|Originally posted by Princess Purr
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
The thing is declawing does not always save a cat its home, especially when the declawed cat starts exhibit declaw related behaviors such as litterbox avoidance and/or biting and aggression. We have many declawed cats that are dumped in our shelters every day. There is never a reason to digit amputate a cat.
In reality a declawed cat is actually a clubfooted animal. He can't walk normally but must forever move with his weight back on the rear of his pads. Posture is irrevocably altered and gone is the easeful gait that is his birthright. Declawed cats are 75% defenseless and live in a constant state of stress which can effect their health and make them more prone to disease. Cats use their claws as a means of communication, much like we use our voices. A declawed cat is much like a person without a larynx.
What a lot of people don't realize is that kittens go through a rambunctious stage where they are trying out their claws so will often go for furniture and drapes. What some people don't realize is that just like children going through the terrible two's, kittens will also outgrow this behavior and can be trained to a scratching post. But often they will have the kitten declawed to try to pre-empt any scratching behaviors.
Comparing declawing to us having the ends of our fingers amputated is not actually completely accurate. The claw is harder to remove than the tip of our fingers because we don't retract our fingertips. Our fingertip is not set into the joint below in a complex way like a cat's claw is. Cutting out pieces of an animal's body for convenience is just wrong from all aspects.
I personally feel that most people are not aware of what declawing is:
1. It is illegal in many countries and even some animal shelters and vets in the United States won't perform the surgery.
2. Cats actually walk on their first digit, which is the digit that is amputated. They can begin to walk incorrectly due to the amputation.
3. Declawing is not just yanking the claw out, it is the amputation of the first digit, which is the equivalent of us having our fingers cut off to the first knuckle.
4. Declawed cats can become fear biters. Cats first defense mechanism are their claws, when these are gone they bite. Biting can cause severe blood poisoning .
5. Declawed cats can and do suffer behavioral disorders, such as not using the litter box due to discomfort in their feet, and may use the rest of the house as their litterbox. They also have trouble jumping and landing, and in some severe cases, both domestic and wild cats have become lame and even paralyzed upon being declawed. A Tiger was once declawed at a zoo and lost all use of it's hind legs (they did 4 paw declaw) he had to drag his legs
behind him to walk.
6. There are alternatives to declawing such as nail trimming. Nail trimming makes the nails blunt, so they do not puncture through materials, such as couches and furniture.
7. Products such as Soft Paws (plastic nail covers) exist to prevent scratching and aide in proper training.
8. Training methods exist to teach a cat where to scratch. All you need is a scratching post. Purchase one that coincides with your cats scratching preferences, vertical or horizontal. Purchase a squirt gun, whenever the cat goes to scratch in the wrong spot, squirt him and say a firm no, then take him to the scratching post, move his paws in a scratching motion and say Good boy. Repeat this until the cat learns, which by the way, they are quick
9. Other training aides such as citrus sprays (natural cat deterrents), double sided tape, applied to couches, even pepper and orange peels placed in off limits scratching areas will work.
10. Declawing is inhumane and painful to these animals. Animals are live sentient beings, not objects. A couch does not feel pain and will not notice the damage done to it. A cat surely will.
"Cats have retractable nails, also known as "claws". Unlike most mammals who walk on the soles of the paws or feet, cats are digitigrade, which means they walk on their toes. Their back, shoulder and leg joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves are naturally designed to support and distribute the cat's weight across its toes as it walks, runs and climbs. A cat's claws are used for balance, for exercising, and for stretching the muscles in
their legs, back, shoulders, and paws. They stretch these muscles by digging their claws into a surface and pulling back against their own clawhold - similar to isometric exercising for humans. This is the only way a cat can exercise, stretch and tone the muscles of its back and shoulders. The toes cause the foot to meet the ground at a precise angle to keep the leg, shoulder and back muscles and joints in proper alignment. Removal of the last
digits of the toes causes the foot to meet the ground at an unnatural angle that can cause back pain similar to that in humans caused by wearing improper shoes. "
"Contrary to most people's idea of declawing, surgery involves severing not just the claws, but whole phalanges (up to the joint), including bone, ligaments, and tendons! Complications of this amputation can be excruciating pain, damage to the radial nerve, hemorrhage, bone chips that prevent healing, painful regrowth of deformed claw inside of the paw, and chronic back and joint pain as shoulder, leg and back muscles weaken. Many cats also suffer
a loss of balance since they can no longer achieve a secure foothold on their stumps. "
"Some cats are so shocked by declawing that their personalities change. In some cases, when declawed cats use the litterbox after surgery, their feet are so tender they associate their new pain with the box...permanently. Others that can no longer mark with their claws, they mark with urine instead. Many declawed cats become so traumatized by this painful mutilation that they end up spending their maladjusted lives perched on top of doors and
refrigerators, out of reach of real and imaginary predators against whom they no longer have any adequate defense. A cat relies on its claws as its primary means of defense. Removing the claws makes a cat feel defenseless and it can either become very defensive and resort to biting, or withdrawn and paranoid. They not only lose their grip, but also their grip on reality, seeming unable to concentrate on much beyond the loss of their claws, their
vulnerability and confusion as to what has happened to them. "
Yes, there are many things that can be done. First off, always play with the cat with toys, not your fingers. You can get your cat a tall sturdy scratching post with sisal rope. I also have cardboard scratching pads too as some cats are horizontal scratchers. You can clip the claws blunt. I use a cat scissors made by Four Paws and it works very well. I find the best time to trim claws is when the cat is sleepy, that way he is less likely to
protest. The first time you trim the claws, you may want to have your vet or vet tech show you how. To trim a cat's claws, place her or him on a table or on your lap, and facing away from you. Lift one of the legs so that the lower part of the leg rests in your upturned fingers. Holding the leg securely but non-threateningly between the heel of your thumb and the tips of your middle, ring, and little fingers, grasp the paw between your thumb and
forefinger. Press down gently on top of the paw with your thumb, spreading the toes and extending the claws. Check each claw individually. Do not trim blunt or rounded claws. If the nail is honed to a talon-like point, clip it. Be careful to clip the hooked part of the claw only. Avoid cutting into the pink tissue visible inside the nail.
Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Professor of Behavioral Pharmacology and Director of the Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and internationally known specialist in domestic animal behavioral research, explains declawing:
"The inhumanity of the procedure is clearly demonstrated by the nature of cats' recovery from anesthesia following the surgery. Unlike routine recoveries, including recovery from neutering surgeries, which are fairly peaceful, declawing surgery results in cats bouncing off the walls of the recovery cage because of excruciating pain. Cats that are more stoic huddle in the corner of the recovery cage, immobilized in a state of helplessness, presumably
by overwhelming pain. Declawing fits the dictionary definition of mutilation to a tee. Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint, and dismember all apply to this surgery. Partial digital amputation is so horrible that it has been employed for torture of prisoners of war, and in veterinary medicine, the clinical procedure serves as model of severe pain for testing the efficacy of analgesic drugs. Even though analgesic drugs can be used
postoperatively, they rarely are, and their effects are incomplete and transient anyway, so sooner or later the pain will emerge."
"Declawing, or onychectomy, is an amputation of the toe at the last joint.
This removes the claw and the bone from which it originates. On a human hand
this would be an amputation at the knuckle just above the nail. It is not
just removal of the claw as many people think." Matthew J. Ehrenberg, DVM
"It is serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually
closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the
last bone of your the cat's claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an
amputation of the last joint of your cat's "toes". When you envision that,
it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery,
with a painful recovery period." Dr. Christianne Schelling, DVM
"The amputation of the nail is accomplished with a guillotine nail cutter,
which cuts across the first joint of the toe" Dr. Paul Rowan, DVM
"Declawing (onchyectomy) is a surgical procedure that amputates the 3rd
phalanx bone and claw of all ten front foot toes of a cat. This is
comparable to the amputation of the last bone of each finger in the human
hand." Dr. Jennifer Kissinger, DVM
"The feline digit, just like the human digit (finger), possesses three
phalanxes. When a cat is declawed it is the third or last phalanx, that is
completely removed or amputated." Murphy Animal Hospital, Tampa, Florida
"Declawing, or onychectomy, is the amputation of the claw and last bone
(third phalanx) of the cat's toes at the first joint on the front feet. It's
equivalent of removing the last bone of all your fingers." Dr. Alice Crook,
Head, Animal Welfare Unit at Atlantic Veterinary College, University of
"Declawing is the surgical amputation under general anesthesia of the last
part of the toe - comparable to the removal of your fingertip at the first
joint." Veterinary Information Network, Inc
"The most common surgical procedure, onychectomy, or "declawing", is
amputation of the claw and the end toe bone joint." The Cat Fanciers'
"Declawing a cat involves general anesthesia and amputation of the last
joint of each toe, including the bones, not just the nail." Doctors Who's
J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998 Aug 1;213(3):370-3412 Comparison of effects of elective tenectomy or onychectomy in cats. Jankowski AJ, Brown DC, Duval J, Gregor TP, Strine LE, Ksiazek LM, Ott AH Department of Clinical Studies, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104, USA.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Owners should be aware of the high complication rate for both procedures. Vet Surg 1994 Jul-Aug;23(4):274-80 Feline onychectomy at a teaching institution: a retrospective study of 163 cases. Tobias KS Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Pullman 99164-6610.
One hundred sixty-three cats underwent onychectomy from January 1985 to November 1992. Onychectomy was performed with guillotine-type nail shears (62%), surgical blade (24.5%), or both (8.6%), and wound closure consisted of bandages alone (61.3%), bandages after suture closure (26.4%), or tissue adhesive application (9.2%). The duration of surgery was significantly longer when onychectomy was performed with a blade or when suture closure was used instead of bandages alone (P < .05). Fifty percent of the cats had one or more complications immediately after surgery. Early postoperative complications included pain (38.1%), hemorrhage (31.9%), lameness (26.9%), swelling (6.3%), or non-weight-bearing (5.6%), and were observed more frequently after blade onychectomy (P < .001). Follow-up was available in 121 cats; 19.8% developed complications after release. Late postoperative complications included infection (11.6%), regrowth (7.4%), P2 protrusion (1.7%), palmagrade stance (1.7%), and prolonged, intermittent lameness (0.8%). Late postoperative complications were observed more frequently after shears onychectomy (P = .018). Use of tissue adhesive was associated with more postoperative lameness (P < .02) and, when used after shears onychectomy, with more infections (P = .049).
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