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Readers Respond: Tell Us What You Think About Declawing Cats

Responses: 171

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iwils1007

Declawing should be against the law. My vet refuses to do it. Did you know if is cutting off the first knucle of each paw? I think that's cruel.
—Guest Irene Wilson

declawing

I have two stories about the subject. my sister insisted on declawing her 8 yr old cat, it was terrible. The cat ended up getting out and was attacked by two dogs under a car and they pulled his tail off, he could not climb a tree. I recently adopted an abused declawed cat that was kicked outside and she has been fine. The only thing is that I have to go outside with her everyday because she can't climb tree's either. The one good thing is that she was born without a tail so getting it bit off wouldn't happen. She's been around other cat's that she has scrapped with and she uses her back claws and her teeth, which she has also used on me. Im not for declawing because cat's need there claws for all different types of things and they love to be outside.
—Guest Renee

declawing text

My mission is two-fold: The first is to eliminate the practice of de-clawing cats. I believe the best way to do that is not to patronize veterinarians who provide de-clawing, and not to purchase cats from shelters or pet stores who offer de-clawed cats. The second part of my mission is to allow cats to go outside with supervision for at least an hour each day. Cats can be trained and will stay close to home. Despite what you may have read or been told, the removal of a cat’s claws is very painful for the cat. Not only is the claw removed, but the doctor amputates the first joint of each toe. Cats are given painkillers, often morphine, to alleviate the pain. Once “healed” the cat can still have pain and numbness throughout its life. As a clawless cat ages it usually experiences changes in the way the joints and paws work together causing stress on the joints, inflammation, or arthritis. As with any surgery, there is a chance of infection. A cat is virtually helpless without claws.
—Guest kathleen

Declawing is not necessarily defenseless

I have had several cats throughout my life that have lived beyond expectations, all have been declawed. The procedures today are much less invasive and my babies have no idea they have been declawed. They still smack just as hard and can in fact climb trees and come back down. They are inside cats, but do slip out once in a while. My 7 yr old got outside, declawed. She was gone for about a week before coming home without a scratch on her. Cats have several defense mechanisms, not just their claws. They very much operate with a bluff, like my tail is bigger than your tail kind of thing. Older cats can lose this bluff though and will not be as inclined to use it if in a confrontation. Declawing is a personal choice. Talk to your vet, make an educated decision.
—prncssblondie

Declawing, Yay or Nay?? I say NO!!

My mother raised me around cats she loved them. She always told me declawing cats are inhumane because if something is to happen they have no defense unless the other animal gets close enough for them to bite them. I agree extremely on that statement however, I adopted a male that was already declawed and I could completely understand why he was declawed he has this fetish about standing up and constantly pawing at closed doors. If not declawed that would really mess up some doors however, he got outside the other (Even if an inside only, they always find a way to slip outside) and a male stray attacked my small female and he ran to the rescue he couldn't do anything and that male almost hurt him terribly bad luckily they were separated immediately. Its just not fair to the animal and there are other ways to keep them from destroying your home, like scratching post ect. If you teach them that the bad behavior is not allowed as kitten it will also help prevent it as they get older.
—Guest brezzy1990

Declawing, if done right, is OK

My Vet does not cut the whole end of the toe off. If Your Vet does that, you need to find another Vet. Mine makes a small cut and removes only the nail. No meat or hair of any kind. In 36 hours, they were running and playing like nothing ever happened. Some have put horror pictures on the internet, but all they need to do is get a GOOD Vet. Just because they don't like it, they can't tell me that I don't.
—sbelless

declawing cats

I really don't like declawing cats, but I have had several cats and there is no way to stop them from tearing up your furniture except to declaw them. I would wake up at night and hear the cat tearing up my mattress. There are signs of damage all over my house on my furniture from her nails. If you want a cat in the house and don't want your furniture torn up I see no other way except to declaw the front nails only thougth.
—BettyAtlanta

declawing cats

I believe when done right and the right like laser surgery it is fine to declaw a cat. My cats are 7 and I got them declawed at 3, and the still scratch on things the same way they did when they had claws. So they act like they don't even know that they are not there. I recommend as a 5 year vet assistant that if you are going to have an inside cat especially around children that you have it declawed, but the right way and the front only. Also don't forget to spay and neuter your pets.
—Guest tsf12

Declawing cats

I feel is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! I have worked as a Vet.Tech. Declawing is Amputation. Plain & simple. We have alternative ways all over our house for our cats to use. If you really love your cat you will NOT have this procedure done. Should your pet get outside it has no defense.
—Guest Mary Jane Welch

Who gives you the right?

