered if you all explain that now. I think a lot of owners are still ignorant like I was at one time.
6. Sydney Van Horn We declawed my cat 15 years ago. Ever since, she's peed all over the house due to pain from the litter box. I wish more than anything we would have tried other methods because seeing her with arthritis in her old age is awful to watch. She's still my baby and I love her, but she's also the reason I advocate against declawing and try to educate as much as possible.
My other kitty was declawed a little while after her (before we understood why she was peeing) and she bites and doesn't give warning.
Declawing is permanent. You can try many other methods that are just as effective.
Some Provided Advices Or Alternative Products To Declawing
1. Mary Lander I am a vet tech and I have to assist with them, which sucks. I have 8 cats and I cut all of their nails. I know some apartments require it so not sure what to say about that.
2. Dawn Price they use to have tips. little rubber nail covers. you slipped it over each nail then. cut nails every few weeks. but i protected what was scratched on. pluss. it came in great colors. i don't know if you can find them.
3. DeAnna Walters Vet tech here. I really wish people understood the way that declawing cats affects them long term. When I was a kid anytime we got a new cat we would have them declawed. Then I grew up and learned more about it and have convinced my mom it isn't the way to go. I have 2 cats of my own. Both have their claws and as long as you give them a post to scratch on they don't destruct things. I also have carpet samples like you get when deciding on carpet for them to scratch on. I have a 7 month old daughter and she has never been scratched. I don't leave her alone with the cats but I also don't keep them away. I have used soft paws and found them to be a lot of work and money. I have gotten both my cats into the habit of having their nails clipped. They both come mostly willingly and are really good about it. My oldest cat is sure to let me know when he needs his nails cut. The one thing I have to say is that if your going to declaw your cat make sure they are inside only cats. Because if they do get outside they won't be able to defend themselves or climb anything to get away.
4. Ashley Nunez I am a pet groomer and have people ask me my thoughts on this subject all the time. I am against declawing.. I tell all of my customers to do their research and learn exactly what is done. I explain to them that It is like cutting of the distal digit of every finger, causing immense pain and discomfort. Also, I advise against it because it can lead to lameness, depression and even attitude problems in some cats. I have a picture that i keep to show them .... My mothers cat was declawed when he was a kitten and walked funny and wouldn't use a cat box.... I always recommend the plastic caps that you can glue on the nail or offer free nail trimming to those clients.
5. Katie Butt Declawing results in an inability to defend themselves and many many cats bite because of it. I think there are waaaaay more options, clipping nail caps etc that aren't going to hurt the cat
6. Rhiannon Smith Soft claws is good but I think seeing as it's the same as cutting your finger off at the first knuckle should be a good enough reason not to do it.
7. Kiara Clinton Too many cats get declawed because of an uneducated decision by the owners, when something as simple as a cat scratch post will help blunt their claws. It's a painful, invasive procedure that's like removing your finger from the knuckle. It's inhumane and barbaric. Then afterwards cats cannot defend themselves, they can't climb trees meaning many can get torn apart by dogs because they can't escape, nor defend themselves when they're cornered. Absolute barbarity.
8. Ishtar Chan I have 3 cats. Two are easy to clip. One is hard even to get close to her/catch her (she is a shy bengal maybe that's why), but I've never thought of declawing! I tried soft claw - hard to put it on her. Now I'm still clipping her nails despite the risk of being scratched lol - but that's OK and she has actualy improved a lot. She just need to get used to it and some desensitisation training help smile emoticon
9. Ashley Lippert A few years ago my friend wanted to have her cat declawed because she kept scratching the kids when they would try to play with her... when she told me this I got so upset and explained to her how painful it is and just down right not inhumane! I asked her if one of her kids hit another kid would she cut off thier hands and of course he sad no ... so I said what's the difference.. thankfully she took it all in and didn't get her baby declawed ... just like anything there are always other options before going to the worst case scenario for a first step !
10. Raquel Jordan Declawing is abhorrent! There are several reasons:
* You are chopping off part of your cat's toe!
* It can drastically change their behavior.
* It removes their ability to defend themselves.
I use these SuperScratchers all over my apartment and NONE of my 3 cats claw anything except the scratchers...and their cat tree!
11. Jenna Fishburn mine are exactly the same! They have the cardboard scratchers in each room and they just go over and scratch those or the cat trees. Harry occasionally scratches the back of the lounge but you can't notice it and I would rather he do it there than where you could see it so I let him do it. Most of the time though he just uses his scratchers. This is Harry almost breaking his cat tree lol.
