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Why do people declaw cats?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
We answered an ad for a cat, and thats how we got Peedoodle. He was already an adult cat, had been neutered and declawed.
My question is, why would people declaw cats? WHen I play with Peedoodle, I find it really unfair that he has no claws and cannot defend himself. He bites pretty hard though. How do vets actually condone this practice? I feel as if it is barbaric because like people say, it is like cutting the top knuckles off your fingers. Before we got Peedoodle, I never knew that a cat could have its claws cut off. When I told my grandfather about Peedoodle and that he had been declawed, his first reaction was 'people who declaw cats should have certain parts of their anatomy cut off!' I feel the same way as he does, seeing firsthand how it can affect a cat. Poor things.
SOmeone told me that it was banned in Tennessee - is this true? It should be banned all over!

post #2 of 25
It's a service, which provides money, some vets just don't care what it does to the animals, as long as it's not a procudure that is sure to kill them. Not all vets are angel's.

But in some extreme cases even vets which fight against the declaw issue will go ahead and do it, if the reason the need.

I personally, have never had a cat that would ever need it to be done. Except for maybe Suki... but we just decided to let her be and learned how to live with her in another way, so that we would have as little to do with her claws as possible!

Most people who declaw, are lazy, and uneducated on the matter. Cats who are typically declawed, can and will bite harder or instead. Some cats loose the use of their front paws due to botch surgeries during a declaw.
post #3 of 25
It's really interesting that your bringing this topic up.Two situations that have added to my experiences on the subject came up in this past week.

The first incident happened at the local animal hospital when I took Nakita to be spayed. When we went to pay the bill, the receptionist asked if we had received a "kitten package" that contained all basic info on health, feeding, vaccinations etc.

I took it home and started to read through it. I was shocked when I came across the part on declawing. The hospital does not discourage it and makes it a routine surgery. If the vet is the person who is looking out for the best interest of your pet, why would they not first "discourage" the owner from this operation. I couldn't believe that they do not educate the consumer on this practice. As of this point, I will be looking for another vet clinic that takes the declawing issue as a very last resort and educates it's clients on the issue at hand. So this was my first experience. That some of the medical hospitals that look after your pets are not even taking a stand on a serious, permanent procedure. What have I learned? Just like the issue of Nakita having such a reaction to Ketamine. I had no idea what drugs the vet was using. Therefore, educate yourself first on all procedures that will effect your pet before the act occurs.

My second experience with the declawing issue happened at my home this weekend. I had a very good friend over and we were discussing her fiance's cat. She was mentioning the fact that it was declawed. When I started talking to her about how serious an issue that declawing is, she had NO IDEA that it shouldn't be performed.She thought that like spaying, it's automatically done to cats. While growing up, she was only exposed to declawed cats and had no other experience.

Both these experiences opened my eyes to the lack of education involved in pet ownership. Education is the key to show that declawing is a barbaric and unnecessary act in the majority of cases. It's so unfortunate that SOME practicing vet's don't even blink an eye when asked to perform the surgery. There should be a stronger presence when dealing with such a drastic and permanent solution.
post #4 of 25
Declawing is done for the benefit of the owner, not for the benefit of a cat. I have one cat Bartee who had to have a claw removed for medical reasons- but he is a polydactyl and it was the extra dew claw way up on his leg and just hanging there barely. The vet ended up removing the whole claw and pad. He has no problem with it, as it does not get any pressure, and he didn't suffer any ill effects from it except right at first when he couldn't lay down without bumping it. But that went away in about 4 days and he is fine now. The claw itself kept growing back into his foot and causing him pain and was impossible to clip.

Declawing is also a big moneymaker for vets. Hopefully one day soon the issue of declawing will be against the law except in extreme circumstances.
post #5 of 25
I was "one of those" people who didn't realize that declawing wasn't a normal procedure...that was until I came to this website. When I read about it on this site, I was shocked that I would have purposely done this to my precious babies. The cats that I grew up with were all declawed and always thought it was the normal thing to do. I really wish that my Vet would have discussed the pros/cons about this with me when I brought Echo and Bud to them 4 years ago. But like you said...it's a money issue. I think it cost me $75 for the spay/neuter and $35 or $40 for the declawing...so that's just extra money in their pockets. It's sad that the world has become so damn greedy...especially when it comes to the health care for living animals.

