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Declawing ban

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
This just crossed my desk, forwarding the information in case anyone wants to write in about this:

"just got word from Assemblymember Paul Koretz's Chief of Staff, Teresa Stark, that the statewide anti-declawing ban will be introduced this coming Tuesday to the California State Assembly as AB 395 (Assembly Bill 395). The proposed bill will have to go through the channels of the legislative branch. At this time, the mere introduction of a bill is a great success for all of us involved in this. We face an uphill ballot, as the CVMA will fight this as hard as they can. Nevertheless, we've come a long way! Stay tuned!

Assemblyman Paul Koretz
State Capitol
Room 2176
Sacramento, CA 95814-0042
Phone: (916) 319-2042
Fax: (916) 319-2142

Or send an e-mail by visiting Mr. Koretz' website at:
post #2 of 24
hissy...who's the CVMA, and why would anybody want to fight a ban on declawing?

post #3 of 24
Hey Julia,

I'm assuming CVMA is the California Veterinary Medicine Association...if they're anything like some vets in Canada, declawing is a lucrative if disgusting practice...

It's assumed that this would be the reason for a fight....

Congrats to those who fought to get that bill so far...

post #4 of 24
tt, that does surprise me. You'd think vets would be against declawing.

I know my vet point blank refuses to do tail docking, in fact, Aussie vets are trying to have the practice banned once & for all.

Is there anything we can do over in Australia to help the cause in America/Canada? I'd love to help in any way possible.

post #5 of 24
Declawing is inhumane! Anyone who does this to a cat for the convenience of their furniture doesn't deserve to own a cat. I own 4 and would rather lose a couch or 2 then for my cats to lose their claws. Take the time to learn to trim the claws correctly and or have a vet do it for you. If my vet recommended my cat's be declawed, I would be seeking a new vet.

post #6 of 24
along these lines is an issue i find disturbing.. many landlords are requiring that your cats be declawed, when i was looking at apartments, I asked the lanlord if they knew just what declawing was? and explained to him about the soft paws product (claw covers) and he said that would be acceptable.. just an fyi for anyone who ends up in this situation...
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
More information on this subject

Declawing issue rages
post #8 of 24
I all for no declawing up i would rather have a cat have a home and no claws then be put to sleep. thats just how i feel. Some people get rid of there kitties because they rip up stuff. I know declawing is awful but if it means more cats being put to sleep or be thrown away to fend for themselves then i'm not for it. I know a few people who have declawed cats and they would have gotten rid of them if they were not declawed
post #9 of 24
If people can't accept cats for what they are (claws & all), they really have no right having a cat as a pet.

I have cats who spray, I have cats who claw the furnature....I live with it. There is no reason to declaw. None at all!!!

post #10 of 24
I agree with Misha 100 percent.

post #11 of 24
i would just rather see a cat get loved then put to sleep. I would never declaw but I don't think people that do it are horrible monsters. There are just so many cats and so few homes for them...that is just my opion though. I don't want to start a fight or anything.
post #12 of 24
Originally posted by Princess Purr
i would just rather see a cat get loved then put to sleep. I would never declaw but I don't think people that do it are horrible monsters. There are just so many cats and so few homes for them...that is just my opion though. I don't want to start a fight or anything.
I understand where you're coming from, Princess Purr. But, unfortunately declawing does not always save a cat its home. Many cats are dumped every day in our shelters once they exhibit declaw related behaviors such as litterbox avoidance and/or biting and aggression. People who say the cat will lose its home if it's not declawed are using emotional blackmail. In a recent survey, only 4% of people would actually get rid of the cat if it weren't declawed. It makes you wonder what all those people who live in countries where declawing is banned get along with their fully clawed cats.

I know this may not be a popular opinion, but I feel euthanasia is a better choice than the cat having the ends of its toes severed. Euthansia ends suffering whereas declawing starts suffering.

I feel if vets took the time to show people how to trim claws, train the cat to scratch on appropriate surfaces and even offer products like Soft Paws, people could live with a clawed cat instead of having the ends of its toes amputated.

What's next? If the cat starts biting, will it be de-fanged? If it jumps up on counters, will the muscles be severed so it can't jump? What it comes down to is cats have claws. That is how they were intended. If someone cannot accept it, they should not have a cat, or at least adopt an already declawed cat. There are plenty to go around in shelters

Loving a cat entails loving the cat, claws and all. Respect is being able to accept the animal how he is and not try to sever toes to make him a more acceptable pet.

post #13 of 24
I guess it is like the pro life pro choose thing....is it better to bring an unwanted baby into the world or not....