12. Michelle Nelson Cats should never be declawed! How would they climb? How would they fight off prediters? If the reason for declawing is because you don't want your cat scratching your furniture then get it a scratch post or catnip toys! Or even better plant some catnip in the garden.. your cat will love it!
13. Anna Enora Al-Sadah how about just cutting the nails or grinding every few weeks? literally it's not that much of an effort! declawing is sick.
14. Shelley Wood It renders the cat defenseless if the cat should some how get outside. It cannot climb a tree to escape what ever may be after it, the cat cannot fight back using its claws to defend itself if it has none. How can ripping your nails out not be painful, it is. I have a few cat scratchers around my house, i made. I cut a 4x4 to about 212 ft. high nailed it to a flat square piece of wood. Set it upright or on its side, put cat nip on it and they love it. I have never had a problem with cat scratching any where other then using my homemade cat poles.
15. Dawn Sanders Raines Declaring is like taking part of our fingers off, it changes part of their personality. Try the plastic nail covers they are more humane.
16. Linnea Schamber-Bass In the human world, declawing is like having your fingers cut down to the nuckle. It renders the cat defenseless. I have cats that like to claw furniture. As with humans, you just need to redirect the cats behavior. I use toys to replace the inappropriate behavior. Also there is a product called Soft Paws, it goes over the the cats nails to protect your goods from being all scratched up. IMHO never declaw. NEVER.
17. Ronda Dalton As for those that toe amputate their cats for fear of damaged furniture my husband created an alternative. His name is Joel Jackowski and he owns a small business called Kool Kitty Toys (www.koolkittytoys.com) and created a patent pending furniture protector cat scratcher. It can be either carpet, sisal, or wood and is catnip infused. All you do is place the platform base under a couch, table, bed or loveseat. All the cats will instinctively scratch it rather than your furniture. Even our toe amputated foster cats like and paw at it. We sell them and are reasonably priced and endorsed by The Paw Project. My husband is even sending them a couple to auction off to help save more kitties toes.
18. Rosemary Rambow Even the name is wrong! You're not removing claws; you're amputating the last joint of each toe. Many cats are permanently crippled by this surgery. Tendons tighten up and cause horrible pain. They aren't able to walk properly after the surgery. Infection is always a possibility. If cats don't scratch, they aren't able to exercise those long muscles in their legs. Painful feet and legs are one of the main reasons that cats stop using the litter box; it's too painful to dig! These cats and kittens are usually surrendered to local agencies and most are euthanized! It's a horrible can of worms to open! I've seen botched surgeries where the rest of the foot or the entire leg had to be amputated!
Cats can be taught to scratch on acceptable surfaces; just takes a little thought and time. They need to scratch so provide them with the equipment they need. Some like a vertical surface and others prefer a horizontal surface.
Nails are fairly easy to trim if you begin working with them as young kittens. Just trim off the sharp tip so they don't hurt each other or their human companions. There are also fake covers that can be glued on like human artificial fingernails. I can't picture any of my cats accepting these but your cat might.
Cats are usually declawed because the humans value their furniture more than anything else. These people probably shouldn't even have a cat. They're not ready to really love a cat. Your possessions will wear out even if you never use them!
Unless you're ok with having all the ends of your toes and all your fingertips cruelly chopped off; don't do it to your cat! We're supposed to be looking after them; not causing them incredible pain!
19. Mandie Ince Keeping on top of nail trimming (which is a must anyway) or using nail caps is FAR kinder than declawing, not to mention that declawing can leave a cat with bone or nail fragments embedded in their paws (requiring more surgery to repair, possibility of infections, and chronic pain), nerve damage, behavioral issues such as litterbox avoidance, and more. It's also unnecessary exposure to anesthesia, which itself is risky for your pet. It serves NO purpose for their health or safety, either.
Bottom line, if you value your furniture more than your pet's comfort and well-being, DON'T get a cat. Get a Tamagotchi or play Pokémon instead.
These are Just some of the people who gave their views and advices on why you should not declaw a cat. If you are still thinking of declawing your cat read again. Declawing is just an inhumane act that with proper education and alternatives can be stopped.
If you want to learn more about declawing check The Paw Project, There is even some Facebook Groups dedicated to stopping cat declawing like Society against Declawing, International Coalition against Declawing, Paws with Claws Say No to Declawing, Ending Declawing While Providing Education on Alternatives.
I hope that this article helped you be more informed and educated about why declawing should be banned. And with this article and blog I am hoping to raise awareness regarding this issue and why it should be stopped. If you have something to add or to share please add it in the comment so that your views can also be read by us and helped the readers be more informed about this topic.