I have owned cats all of my life, some had claws, most didn't. I elect to have my cats declawed for various reasons: the bacteria and germs introduced to a cat claw injury via puncture or scratch can lead to infection, cat scratch fever, scarring, and if a young child is scratched severely enough, life long emotional trauma to the person. I cannot afford to replace furniture on a regular basis due to cat claw damage. Only in EXTREME cases would I EVER agree to a 4 claw declaw. The cats that I have owned and had declawed have never displayed any emotional or long term physical trauma due to a declaw. All of my cats have always been very loveable. My cats are not allowed outdoors where the environment is far more dangerous to them, yet if they happen to get out, they still have the ability to climb trees and defend themselves if need be. So who gives anyone the right to tell me whether I can declaw or not? All my cats have lived long and happy lives and died at very old ages.
—Guest CatLvr

100% AGAINST DECLAWING

I say don't get a cat then try to make it not a cat by mutilating it. Cats scratch things for many reasons and it is very important for the cats well being. Cats can be trained to scratch in the proper places and if you don't have the time or patience or whatever it takes to take care of their needs do not get a cat. That goes for other animals too. There are claw covers that work to help with clawing too. Neither furniture or a person getting scratched is a reason to mutilate your cat. As far as them getting along without their claws, you might smile again and go about your daily routine if you had your arm amputated for no reason but I think you would probably rather keep your arm.
—Guest cat lover

opinion on declawing

I was denied possession of a kitten because of my desire to declaw. I had the kitten for a week and the kitten was on a search and destroy mission. I've had cats all my life and my cats were declawed. None of them exhibited any behavioral changes and recovered quite well from the surgery. Contrary to what many believe, the surgery removes a vestigial bone and the claw. There is no way to compare a cat's anatomy with human anatomy. Although the procedure does involve pain, many veterinarians use pain patches to alleviate the discomfort. The entire healing process takes about 6 days. We're talking 6 days in the life of the cat who will do just fine. The cats continue to "scratch and stretch" and play with things just as before. Those opposed to declawing, well, I understand, but the kitty I was refused may possibly end up in a worse home. Because of its personality, it will probably be a destructive cat and might suffer abuse for its entire life! Go figure!
—bohical977

changed mind

I was always totally against it. And still am against it....I would never do it. BUT....there are so many homeless cats that will be put to sleep. Sometimes people will not get a cat unless they can declaw it. So you decide....death or declaw? I will state again- I would NEVER do iot myself and do think it's wrong.
—Guest vancat

Unnecessary

Being in college, I've done some roomate hopping, and the last few years lived with 4 cats. 3 of them have been declawed, and the 4th, my own, is not. I can tell you that in 2 of the 3 I was around to witness behavorial changes. One, who was a rescue and probably has some underlying issues has been the worst hit. I feel the declawing was the tipping point, and he is now terrified to walk on any soft surface, thus making him afraid of furniture. He has been improving, but it's taken time and understanding. He used to vomit daily, and he still has no confidence. The other declaw went from the sweetest kitten to a biting, vindictive cat. He has high anxiety and often defecates outside his litter box usually on beds or favourite chairs. There has been talk of rehoming. My cat has claws, and doesn't use them. I can bathe him, play fight, ect. and come out with no scratches. He has never clawed anything other than his scratching posts. I feel that any cat CAN be trained.
—Guest C

Declawed Cats

I do not understand why people get so mad about this issue. I believe that whether or not you have your cat declawed is up to the owner. It is not my place to tell another cat owner what procedures they should or should not have on their pets. I have a cat that was declawed and neutered at 12 weeks. When I brought him home, I'll admit that I was worried how he'd heal. As soon as I put him on the floor, he was off running around like his crazy self, playing with everything, and having a great time like he always does. I changed the litter out with newspaper shavings and everything has been great. He stays inside and I have had no problems with lack of affection, biting, using the bathroom outside of the litterbox, or any of the other horrible things that people have said would happen "post-declawing." Just be sure that you find a reputable vet to ensure your cat's safety. Yes, declawing is an optional surgery, but remember that you have no place to tell an owner how to raise their cat.
—Guest Kori

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