A cat’s claws are rooted in the paws and are actually attached to the first toe bones. In order to remove the claws … the bone is removed … at the first joint … cutting through flesh, tendons, nerves and blood vessels.
Declawing a cat, in truth, is amputating the tops of all your cat’s toes. Naming this surgery … declawing … is extremely misleading.
Perhaps we have been misinformed and don’t understand just how much damage we do to a cat – not just physical – when parts of its paws are amputated.
Did anyone tell you?
… The pain following an amputation is so severe it was once used to torture prisoners of war.
… Many human amputees experience phantom pain, described by the Mayo Clinic as “shooting, stabbing, boring, squeezing, throbbing or burning” … the pain comes and goes. Do declawed cats experience the same pain? How would we know?
… To top it all off, it seems that historically, many of our cats were sent home after ‘declawing’ surgery without adequate (or any) pain medications.
Declawing a cat has been declared illegal or extremely inhumane in 25 countries outside of North America – but notably not so in Canada and the United States.
Ours is a society that thrives on convenience and for some reason mutilating our cats got thrown into the mix.
Shame on us.
Did you know?
a cat elegantly resting his front paws on the points of a picket fence
Cats are digitgrade animals – they walk and run on their toes with their heels up. Declawed cats will often shift their weight unnaturally, on to what remains of their paws.
This can permanently throw their whole alignment off, put unnecessary stress on their spines and invite the development of arthritis.
A cat’s remarkable agility, its sense of balance and ability to climb will be affected. This can easily result in falls, injuries and for some cats (according to my local animal shelter) crazed frustration.
Cats without claws are not able to defend themselves, as they once did. Do they live in a constant state of fear and anxiety for the rest of their lives?
Just a few of the major life changes your cat needs to adjust to. There’s lots more.
For their own safety, declawed cats must be indoor cats.
Watch out for behavioral problems. Many owners of declawed cats report drastic changes in their cat’s personality. Others surrender their cats to shelters because of behavioral problems – that didn’t exist – before the declawing.
Some cat owners – and some veterinarians – argue the cats are just fine …
I would add:
1. cats can’t talk
2. cats are extremely skilled at hiding any signs of
suffering and pain
3. if a cat was born this way … we would call it a
deformed and handicapped animal.
Gee whiz, if I had the tops of all ten of my fingers amputated … it would really affect my life. It’s not rocket science.
If you are thinking of declawing a cat – I urge you to do some research. A very good cat declawing directory and resource is de-clawing.com.
Please explore the alternatives to declawing a cat. Your cat has a lot to lose if you don’t.