I just think it is better to give the cat a chance. I do know alot of cats that wouldn't have homes right now if they had claws. I guess i'll just agree to disagree.
post #14 of 24
In my country declawing is banned, and I had no idea this kind of a procedure even existed before I learned about it on this board. Heck, even tail docking and ear cropping are illegal here.

When thinking about Finnish cat forums and such, there's hardly ever a problem with cats scratching. People take it for granted that couches will most likely have marks on them, the only thing that is considered a problem is cats destroying wallpaper, and there are usually several solutions offered for that. I've never seen cats scratching as a big problem, and never talked to anyone that has, just a thing that is a part of having cats, just as you're not likely to have perfect wooden floors if you own (big) dogs. Now I'm not saying there aren't people who see cats scratching as a problem, I'm sure there are, just as there are those that give up a pet because of too much hair or something, but I am saying that when there is no such option as declawing, people most likely will adapt their thinking over time.
post #15 of 24

Coming from another country where declawing is banned, I agree with you. I've never heard of a cat being put to sleep (or turfed out) because it has clawed the furnature. When people get a cat, they accept that they come with claws. This only seems to be a problem in places where declawing is permitted.

I couldn't believe it when I first came online & found out that people actually do this to their cats. I'll probably manage to offend, like I did last time I said this, but I really think it's wrong that people choose to do this to their cats to suit their own lifestyle. Nothing will ever change my mind on that. Declawing is a terrible, terrible thing...and it should be banned worldwide. Cats come with claws, people should live with it, or get a goldfish.

post #16 of 24
Originally posted by Eeva
I am saying that when there is no such option as declawing, people most likely will adapt their thinking over time.
Well said...that is exactly what I was thinking.
post #17 of 24
I just wonder at people sometimes... what kind of reaction do you think you would get if you said "We should bring back foot-binding! Those Chinese women walk too fast, it's irritating!"

To me, declawing seems like much the same thing. I wonder if my own Willie isn't so shy because having been declawed at a young age (by a previous owner, NOT me!) left him feeling defenseless?
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
It could be Lola. I have met many a declawed cat in my lifetime, since I work with behavioral issues and some are shy, some are biters, some go so aggressive and start bathing their owners belongings in pee, and then some are perfectly fine. I believe that if the vet really knows what he is doing, and there is a reason behind declawing (and I am talking about someone with an autoimmune disease, or one with bartonella which is what causes cat scratch fever, then a declaw, though unpleasant to think about is acceptable. But if there is a botched procedure, bad after care and no meds to manage the pain, those are the cats that go ballistic in one way or the other.

In the April issue of Reader's Digest there is a cartoon: A Siamese and a black cat are sitting in chairs. The Siamese has bandages on all her paws. The Siamese is telling the black cat that they got all her claws, but they missed this- and she is holding up a scalpel.
post #19 of 24
I used to think it was ok because I wasn't aware of what the procedure was really all about. Now I'm totally against it and feel like if our country would follow others we wouldn't have these issues anymore. People would think a little harder about their committment to owning a cat!

Is there something we can do to help get this passed in California and started up in other states?
post #20 of 24
Hi everyone:

I've always been a cat person. I have a little boy who I just bought yesterday, after a three-year hiatus without cats. Ostensibly, I bought him because it is my son's birthday this week, but predictably, he's turned into a momma's kitty because I really bought him for me. While at the pet store, I stared into all the cages for a long time, watching the kittens romp and vie for attention. There, neither hidden away, nor particularly concerned with flamboyance, was an utterly common-looking tabby with a kinked tail.

He was older than the rest by a month or so; since he was neither as physically distinctive nor as attention-demanding, no one had seen fit to take him home. But, I noticed that while the other kittens crawled all over him in order to get to my hand (to bite it with those needling teeth), he lay there with a placid look about him, unbothered by the little kitten feet on his head. I opened the cage and reached for him, and he almost looked surprised, but when I held him close to me, he nuzzled my chin and purred loudly. I thought, This is my cat. I took him home on the spot. //;.cfgiooqewde333333333333q1tgywe As you can see.

My son, who will be five in a couple of days, elected to name him Kitty, and then asked me to pick a "second name", so I chose Coulomb. Coulomb favors the underside of the bed right now, and won't come out for anyone but me. He sleeps with me, and lays on my lap while I type. He's affectionate and personable, and he'll interact with my son happily as long as he knows I'm around. I have yet to see him claw anything other than the carpet. I love him, and I'm utterly sure he knows it.

