• Taylor Lukasik

    Taylor Lukasik Taylor Lukasik (CAS) is the public relations chair of BU’s Pre-Veterinary and Animal Lovers Society. Profile

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There are 17 comments on POV: Declawing Cats Is a Drastic Measure. So Why Do People Do It?

  1. I would support a ban in this state. If your furniture is that precious then do not have a pet. My mother-in-law was in an assisted living home that had a cat. Yes, it provided some comfort to some of the residents but — that is not a compelling enough reason to continue to allow this “procedure” to continue. By the way, this “procedure” is basically cutting off part of the cat’s fingers. The American Veterinary Medical Association considers this “…an amputation and should be regarded as major surgery.”. To amputate body parts in order to keep a sofa intact is ridiculous and cruel.

  2. in the 40 years of my adulthood, i have had eleven cats. i had all of them declawed. when i first had cats, the practice was considered fine, no negative attitude, so i never thought much about it. when my first cats were declawed, i brought them home the next morning, and they were not bandaged, walked normally, and to my surprise, ran around and jumped up on the refrigerator with no problem. they used the litter box and never displayed any discomfort. it was the same with all my others since– they never had a different gait, refused the litter box, or showed any other sign of discomfort. now the thinking has changed completely, and i’m considered a pariah at the adoption center if i mention declawing. i once tried to adopt a cat who had already been returned from one home for excessive destruction of furniture and woodwork, and when i thought that might be a hard-to-adopt cat that i could provide a home for, i was told never to return to that shelter again, that they would rather the cat spend the rest of its life there in a cage than be subjected to the practice. i do understand that many people think it kinder not to declaw; i accept that. but i do believe that making the practice illegal is drastic and absurd, and deprives many cats of ever having a home at all. i love my cats and have provided a loving happy home to all of them, yet sometimes now i don’t dare even tell some people that i declawed my cats, because the reaction is so extreme and sometimes nasty.

  3. Declawing a cat is another way that humans show how arrogant and self-centered they are. If you are worried about your furniture, don’t get a cat. As for the assisted living requirement due to scratches becoming infected, who cleans the litter box of these cats filled with urine and feces while breathing in dust that is laden with urine and feces? Do the assisted living staff do it so the residents don’t get an infection or some sort of breathing problem?
    It’s similar to the people who cut their dog’s vocal cords so the bark doesn’t disturb their life or disturb their neighbors because god forbid the neighbors give you the side eye while your dog is barking his hello.
    In a nut shell: I’d like to have this animal but first I need to remove it’s finger tips or cut it’s vocal cords because they don’t work for ME.

  4. One thing not mentioned in this POV is that many countries in Europe as well as Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand already ban declawing. So we are behind in humane laws here. I follow City the Kitty on social media, who has a lot of information about declawing, tag line “paws need claws”, if anyone is interested in reading more about this.

  5. We humans seem to think that we have to bend every other bit of nature on the planet to our will. For me the issue of declawing comes down to one, simple question: would we like our fingernails and toenails to be ripped out? I think not. If you don’t want all the not-so-great stuff that goes with cat (or pet of any kind) ownership, don’t get a cat.

  6. I have always declawed my cats and agree with the comment above. I have never seen any ill effects from declawing. My cats too were bouncing around on their first day home. One thing the article neglected to mention is that most owners declaw their cats because they are indoor cats and don’t need claws for outdoor protection. Indoor is much safer than outdoor and I think we could also debate how inhumane, safe, ethical it is to have an outdoor cat. I take pride in my home and yes I do not want to have destroyed furniture, clothing, woodwork, etc. and I am not embarrassed to say this. Both my cats now were rescue cats and we provide them with lots of love, attention, and warm sunny places to roam and relax. While I do believe vets should proceed slowly before declawing, I also think all pet owners should be treated with kindness and empathy. Let’s not use this debate to sling mud at people who don’t agree with your choices. PS- it is very difficult to train a cat not to claw furniture and woodwork. Scratch boxes only deter to a degree.

    1. There are other ways to discourage your cats from clawing your furniture and clothing. You can trim your cat’s claws or give them a scratching post, for example. Declawing is cruel and for your few cats that haven’t had any glaringly obvious adverse reactions, there are hundreds of more poor felines that have. It’s banned in other countries and we have no right to rip off essential parts of a creature just because it’s inconvenient for us. Don’t have a cat if you can’t handle what a cat has. Plus, claws are used for more than simply outdoor protection. It’s not difficult to see what declawing physically does to a cat; a simple google search will provide the many disadvantages of the cruel process. How would you like it if most of your fingers were removed? It wouldn’t be very ideal for you, would it?

      1. Good points, Sam! De-clawing a cat is totally inhuman, vicious, and violent, and risky to both the cat(s) and their owner(s). Trimming the cat’s claws periodically (or better still having a vet do it.), and/or providing the cat with a scratching post are far better, more humane ways of treating a cat.

    2. I take pride in my home, too. I take a lot of pride that my home was a safe environment for my cat who did not have to undergo an amputation of his appendages in order to live there.

  7. There’s absolutely no reason anyone should ever think to declaw a cat. Furniture should not be put above your cats. If you think a sofa is more important than your cat’s claws, you simply shouldn’t own a cat. Cats need their claws; it’s a part of their anatomy for a reason.

  8. As for declawing “cutting off a part of a cat’s body”, can I assume that you are also opposed to neutering a cat? That procedure involves cutting off a part of a cat’s body too.

    1. Neutering a cat is a whole different matter. It’s one thing to neuter a cat, so that it won’t go out, mate, and continue to give birth to other kittens. We don’t want tons of stray and/or unwanted animals wondering around, either.

  9. Hello! I’m the writer of this article and I would like to add this point:

    From an ethical standpoint, I do not support the practice. I would not have the procedure performed on my own cat and, as a veterinarian, I will not recommend the surgery to my clients. This is not an ideal world, however, and in reality, I cannot support a full ban on declawing. If banning the declaw procedure in turn increases abandonment and euthanasia, then, in good conscience, I cannot stand with this decision. I fully support placing tighter restrictions on the procedure, such as having to visit a specialist in order to have the surgery performed– in turn, increasing the price and making it less readily available– but I cannot agree with a full prohibition. A study conducted in Canada– where the ban is already active in 7 provinces—established that 50% of cat owners would not own their cats if they had not been declawed. Those cats, in turn, would either not have been adopted or would have been surrendered to shelters
    (https://vets.nysvms.org/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=20f04316-12c0-9948-e615-a3d71f654f4c&forceDialog=0).
    72% of cats surrendered to shelters are euthanized
    (https://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics).

  10. My Grammie is nearing the age where she will need to move to a nursing facility, and I know that 10 times out of 10 she would sign an agreement saying she is subject to risk of infection due to the potential of scratches from cats with claws, than get her best friend of 15 years de-clawed. Is this de-clawing requirement present at all nursing facilities?

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