We for starters there is a clause in our contract that strictly forbids it and we take it very serious. If you are insistent on declawing your cat you really need to read what I have to say. If afterwards it is still your intent then you really need to find another source for your kitten.
It is hard to conceive of an animal lover that would even consider amputating all of the tips of the finger bones on a cats paws in order to get rid of their claws. Cats claws are essentially adhered to the bone. It is a serious surgery. It is not even remotely similar to having your toe nails surgically removed and think how that would feel.
Just because cat’s are genetically preprogrammed to hide their injuries don’t think they suffer any less then us. Does it even make sense that an animal whose senses are significantly more sensitive then ours feels pain less then us?
You may have seen a cat after this surgery
and it was purring and slow blinking at you and looked for all the world like it was ok. That’s what cats do when they are in pain. When they are suffering they purr. When they are badly hurt they will slow blink to a trusted human. It is how they calm themselves. Cats with cancer have been known to purr and slow blink right up to their last breath. The more you understand about cat behavior the more you have to admire these proud animals.
It is not just the pain of the surgery though. The ten individual toe amputations will heal in time. That said I would guess that most people that have done this were unaware that the cat is one of the few animals that walks on its toes. It is the main reason that they are so quiet and their body has evolved to distribute their weight across the toes as they walk, run, jump, what have you.
Think about that…. they walk on their toes
and declawing removes a portion of the bone at the end of their toes. Not just bone either but tendon and muscle as well. Do you think a cat is ever the same after that? Do you believe that once the wounds heal the cat doesn’t suffer every day for the rest of its life?
At the very least we are forcing the cat to alter how it walks and over the period of years that will wear away at it physically. Just think if you, from this day forward, had to walk on only the balls of your feet. As time went on you would develop all types of pains from forcing your tendons and muscles to stretch and work in ways they simply did not evolve to handle. You would start suffering from constant muscle spasms and would develop deep aches that might be better some days then others, but would never go away.
The final argument, the thing that clearly raises it to a level where some countries have declared it a form of mutilation, an inhumane act, is that there is no reason for it. It is purely an act of selfishness.
Here is a list of countries in which declawing cats is either illegal or considered extremely inhumane and only performed under extreme circumstances.
I pulled that list from a site that also has a wonderful article that shows diagrams and explains the process from a medical point of view. It is an interesting read even if you are already aware of the issues. The site is www.declawing.com. Wikipedia.com has a good article with many references as well.
So what’s the solution?
Well there are several. For 20+ years now all of our cat have been house cats. If they want out they need to learn how to go for walks on a leash and not all care to do that. We have a domestic female that would prefer not to get any nature on her paws 🙂 My point though is that we have never had problem training a cat to use a scratching post.
Cats have to scratch, its not a habit that they can be broken of so give them something that works better then the couch. It really doesn’t take much effort to get most cats to use a post. A good post allows them to get a better result so they quickly learn to prefer it. Our Bengal kittens have a post at hand almost from birth and the training starts right away as they watch their mother use it. Here is a great site that will explain much about teaching a cat to use a post. www.catscratching.com
www.declawing.com brought Soft Paws to my attention. I had never heard of such a thing and I think it is a brilliant idea. As I’ve said, we have never had any difficulty training a cat to use a post so we never looked beyoned that but if the situation ever does arise softpaws will likely be my solution.
Have a look by going to their web site. www.softpaws.com and there is www.softclaws.com as well.