I'm also looking for a house to rent. I'm already at a disadvantage, because I'm a single mother and most home-owners discriminate against that, saying that they would prefer a "family". It isn't the kind of thing I'm going to formally complain about, since it is difficult to prove, but it has frustrated my quest to find a good home for my son. Now that I've added a pet to my non-family, it will be even more difficult. On many listings, it says, "Cats must be declawed" or "Cat OK w/declaw". I refuse to do this, which means that now I'm looking at buying a house.

However, I disagree with banning the procedure. It is no more inhumane than "neutering" which is not conducted the "humane" way - it is castration - and I don't know any man who would volunteer castration as a humane choice. And I can't believe some of the people who think (in another thread) that euthanizing a cat is more humane than declawing. Okay, here's a choice: Die, or have the last bone on all your fingers removed. It would suck, but I'll choose life, thank you.

You can't have it both ways, people. Either your cats are your "children", or they are your pets. If they are pets, they are inferior, and as inferior animals, you can chose to kill, maim or disfigure your animal as it suits your perception of what is best for you, as a human, because if it was left up to your cat, they wouldn't choose any of those options. This includes euthanizing, declawing, altering, tail docking, and all the other procedures that we pay vets to do. If they are "children", then you have to respect that cats are animals with wild tendencies and should be allowed to resort to their natural state, as would be their inherent right as a cat.

The question of what is considered inhumane, and therefore subject to legislation is comically tragic at best, and unforgivably stupid at worst. Personally, I think that many pedigree breeding programs are just as "inhumane" (if not more so) as they purposely encourage certain genetic qualities that produce known defects and disfigurements, which prevent the cat from being able to survive without constant human supervision and frequent medical attention. Here, I'm thinking of Persians. But, of course, it is fashionable to consider it inhumane and irresponsible to have feral cats whose genetics will be selected out by nature so that they are more robust. Certain cats would die, and that's just too much for many people to bear thinking about, so we call it inhumane.

I would never declaw my cat. I wouldn't neuter him either. He is a darling creature and I won't, as long as I don't have to, inflict pain on him. But, I don't find it inhumane for a person to make the choice to declaw a cat, anymore than I find it inhumane for a person to breed Persians. Since we sit at the top of the food chain on this planet, it is our prerogative to own animals, domesticate them for entertainment, labor and food, and do whatever we wish in order to maximize our benefit. Anyone who owns a cat is subject to that judgment, just as the person who eats a hamburger or wears leather shoes is on the same moral level as the butcher. Even if you, like me, wouldn't declaw your cat, you still own them for your pleasure and entertainment, and this is not the same biological, ethical or psychological reason that we have children, ergo the cat is inferior and subject to your whim.

At the bottom line, you have to ask yourself, isn't that inhumane?

Just a little food for thought.
post #21 of 24
Welcom to the site Evelyn.

Thank you for sharing your view of the issue with us. While on the surface the two procedures may look similar - there is a world of difference here.

In my opinion, whether we call them pets or children is not the issue. Either way we are committed to the welfare of our cats. Welfare meaning giving them the best quality of life possible. What is best for a cat is something we need to learn a lot about in order to make a decision. The same is true for our human childrem btw.

It's not simply a question of inflicting pain. It's a question of inflicting unecessary pain. Vaccination shots are also painful, as are many other medical procedures (treating an abcess for example). We still do that to our cats because there is a significant long term benefit - one that outweighs the pain.

The same is true of neutering and spaying. Your kitty will be much better off neutered. An un-neutered male needs to roam to great distances. If you plan to keep him indoors only, he will be stressed out and in much more anguish then whatever pain will be caused by the casrtation (and will almost certainly spray nasty smelling urine by the way). If you plan to let him outdoors, he will roam and will very likely die within a year or two - cars, other cats (with whom he will fight, get injured and infected with deadly diseases), dogs, people - you name it. Roaming whole cats have a short and not very happy lives.

You can read more about why neutering is best for him here:
Spaying and Neutering your Cat. The bottom line is we're doing this for the cat's sake - to improve his welfare. This cannot be said about declawing. That is why most of us here are very pro spaying & neutering and very much against declawing.

Thank you for bringing up that angle though. I'm glad it gave me the chance to explain.

I'm glad Coulomb found such a loving home! Kudos to you for not declawing him in spite of all the pressures. I do hope you will do more research on the issue of neutering so you can give him the best home possible. He must have been so sad caged up in the shop for so long I would stay away from that place in the future - sounds like they don't care much about animal welfare there.
post #22 of 24
I only wish that Vet did not EVEN INVENT to declaw cat's "cute fingers". Too bad Vet didn't think of other ways to solve this.