When I adopted my newest kitty from a ad I seen, I didn't realize that they had Tiki declawed. I was really pissed when I found out that they had ALL FOUR PAWS declawed! How could this kitty ever defend herself? It's plain and simple...she couldn't! She can't even play rough with Bud and Echo because they scratch with their back claws. I feel bad because I declawed my cats and can guarantee that I will not do this to any future cats of mine. I don't think people would do this if they were educated about how they declaw cats and what can happen to them later on in their life.
post #6 of 25
We got Cinnamon & Fluffy declawed, but we do wish we never would have, and we can't take that back. They don't act any different than when they used to have their claws. Cinnamon has her big powerful punch, lol, and if she needed to she does have a defense mechanism in her called b-i-t-t-i-n-g.
I also don't think it is right to tell someone whether or not to do this method. Ya, you can explain that it is not right, but sometimes, it's not going to change a person's mind.
post #7 of 25
Originally posted by Tigger
I also don't think it is right to tell someone whether or not to do this method.
I am in total disagreement. By explaining things to people,it is a form of education. Many people are not properly informed on the subject.

Secondly, the majority of declawing cases are done because the "family cat" will not stop clawing the furniture. Sorry, but someone who puts their materialistic property before the life of a cat needs to be told. And everytime a cat has anaesthetic administered to them, they do have a chance of having problems with that drug. I just had that experience with my cat Nakita.

So, in the end, it is better that one speaks up on the issue rather than watch from the sidelines when a life may be at stake.

As I always say, if you worry that your furniture may get scratched, get a goldfish!
post #8 of 25
I think it's wonderful when vets or shelters have pampheltes on the declawing process, I wish they all did!

All vets should go over the procedure with clients in vivid detail and show them pictures of what happens.
Declawing a cat is not the first solution that comes to mind when kitty has been using your sofa as a scratching post.

And for anyone here who has recently learned better against this, I commend you!
post #9 of 25
One of our kitties is declawed. His name is Sterling. He was my boyfriend's mothers cat before we adopted him after she passed away.
Sterling was about 2 years old when he was declawed. His mother was a cancer patient going through chemo at the time of declawing. The doctor strongly recommended that he be declawed due to medical reasons. The main one being that the chemo depletes the immune system and if she was scratched it could become a serious health risk. He said either declaw Sterling or get rid of him altogether. She loved him very much and made the choice to declaw him.
We adopted him about a year and a half ago after her death. Since, we have had no problems with him. We have 2 other cats. Neither of them fight with Sterling or take advantage of the fact that he has no claws. We hardly notice ourselves.
I am against the declawing of cats and hope that it is done only in extreme cases such as this one. Sterling was very loved and cared for by his mother and I understand why she chose to declaw him instead of giving him away.

post #10 of 25
hey, you know at the time, we did not know what else to do..... Do we regret it? Yes, but that does not mean we are materialistic. If I could, I would give Fluffy & Cinnamon their claws back, but we can't.
post #11 of 25
I'm not even going to touch this subject because declawing is one thing that gets me so MAD!!!

Tigger, I for one certainly don't have any hard feelings towards you for what you did, and I don't think anyone else does either. You didn't know any better at the time. I didn't realize how terrible it was either until I became a member here, and now the thought of it infuriates me! But now that you know, I am sure you regret it, and wouldn't do it again, so I don't think bad of you at all.

I do however think it is absolutely necessary to tell anyone who is even considering it how horrible it actually is and what is really involved with the procedure. That way more people will know ahead of time instead of doing it and regreting it later.

I said I wasn't touching this subject, but I guess I went ahead and did it anyway.
post #12 of 25
Declawing is illegal in Australia (I have never seen a declawed cat).

I think probably the thing is that people just don't realise what it entails, and what that actually means for the cat, so, yes, it's really an issue of increasing people's awareness of the issue. I don't know how you'd change the culture amoung many vets, though, who treat it as a standard procedure. It's really sad.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Last night I talked to my sister in NZ thru MSN and she said that she has never seen a declawed cat in NZ, I guess I was trying to remember if it is legal in NZ, I think it is like aussie, prolly not legal there either. No one declaws cats there, not that I have seen or heard of and it was a shock when I got here and got Peedoodle - no claws!
post #14 of 25
I'm so glad there are really good alternatives now to declawing. The softpaws claw caps www.softpaws.com/ sound good and cat's don't seem to mind them. Also there are some really good sprays to protect furniture.

I was surfing the web to find out more about declawing and came across a web site that shows pictures of a declaw surgery here. Be warned, the pictures aren't pretty but it's so important that we spread the word about stopping declawing. It's amazing how many cat lovers and owners still don't know what it involves.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh my god, I saw that website, I cried! I cant believe that they did this to Peedoodle. I just had to give him that hug and tell him that I love him.

