Monday, 8 March 2010

Cat Declawing

Declawing of cats is banned within the EU for a reason! It's animal cruelty.
I've heard a few people (so far it's only been Americans where it is not an offence) say that it's a reasonable way to prevent scratches from their cat either on themselves or furniture. One word. Ignorance.
If you are considering of declawing your feline friend or don't see way the procedure should have a worldwide ban, please take a little time & read....

1-Declawing is NOT just a trimming of nails.
As seen below, to properly declaw a cats paws the "vet" needs to amputate at the first knuckle of the paw. Imagine having no finger tips! Having TEN amputations at the same time. The pain is excruciating for the cat, which can last for months until the nerve endings heal over.

If it's not done properly the claws can painfully regrow YEARS after the surgery. You won't know until it's too late.

2 -Declawing can lead to litter box problems as they tend to feel the pain as they are healing while digging in their tray. The cat may refuse point blank to ever use a tray again.

3 - It can alter their gait & therefore cause serious arthritis in their joint, particularly in their hips.
Look at a cat as it walks, it's like a ballerina on point. Removal of their claws changes how they walk.

4 - It can lead to biting issues. Imagine having an itch, how would you scratch it? If you were being attacked how would you defend your self if your hands are not free?
With your mouth! Cats are just the same.
I know when my cat has had enough brushing because he'll give me a quick swipe. Nothing that causes blood or pain, but enough to make me stop. If he hadn't got his claws how would he do this?

5 - Cats use their claws to help them stretch their leg & back muscles. They dig their claws into the ground, carpet etc & use the resistance. Remember its the claws that hold onto things, they don't have the thumbs to be able to grasp hold of something like us. Think of crampons on the feet of mountaineers.

6 - Defense! Yes they will be able to bite an attacker but they will be seriously disadvantaged without their claws to defend themselves.
Cats will scratch before biting. You may say "my cat is an indoor cat", but even indoor cats can escape, or be attacked in their home. You may say I'm being paranoid, but do you leave your door & windows open while you sleep?
Just because they are inside it does not mean they will not need to defend themselves.

7 - They mark territory. Cats will tend to scratch at the same place. Think of "tagging". It's a "this is my yard" sort of thing. Their paws contain scent glands so they are actually scenting as they claw.
My cat claws the corner of a fence outside & the same patch of carpet in my living room, I've never seen him anywhere else. He may do, but what I'm trying to show is the routine & predictability that cats have.
You can (if you are patient enough) train a cat to only scratch in one place, such as a scratch pole if it's an indoor cat.

8 - Scratching makes cats feel good. Plain & simple.

9 - Cats use their claws for grooming! How else do you expect them to get rid of that annoying prey bone from between their teeth, or annoying seed/bug from their coat?

10 - To catch prey. Yes, I know it's horrid, but it's a cats nature to hunt. A lot of cats will hunt out of pleasure. Why do you think they love chasing something on a string or a laser pointer? Because it's a form of hunting!
Ginge is very spoiled & never goes hungry but now & again will arrive at the door with a half dead mouse or bird.
If you ever watch a cat eat it's prey you will see it gut the creature with it's back claws, if it's declawed it will be unable to do this. If for some terrible reason you cannot fed your cat (maybe your taken into hospital, your cat gets lost etc) how do you expect them to eat?

11 - Behavioural problems. There are a lot of declawed cats in shelters in countries where it is not illegal because the cats develop character & behavioural problems after the procedure. From what I've read about this the poor cats develop PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), something that even use humans struggle to deal with!

So you still thinking of delcawing your cat?
Of course there are always exceptions & I'm sure there are a few cats that have had a happy life declawed, but do you really want to take the risk?

If you need more persuading check out these sites for even more info.

DECLAWING (the very last link on the linked page has photos that are distressing, brace yourself)
CAT SCRATCHING scroll down for some alternatives to delclawing!

If you want to trim your cats claws the below image might help...
Or check out this snazy little covers at SOFT PAWS. They must have the entire rainbow in colours!

Please just think about your cat before declawing.


  1. Thank Goddess we do not have this here! In fact i did n't even know it existed.At the beginning i got scared because i thought i accidentally did it to cats of mine, but i have only trimmed their nails, once or twice!
    This is horrible!

  2. I know!
    I was horrified when I heard of the practice!

    I've recently seen a motorized emery board advertised on TV, aimed at cats & dogs.
    Maybe you may find that useful, if the noise doesn't spook them!