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why are cats declawed - Page 4  

post #91 of 94
Originally Posted by mferr84
pee and vomit come out of a couch a lot easier than tears and scratches do

and i dont understand why people who are anti-declaw use phrases like 'amputate the cats toes' or 'cutting off their finger'... my cat still has fingers and toes... she just doesnt have nails
I still haven't found a way to get pee entirely out of a sofa - if you have figured out how to do it, please let me know and I will be eternally grateful!

The declaw procedure (the medical term is onychectomy) is the amputation of the cat's toes at the first knuckle. Essentially, the toe is comprised of three separate bones and the first of these is amputated completely. Muscles and tendons are also severed in the process. It is absolutely, by definition, the amputation of part of each toe. It is not in any manner or form comparable to trimming claws. Here is more detailed information written by a vet:

"The goal of this surgery is the removal of the distal phalanx (last knuckle), along with the accompanying claw. The newest (though not as widespread) method of accomplishing this task is by the use of a carbon dioxide laser. This type of onychectomy can further minimize post-operative pain, and complications in any age animal from a strictly cranio-dorsal approach. The redundant epidermal tissue will now cover the majority of the onychectomy site. No sutures or tissue adhesive are advised.

To perform this surgery (in the routine, non-laser manner) first, the cat is given a general anesthetic, and the fur surrounding the cat's paws is shaved off. A tourniquet is placed around the leg, and the nail area is rinsed with surgical scrub. Amputation of each toe is accomplished by making a cut across the first joint (possible involving the foot pad) using a guillotine type nail cutter, or a surgical blade. The area is then tightly bandaged to prevent excessive hemorrhaging. The bandaging can be removed two to three days after the surgery. The wounds are closed with either sutures or adhesives, or left open. Shredded paper or newspaper pellet litter should be used in the litter box instead of kitty litter for a week following the surgery. The foot must be kept clean and dry to minimize infection."

The full text can be found here: http://www.askvetadvice.com/newslett...06162003.shtml

Here's an even more detailed site with pictures that demonstrate the procedure step by step: http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu/sxclub/Onych...%20patient.pdf

If you don't believe this, talk to the vet who did your cat's procedure and ask him to explain exactly what it entails.
post #92 of 94
What about the problems a cat could have in the years to come after the declaw surgery? If this was covered already sorry, I didn't read every last post on this thread.

These are the things I have heard:
-lack of claws can throw off the cats balance
-it can lead to biting more frequently because the cat has no other way to defend itself
-you can also NEVER let your cat go outdoors unsupervised (I would hope this is just common sense) because it cannot defend or protect itself
-if a young kitten is declawed, it cannot properly develop the muscles in its legs because it cannot stretch very well with no way of gripping onto anything
-an adult cat can develop arthritis because it can no longer exercise those leg muscles properly
-a cat can have litter problems because its feet are now sensitive, kind of like a person walking barefoot on gravel. (I know a cat doesn't walk on its claws but I would think that whole area would be a little more sensitive)
-I also heard that during the normal declawing (not laser) that a cat will sometimes mutter a little growl of pain despite being put out for the procedure
-What if you don't choose a great vet and the surgery goes horribly wrong?
-While in recovery with the little bandages on, a cat could pull them off because obviously a cat wouldn't want something like that on their feet if they can help it. So now you have the risk of the cat bleeding to death.
There is also now blood all over the cage it is recovering in because the vet isn't going to sit there next to the cage overnite and supervise the cat. The cat is traumatized by the pain and the blood and has no idea where it woke up to or who is around or whats going on. The holes where the claws used to be, where after the cat successfully removed the bandage and chewed at the glue that was holding it together, now have to be refilled with glue and pressed together, while the cat is AWAKE.

These things are just what COULD happen, certainly they aren't going to happen to every declawed cat. Some are also EXTREME situations. But why take the chances? I just don't understand it at all. I wish this would become illegal in the USA.

I certainly wouldn't even THINK of declawing my cats and if I lived in an apartment that required it, I would move or something. But since it is still legal in the USA, I must say I would certainly rather a cat find a new forever home who cares about it and takes it to the vet regularly and the cat is declawed, then to turn down an otherwise good home just because of that fact. On that note, I did just turn down a little older couple who were interested in my little kitty because the first word out of the lady's mouth was "we gotta go straight to the vet and declaw him" and I was like wait a minute, I have trained him not to scratch on anything but his post and he does not at all. I really don't want him to go to someone who won't even consider keeping him clawed. All she said was "cats have to be declawed they just tear up everything if they aren't" RRGGG, well I didn't want to get into WW3 so I just calmly explained it to her and said sorry and left.

Sorry this is so long and if any of the things I said are completely wrong, like I said I don't know a lot about declawing because I would never put a poor cat through that kind of trauma.
post #93 of 94
Originally Posted by vegansoprano
...and probably dumped back at the shelter just as fast.
I do hope you weren't trying to put words in my mouth.

Actually, the declawed cats stay in homes, rather than clawed cats. Clawed cats are returned frequently because they've clawed kids or owners. We've never had a clawed cat returned for "ruining the furniture". We are an anti-delcaw shelter. 90% of the cats we adopt out are too old to have the procedure done, so it's not like the new owners are doing it behind our backs.

I personally do not delcaw. I fought my mother tooth and nail against declawing the three I have now and I won. My fourth cat is a 14 year old delcaw I took home from the shelter. He wasn't dumped due to any delcawing issue, he was dumped because his owners were moving and didn't want cat hair or a litterbox in their new home. I've seen what happens to a delcawed cat. I don't like the thought of it.

But I've also been up to my shoulders in dead cats in the shelter's freezer. How many of those cats were dumped due to scratching issues??? Like I've said before, I'd rather see a cat declawed (and there are good vets who do it right, and send home pain meds) than be killed in a shelter. I think that at this point in the overpopulation crisis that people shouldn't be so concerned about the issue of declawing. The point is to stop the litters from being born, and to get the cats that are here into good homes, no matter what the cost.
post #94 of 94
This thread is now closed. There is absolutely NO need for name calling and questioning of whether anyone here is a real cat lover. I realize that passions run strong and deep on this topic, but personal insults, whether stated or implied, are not acceptable in this community.

As much as I am opposed to declawing, I have also done enough research on what the surgery entails, and complication rates to know that the vast majority of cats are not physically or emotionally destroyed by this procedure. There is a lot of propoganda on this issue from both sides. And there is a lot of misinformation as well as actual statistics. Thanks to the internet, it seems the misinformation gets passed around more than the scientific research.

And once again I will state that the way to change someone's mind on an issue never includes insults. Education, presentation of the facts will always go farther than questioning someone's intelligence or morals - on this or any other issue.
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