The Horrors of Declawing

WHAT YOUR CAT WANTS YOU TO KNOW…

WHAT IS DECLAWING?

The best way to understand the operation a veterinarian does to declaw a cat is to hold up both your hands, fingers outstretched.

Then imagine that your thumb and all your fingers are cut off at the joint just below your fingernails. It sounds like something Saddam Hussein and his sons did to their political enemies, doesn’t it? Something you wouldn’t want down to anyone, much less a companion you love.

Well, that’s what you’re doing to you cat if you have it declawed. It is literally mutilation of your cat’s paws. And no matter what any veterinarian may tell you to the contrary, it is excruciatingly painful to the cat, both physically and mentally.

HOW DOES THIS HARM THE CAT?

In many, many ways. First of all, it deprives the cat of its primary means of defense. Since cats walk and run on their toes, it cripples the cat, making it unable to run fast.

It prevents your cat from ever being able to climb a tree to escape a vicious dog or other attacking predator.

It prevents the cat from being able to catch prey for its food if it escapes into the wild. Without claws, a cat in the wild can starve to death, if it isn’t first killed by a predator.

And perhaps most frustrating of all, it prevents your cat from being able to scratch if a flea or something else is bothering it.

WHAT IF THE CAT NEVER GOES OUTSIDE?

People who know cats know full well how easy it is for a cat to escape from any house or apartment. How many times have you read in the newspaper’s lost and found column an ad for a poor cat or kitten who is missing–and who had been declawed?

The sad fact is that the psychological effects of a the pain and disfigurement of declawing often cause the cat to run away from home, and it will find a way to get out the door no matter what. Usually it will never been seen again.

IF DECLAWING IS SO BAD, WHY ARE VETERINARIANS ALLOWED TO DO IT?

They aren’t, in most civilized countries of the world. It’s against the law.

Unfortunately, the United States is not yet one of these countries. But many responsible vets in the United States flatly refuse to perform this cruel, brutal operation.

BUT IF THE CAT HAS ITS CLAWS, WON’T IT SCRATCH THE FURNITURE?

Probably. But there are many safe and painless alternatives to declawing. Read the ads in any of the popular cat magazines, and you will find many different products and procedures to keep your cat from using your furniture to remove the ragged edges of the sheaths of its claws-something cats must do to keep their claws sharp.

And any caring person with a little patience can train a cat not to claw furniture.