Originally Posted by Mollysmom
Declawing is incredibly inhumane; the equivalent to having part of our fingers cut off starting with the first top joint below the nail.
I would compare it to toes, not fingers, since the cat has to walk on them while they heal.
I can see a very limited case for declawing for medical reasons--like if a human is diabetic and a scratch could mean losing a leg, but wants to adopt a cat. Soft Paws come off so they wouldn't necessarily be able to prevent a single scratch; I could see that being just too much to risk. For most shelter cats, the options would then be either adoption and declawing or staying in the shelter and probably being euthanized. I would rather have my toes pulled off than get killed, so I can see that being a reasonable choice to make for a cat.
My rules for what can be an ethical declawing are:
A severe issue threatening to cause more damage than the declawing itself makes it necessary
Other alternatives have been tried or are not practical for a logical reason
The procedure will be to the ultimate benefit of the cat (or other animal), considering the pain and other side effects it may experience
The cat (or other animal) will be 100% indoor after the declawing procedure for its own safety
Under those rules, there'd be pretty much no declawing because most declawing is done for convenience or because people think it's routine. Even then, when it does happen, I would prefer that it be done one paw at a time so that the critter can tripod around on the other three feet and not have to walk on it while it heals, but I've never heard of it being done that way because people who care about animals and animal ethics already pretty much just don't declaw in the first place.