Decoding the Declawing Myth
If declawing were more accurately referred to as “amputation,” would people still declaw their cats? The Paw Project doesn’t think so. In this provocative new public service announcement, the group shows exactly what the procedure would look like on a human. Its website explains that “[t]o declaw a cat, the veterinarian cuts off the last knuckles of a cat’s paw—cutting through bone, tendons, skin and nerves. In a person, it is equivalent to amputating each finger or toe at the last joint.”
Cats often experience extreme pain when they awaken from declawing, and they frequently have difficulty relearning how to walk, much as a person would after losing his or her toes. In PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s book 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You, experienced veterinarian Dr. Louis J. Camuti is quoted as saying, “I wouldn’t declaw a cat if you paid me $1,000 a nail!”
Nearly two dozen countries, including the U.K., Australia, and Japan, have prohibited or severely restricted veterinarians from declawing. Until the U.S. follows suit, it’s up to us to protect our felines’ feet by buying scratching posts and sisal “scratching boxes,” teaching cats where—and where not—to claw, and giving them regular “pedicures” (i.e., trimming their nails). Getting mani-pedis with our cats—now if only they could talk Twilight with us too …
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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