Well, I must admit that i have a lack of old furnitures at home. :ugh: So, I ll buy new furnitures with lots of woodens and it's my problem, not furry boys'. Since I donot believe in declawing and consider declawing is so cruel like a slave to me. No way..
post #23 of 24
Evelynln, That's a well written essay, and you would have proved your point (philosophically) if you had not started with a false assumption. That assumption is that cats are either equal to our children or that they are just animals we own and treat as we please, whatever our motives. A pet is neither of these.

I would die for my children, and I would risk quite a bit for my pets, but I wouldn't offer my life-unless it was an automatic reaction, such as running in front of a car when my cat was about to be hit. That could happen. However, given time to think about choices, most of us would not choose our cats over our children's lives or our own. However, they mean more to us than "just any animal." Yes, we have dominion over them, but according to most moral and legal codes we can not do with them as we please. Pets mean much more to us than food animals, and, in my opinion, less than human beings, but they are definitely loved. We might be grateful for the life of the steer or pig that provides food for our use, but we (usually) don't love them as we love our house pets.

Intact tom cats allowed outside have an average life span of two years-a result of fights with other cats. They are also more susceptible to urinary tract problems. A neutered tom has a much longer life span, even if allowed outside. I learned that the hard way, after paying a fortune to have the vet perform surgery on a much loved cat for abcesses, a tail amputation, and numerous other injuries from fighting other cats. I made the choice to allow my tom cat to live a normal life span. My neutered toms lived 16 years and more, and died of natural causes. A female cat allowed to have litter after litter of kittens until her life span is over is doing what she would do in nature. Not only is her health at risk, but her kittens are in danger of being abandoned by those who get tired of their free kittens, and take them to shelters.

I don't consider spaying and neutering unkind acts in those cases, and I am a former breeder of collies and Siamese cats. I do not agree, however, with breeders who change the conformation of a breed at the expense of the animal's health. I believe that to be abusive. There should be strict standards for all breeders, and one of the stipulations should be that the health and well being of the animal should take precedence over appearance.

Finally, I agree that we keep pets for both selfish and altruistic reasons. I used to raise angel fish. Angel fish lay hundreds of eggs, both in nature and captivity. As few as two of those hundreds will survive to maturity, and often all of the eggs are destroyed by fungus. I was able to raise approximately eighty percent of those angelfish to maturity. If we treat our pets with kindness and give them quality care, they are better off with us than in nature, even if, as with a fish, we didn't actually love them. Fortunately, we do love them. They become much loved family members, not chattel, and not children.

Although we don't agree, welcome to the catsite! Your heart must be in the right place. You adopted the cat no one else wanted. I'm glad he now has a good home with you!
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Declawing of Domestic Cats as follows:

Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have
been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its
clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s).

The AVMA believes it is the obligation of veterinarians to provide cat
owners with complete education with regard to feline onychectomy. The
following points are the foundation for full understanding and disclosure
regarding declawing:

Scratching is a normal feline behavior, is a means for cats to mark their
territory both visually and with scent, and is used for claw conditioning
("husk" removal) and stretching activity.

Owners must provide suitable implements for normal scratching behavior.
Examples are scratching posts, cardboard boxes, lumber or logs, and carpet
or fabric remnants affixed to stationary objects. Implements should be tall
or long enough to allow full stretching, and be firmly anchored to provide
necessary resistance to scratching. Cats should be positively reinforced in
the use of these implements.

Appropriate claw care (consisting of trimming the claws every 1 to 2 weeks)
should be provided to prevent injury or damage to household items.

Surgical declawing is not a medically necessary procedure for the cat in
most cases. While rare in occurrence, there are inherent risks and
complications with any surgical procedure including, but not limited to,
anesthetic complications, hemorrhage, infection, and pain. If onychectomy
is performed, appropriate use of safe and effective anesthetic agents and
the use of safe peri-operative analgesics for an appropriate length of time
are imperative. The surgical alternative of tendonectomy is not

Declawed cats should be housed indoors.

Scientific data do indicate that cats that have destructive clawing
behavior are more likely to be euthanatized, or more readily relinquished,
released, or abandoned, thereby contributing to the homeless cat
population. Where scratching behavior is an issue as to whether or not a
particular cat can remain as an acceptable household pet in a particular
home, surgical onychectomy may be considered.
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