That website will be good education for those who are considering declawing their cats. Thanks Kumbulu.
post #16 of 25
No worries mate. As I said, it's not nice but it's educating us all as to what happens.
post #17 of 25
Chalk me up as one who did it before I knew better. I regret it every single day. The vet recommended having it done with Trent's neuter. They did not explain anything, even when I asked. They said "It's a simple procedure, it's just removing the claw and nail bed." They did NOT say that the nail bed was attached to the 1st knuckle!!! We almost lost Trent because of this procedure. His paws got infected, he stopped eating and drinking, got very dehydrated and we rushed him off to the vet. Gosh it didn't take long for him to get very badly dehydrated, he was only 6 months old! They took care of him well that time (it was a different vet than the one who had recommended the procedure and lied about what it entailed), and we dropped another $150 for the emergency treatment. Guess they got what they wanted $$$$$. After that week of nursing him back to health, including one day of hourly forcing him out of hiding to eat and drink, I swore I would never do that to another kitty. Then I came here and found out what it really is. I still can't believe that vets actually recommend this procedure. It is banned in many European countries, as well as Australia. Obviously they are much more civilized than we Americans.
post #18 of 25
Ohhhhhhhhhhh........... that site gave me chills....

When we adopted Cooper, the "contract" said we were NOT allowed to have her de-clawed, if we did - the shelter had the option to take her away from us....
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
That is a good 'contract' you got there Lhezzza - wish more people did that!
post #20 of 25
Here is a link to the issue that covers everything you need to know and some you wish you didn't. I have to say that I totally admire all of you for taking this very delicate subject and handling it in such a mature manner. On most boards, this would of already erupted in flames! Great job!

post #21 of 25
I also had never heard of declawing until I read the sticky about it on this site. I've never seen a declawed cat. I don't think vets do declawing here in the UK (gawd bless 'em).

I like the slight sense of danger about a cat - soft and fluffy but with 4 sets of dirty great big claws. I've been having to explain my tattered right hand recently - too much rough playing with Ronnie - oops!

And I like the fact that Ronnie decided she didn't like the landing wallpaper and ripped a huge chunk off the wall - it means I HAVE to decorate soon.
post #22 of 25
Originally posted by flimflam
And I like the fact that Ronnie decided she didn't like the landing wallpaper and ripped a huge chunk off the wall - it means I HAVE to decorate soon.
Too funny!

post #23 of 25
I would never declaw any of my cats. That proceedure is horrible. I've not had a problem with my cats clawing my funiture but I buy funiture with cloth that is unappealing for them to claw. They have a scratchnig post that they use. Once in awhile I catch them clawing the carpet and a quick "No!" is all they need to go running to the scratching post. I keep their claws trimed so if they do decide to scratch when I'm not around they won't do any damage anyway.

I too grew up with declawing and was always against it even as a child but my parents ruled then and I had no choice. I suppose I could've said ok I don't want any cats then but I was a child and really did know what all it entailed and I don't think my parents did either.

I have friends and family who have declawed and I spoke my peace about it and told them what it really is but they all had it done anyway. I guess I tried but those poor kitties. I did manage to talk my brother-in-law out of it when he got his 2 kittens, who by the way are bothers of Tomas, my cat.

There are alterantives to declawing I just think people are lazy and don't want to put any effort into training their cats to use a scratching post. As mentioned above there are also Soft Paws but that becomes a hassle to a lot of people cuz you have to reapply when they come off. Hey if it's going to save my cat from one more unnecessary surgery then I'm all for it. I just wish other people felt the same. I also think that a lot of people put declawing in the catagorie with spay/neuter and think it's just a routine proceedure that won't have any ill affects on their cat.

Untill it's illegal them I guess there will always be people who declaw.....sad isn't it.

post #24 of 25
I won't declaw my cats either! I just got Soft Paws a few days ago. Guys they are AWESOME! Ninners has been wearing them. They have not fallen off. At first she licked her paw alot, but she is used to them now. I haven't been able to do my other cats yet. I need to get a bigger size. If you order over the internet it only takes a few days to get your order. Not even a week! I'm monotoring her paws and checking them to make sure nothing is wrong with them. It's fun to see her scratch! She can still pick things up with her paws, she just can't destroy anything with them! If you can't train them and other methods have failed it is definitely worth a try!
post #25 of 25

I'm really interested to hear how they turn out. Up to know, I have never known anyone to use them. Keep us posted on how the Soft Paws turn out!
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