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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

7 reasons why declawing is considered cruel by many animal welfare activists

Declawing is considered inhumane and is banned in England and most European countries.
Click here for a list of countries.

Scratching is a completely normal and healthy behavior for a cat.
Reasons cats scratch:
• To slough off the husks of dead claws
• To mark their territory (with scent glands on their paws)
• To stretch their bodies

"Your cats 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 cats "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." Source: Veterinarian, Dr. Christianne Schelling

Reasons for not declawing:

1. Without claws, it is impossible for any cat to scratch itself efficiently.

2. If the cat accidentally gets out of doors, it is defenseless.

3. In addition to destroying the animal's ability to groom, climb, defend itself against rivals, and protect itself from enemies, the operation of declawing also eliminates the cat's ability to hunt. This may not be important for a well-fed family pet, but if ever such a cat were to find itself lost or homeless, it would rapidly die of starvation.

4. Changes in behavior can occur. A declawed cat frequently resorts to biting when confronted with even minor threats. Biting becomes an overcompensation for the insecurity of having no claws.

5. Balance is affected by the inability to grasp with their claws.

6. Chronic physical ailments such as cystitis or skin disorders can be manifestations of a declawed cat's frustration and stress.

7. Declawing is radical surgery that involves amputating the first joint of a cat's toes. It's permanent, expensive, and irreversible, and may have unwanted affect on your cat's behavior.

There are many different types of scratching posts made of different materials. You might want to try a few different types to see which your kitty prefers.

You will never find a veterinarian who offers low cost or free declawing procedures. Why? It is not necessary to the health of your cat and many veterinarians disagree with the procedure and do not perform the surgery.

If people stopped and thought about what this surgery really did--I don't think as many people would do it. The human equivalent would be to crush and break the first knuckle of your fingers. Then, surgically removing the tips of your fingers and sewing you back up. Have a happy life trying to scratch yourself, open cans, doors, turn the page in a book, etc. Your life would be completely different and not a happy one.

A final note:
I would never declaw a cat for a few reasons.

I know what having a cat means. It means that I have a job to do as a pet parent. I have to teach my cat where to scratch from day one. They will scratch-it is a natural, innate need. It is as natural as us cracking our knuckles or stretching out our hands. They like to stretch and scratch at the same time so they choose your couch or chair because it won't topple over on them.

I clip my cats claws and provide them with different types of scratching posts and areas to scratch.

Declawing is done strictly to provide convenience for people.

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