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Declawing Cats | Torture In A Civilized Society
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Declawing Cats | Torture In A Civilized Society

Declawing a cat is tantamount to torture. Every time I hear anything about declawing a cat I get chills. I think of tortures I’ve heard about describing how a human victim’s fingernails were yanked out of their fingertips. I don’t know if this type of torture is still in practice today in the human world, but I do know many humans don’t think it’s the same thing when it comes to declawing their cats. Well, it is!

Seems this torture has been acceptable in our society far too long. It should never have started in the first place. Even pet owners who love their pets will have their cats declawed because the procedure is promoted by veterinarians, especially the new laser surgery techniques. Not that this technique has proven any better for the cat.

I’ve seen cats who were recently declawed trying to walk as gingerly as possible on painful, gauze-wrapped feet. They are in obvious distress. They hiss when approached. They may never get over the trauma of it.

The procedure to declaw a cat is called an onychectomy, where a vet literally amputates the last portion (phalanx) of the cat’s paw bone at the site of each toe. Like any medical procedure, there are definite drawbacks. Botched operations cause major, permanent damage to the cat’s paws and can deform the cat’s feet for life. Do a Google search and you’ll find regretful owners relating horror stories about having the procedure performed on their poor, unsuspecting pets. Not to defend the owners, but many of them didn’t suspect how traumatic the procedure could be for their beloved pet.

All too many of these owners remorsefully admit that their cats are psychologically scarred from the operation. Where once they were happy kitties, running around playing and interacting with their owners and other household pets, they now reject affection, lay around lifelessly, and don’t want their owners’ attention like they once did.

And I don’t blame them. Where once they felt secure in the knowledge that they had a comfortable, secure, and safe home, they now distrust their owners and are aware that they cannot defend themselves if need be. They often become listless and unfriendly. They remember the pain long after the wounds have healed. And they remember the cause of the pain - their owners and their vets.

How would owners who have their animals declawed or the vets who perform these barbaric surgeries feel if someone decided to amputate every one of their fingers from the first knuckle to the tip? Picture that. If there were any scenario where this might actually happen, at least the human would have an understanding of why it happened and understand that the pain will subside eventually -- if there is no raw nerve damage in the process.

And why do people declaw their cats? For their own selfish reasons. To keep their cats from scratching the furniture, rugs, and curtains. Well, if you liken this to human baby behavior, you would find kinder methods to deal with the problem. Kittens are babies and, to me, just as precious. Too precious to torture for any reason!

You have to train them when their young - you do not have to declaw them.Get a water pistol as a training tool and squirt the kitten whenever you catch them clawing something you don’t want them to scratch. Get a scratching post and literally show them how to use it when they decide to claw the furniture. Get them toys that have built-in scratching pads as well. If you want to tell me that you tried all this and they still claw things you don’t want them to, I say tough noogies. Let the cat be.

My cats have learned that clawing furniture is not behavior I accept and they do claw things other than the scratching post or pad sometimes. I can tell them to stop when I’m right there and catch them in the act but they’re likely to do it when I’m not. As a cat owner who loves her animals and would never deliberately cause them pain -- emotional, psychological, or physical -- I just don’t care as much about my furniture as I do my pets. The furniture will wear out eventually anyway from human wear and tear so I just view my cats as the people they are to me -- like family members who contribute to a well lived-in home. One where they do feel safe enough to be themselves without the threat of declawing as retaliation for unwanted behavior.


Street Talk

N  

It's so sad what people will do to the animals they are meant to love and care about. Like you said, it only takes a small amount of effort to teach them where it is and where it is not appropriate to scratch. Alternatively, they could just give them a trim, much like trimming your own fingernails...if you just cut the sharp tip it is painless. I hope making people more aware of this 'procedure' helps put an end to it.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks for the comment, Nicole. I trim my cats nails regularly - it's easier than people might think. BTW the picture is of a cat's claw after laser surgery - you'd think it would be more humane but apparently it's not.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Just horrifying! Agree with all the comments here. I love my cat so much and yes, she claws and yes, she knows when I scold her! Thank you for raising this issue. Hopefully it might help more than one cat who has an ignorant owner.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I hope so too Heather!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Joan S  

I feel like crying. I'm an animal lover too. People who want to have their cats declawed shouldn't have a cat in the first place. Having pets always puts some wear and tear on your furnishings, whether they claw or do something else. Pets are family members, and they are worth it any inconvenience. I agree that there should be a law against declawing. Cats can't even climb a tree to protect themselves when they have no claws. Cruel. Thanks for the article Ann Marie. I hope it awakens offenders.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Or they can't fend off predators when the pet gets out or, like you say, climb a tree to escape one. The picture is of a cat who had the latest type of declawing - laser surgery...those are actual burns on the cat's toes in addition to whatever other damage we can't see in the picture. Horrifying, isn't it?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Stacydee  

I almost couldn't read this, just knowing that some people still support this act and the vets perform it is sickening. The thought of what the cat must go through on all levels and the emotional scarring are unimaginable! There are many ways other than this to stop a cat from scratching. (I think, don't get a cat if don't want all of its' qualities.) Thanks for writing this.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I agree wholeheartedly, Stacydee!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

This one was hard to read. I got chills just reading it. Great article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks, Dan....it's truly a sad state of affairs.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

AnnMarie, you can blow me over with a feather. This is the first time I have heard of such a procedure, how cruel to do such a thing to your pet. I can understand neutering as it saves many lives of unwanted litters, but what can be gained by this, is the human race to damn lazy to spend a small amount of time instilling in the pet what is allowed and what is not? This is a horror story, I would be out waving a placard at the head of any vet known to me who performed such procedures. I would more than likely place the placard where the sun don't shine. Stop this cruelty anyway you can. Pound on the door of your Senator, (you are an American aren't you? can't remember) strike on the doors of the white house, but please try to stop such cruelty.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Wow, Rob, this really struck a nerve with you...just what it was supposed to do. There are many sites opposing this inhumane torture. And there are products to protect the furniture if anyone is finicky enough to care about that...plastic strips that attach to couches and chairs, etc. Declawing is truly something from the Dark Ages. I wish anyone who harms a cat in this way had all their nails pulled out without anesthesia. And, yes, I am American... :)

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

When something like this article gets my fighting juices flowing, I forget where you all live, would hated to tell you to kick the Queen on the shim thinking you live in England, glad I got it right.

  
  about 1 decade ago
Stacydee  

Ok, you take care of the placard location while I remove the vets' nails...

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

GO TEAM!!!

  
  about 1 decade ago
Al4256  

Hard article to read, just like the commercials on TV of abused animals, hard to watch. Its a reality that is hard to deal with. One of my cats is 20 years old. The vet would not give her her shots last weekend she's to old to handle the stress. She still has her claws and I still have my black leather couch. The couch does not look so good but I would not deform her for it. It makes me mad.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I spoke with someone today who said she would do it cuz she wouldn't want a cat that ruined her furniture. She has a declawed cat but it was declawed when she go it and she Loves her Abby. Through our conversation I could see that it never occurred to her that it could traumatize her precious pet and it would hurt the cat physically and emotionally. Vets and other groups who condone this sure do a good job of selling their service. People are stupid to listen to them!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Stacydee  

Great job!

  
  about 1 decade ago
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