Nov 9, 2009

Claws or No Claws, That Is The Question

Mother Nature created cats, all of them, with claws. Cats need their claws to serve a purpose in their lives. In nature, claws help cats to protect themselves, as well as provide them with food.

Today,  with cats living indoors in protected environments, why would they need claws? Except to tear up the furniture? They certainly haven't learned how to open cans of tuna with their claws, so it seems that cat claws have outgrown their need. 

But, does that give us the right to have them removed? Hmmm... good question? It's kind of like abortions, you know? Who has the right to decide?

Certainly a cat would prefer to keep it's claws. Certainly a person would prefer to keep their sofa in good condition. Sofa or Claws? Which will it be? 

Is it illegal to declaw a cat? Should it be made illegal?


Starting Jan. 1, a California state law will prevent municipalities from banning declawing procedures.

I just took Ninja, Bambi and Spyder in to a local pet shop and had all their nails clipped for an extremely reasonable price. Less than I would pay for a meal if I were to go out for dinner. Well, worth the price. And, yes, just like any good meal, I will be taking them back when the time comes. I can always cook dinner at home, or go out. I can clip cat nails at home, but it is so nice to have someone else do it. I couldn't believe the cats just stood there while someone grabbed a paw and clipped. I have to wrap them up tightly in blankets and .... well you probably know the rest. 

It bothers me to think that the city I live in would pass a law against declawing cats. I know some elderly folks in my neighborhood who wouldn't be able to have a kitty without the declawing. It's a hard decision to make, but like abortion it should not be a decision made by your local city. Besides, if a city passes a law like that, people will just take their cats somewhere else to have them declawed. Oh, that's just like with abortion, too.

L.A. Council committee favors law against declawing cats
Several California cities to look at cat declawing bans this week
Santa Monica moves closer to cat declawing ban


Author said...

I'm against de-clawing. I think the answer is to keep the cats claws trimmed ~ as you do. I have Milo and Alfie's claws trimmed regularly ~ and although they don't really need claws as they go out accompanied ~ I would never have them de-clawed. If they ever escaped, or I died and they were re-homed they might just need to protect themselves.

kattaddorra said...

Cats need their claws for walking,grooming and exercise as well as for self defence.Scratching is a natural behaviour for them,they need a good tall strong scratching post to dig in their claws to exercise their leg, shoulder, back and stomach muscles.Declawed cats can't do this and most suffer arthritis in later life.A cat provided with a scratching post and taught how to use it does not tear up furniture.There is no such thing as a bad cat, only a bad owner !
Declawing is the amputation of the last joints of the cats toes and it causes many physical and mental problems to the cats.Cats are born with claws because they need them.
As for elderly people not being able to have a clawed cat,in the UK we have clawed cats along with our babies,children, elderly or frail people, and our furniture ! Even before it was banned here none of our vets would declaw a cat.It is animal abuse and vets are trained to help animals not to harm them !
So yes declawing should be illegal worldwide and the USA and Canada are lagging behind other civilised countries where it is banned.
2055 people so far agree !!!
Please join us.
Retired vet nurse, much research into the cruelty of declawing.

Babz said...

The question is not claws or no claws but rather “Who in their right mind would choose to pay someone to amputate their cat’s toe ends rendering it disabled for life?”

Why do you think Mother Nature created cats with claws? Because they need them and for more than protection and hunting food. Because of their complex skeletons cats need to stretch the muscles in their chests, backs, legs and paws, they do this most effectively by anchoring their claws, in a scratching post if provided, and giving their bodies a good work out. We’ve all seen them with their backsides going side-to-side fifty to the dozen and heard the power in those muscles thrumming as they strop. Cats that can’t exercise properly in this way develop arthritic problems as they age, so that is another reason they need the claws. Yet another reason is that cats walk on their toes, not on the pads, amputate the ends of those toes and the cat no longer walks properly, more arthritic potential. Have you ever had an itch that you couldn’t reach? Imagine having an itch that you could reach but having no means of scratching it i.e no fingernails. And do you think that because you live in a nice house and don’t have to worry about hunting and gathering or being able to relax enough to rest that you would be happy to lose your finger ends? Hmmm no, I think not.

Declawing bears no relation to abortion, rightly or wrongly there is a reason for abortion, a baby is going to happen and a decision is made according to the circumstances. How does this compare with a decision to remove healthy toe ends by an unnecessary owner convenience cosmetic procedure?

People in the USA are obsessed with cats claws, they can’t seem to come to terms with them at all, ok clip them if it makes you happy but I’ve had the pleasure of cats for over 35 years now and have never felt the need to interfere with their claws at all, scratching posts both horizontal and vertical and kind encouragement to use them have always worked well in my home.

Legislation is needed to stop the rot of declawing, veterinarians abuse their positions of trust by not educating owners of the many alternatives to declawing or methods of training cats to use scratching posts but by offering declaw/neuter packages for young kittens and discount vouchers for declawing, this is blatantly against the AVMA policy that declawing should be the last resort. Legislation is also needed to stop owners casually deciding to mutilate healthy toes because they are too idle to provide proper equipment for their cat to scratch on and are worried about their furniture, as if furniture is more important than causing extreme pain and trauma to a living creature.

The elderly folk in your neighbourhood would, I’m quite sure, manage clawed cats the same as the elderly folk in my neighbourhood do, that is quite nicely. And if they feel they cannot live with a cat then they make the sensible decision not to own a cat. In actual fact a declawed cat that turns to biting is far more dangerous to old and immuno-compromised people than a clawed cat is.

Declawing is banned as inhumane in 38 countries, and in California council members in the cities of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and Beverly Hills have recently done their research and voted for an end to this casual abuse of domestic cats. This is the beginning of the end of declawing. But there is a simple solution to the problem of those who don’t feel able to house a fully clawed cat - do not get a cat!

Everycat said...

The Californian cities that have enacted a ban on routine declawing are doing so, because they recognise that American vets are being 100% unethical offering routine declawing to clients. The legal ban was needed because if you had to wait for vets to educate cat owners about the alternatives to declawing you would wait until the end of time.

Vets do not want to give up the income they make from declawing. Vets do not inform clients about the true nature of declawing (ten amputations at least) and they do not allow their techs to tell the truth about it either. Money is everything to the majority of practitioners in this profession.

In the UK this mutilation has always been banned (by the RCVS) since 2006 it has been an illegal procedure, not that any UK vet would ever carry it out other than to save a paw from injury and disease.

All our cats have claws - our hospital A&E departments are not full of children, the elderly or the immunocompromised all bleeding to death or dying from cat scratch infections - we know that if a cat scratches, it is normal behaviour and if a cat scratches a person, it is never the fault of the cat.

America needs to catch up with the other 38 countries who have banned declawing. Declawing is viewed as a quick fix by SO many american cat owners - these people need to learn that cats come with claws and cats treated with respect are not insane and dangerous scratchers. Cats are not commodities! This is why a law is needed to ban it - countrywide!

Ban declawing now!

Elizabeth Munroz said...

Thank you for your comments. It's really got me thinking. I will write more on this in another post.