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Debarking, No, Declawing, Yes …?

Crazy cat ladies of America, you have some explaining to do. According to a recent Associated Press poll, 55 percent of cat guardians are in favor of declawing, while only 8 percent of dog fanciers agree with debarking, or surgically removing dogs’ vocal chords.

I can only hope that most of the people who voted for declawing don’t know exactly what it is. Declawing is like taking a hatchet to a hangnail—literally. It involves 10 separate, painful surgeries, severing not just the nails but the whole joint, including the bones, ligaments, and tendons.

Complications of declawing include chronic pain, nerve damage, hemorrhaging, bone chips, recurrent infections, and abnormal regrowth of the nail inside the paw. Oh, and let’s not forget those other two common “complications”—biting and spraying. I’ve had two declawed cats in my life (both were already declawed when they came to me), and one was a biter and the other is a sprayer. Think snagged furniture is the worst of your problems? Try walking into a house that reeks of cat urine. It takes destruction of property to a whole new level.

Not all declawed cats become biters and sprayers, of course, but you have no way of knowing how your cat will react until it’s too late. Declawing is a permanent solution to what is often a temporary problem. Kittens usually outgrow their urge to scale the drapes and attack your wiggling toes. Most cats naturally gravitate toward scratching posts and cardboard scratching boxes, especially if you make them more alluring with catnip and toys. Claws’ destructiveness can be curtailed with biweekly trimming. You trim your dog’s nails—why not your cat’s?

Find more tips on discouraging cats from scratching furniture in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s book 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You.

Via The Sacramento Bee

Written by Alisa Mullins

Commenting is closed.
  • Shannon says:

    My 14 yr old girl has declawed malformations. I rescued her 8 yrs ago. Every two weeks we need a vet to do a careful trimming. The small curled boney fragments and nail regrowth, left unchecked, grows right into her pads. Jumping down from the couch hurts her and she has arthritis. Cats are stoic and most people don’t think about the suffering that is caused by declawing, when trimming normal kitten nails is easy. I make sure she is indoor only on carpeted floors, but wish others knew about the daily suffering these surgeries can cause.

  • Claudia says:

    I find declawing horrible. I’m living with cats since more than 30 years now and the only surgery I had done was to let them be neutered. I’m German but live in Catalunya since more than 10 years and also worked with local animal protectors to feed cat colonies here and trap them to be neutered. To declaw a cat is horrendous in my eyes because cats need their claws to climb trees etc. Yes, my cats destroyed sofas to a certain amount – I don’t have a scratch tree, but a person who decides to live with cats, also has to live with a certain amount of destruction. Two and a half year we also adopted a dog from a shelter. In the beginning she destroyed some pillows and shoes too, but now no more.

  • gh says:

    I love you peta!

  • snowball says:

    No one has the right to hurt an animal of any kind. If you know how horrible declawing is for cars then why would you put them thru that??? I kave a maltese and a maltipoo and a car with claws and as far as im concerned they can never do anything to make me hurt them in any way. I love them with all my heart. They are my kids and my family and if they cant be themselves then they dont need to be in your household. They are all helpless animals and so trusting and all they want is to be loved… There is to much abuse in the world and people who hurt animals make me sick… They should be in prison where they belong…

  • Ashley-P says:

    Hey, now you are telling me what to do! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but freedom of thought does not always imply freedom of action. You are free to believe whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt others. You may believe that animals should be killed, that black people should be enslaved, or that women should be beaten, but you don’t always have the right to put your beliefs into practice. As for telling people what to do, society exists because there are rules governing people’s behavior.

    The very nature of reform movements is to “tell others what to do”—don’t use humans as slaves, don’t sexually harass women, etc.—and all movements initially encounter opposition from people who want to go on doing the criticized behavior.

  • Lori Kegler says:

    I don’t know what crazy cat ladies you spoke to, but the true crazy cat ladies, the ones involved in rescue who lose any semblance of a normal life, are ADAMANTLY AGAINST declawing. We even have sneaky ways of asking this question on our adoption forms, so as not to tip people off. Anyone who declaws does NOT care about the well being of their cat. If you don’t want claws, don’t have cats! Paws come with claws!

  • Kayperz says:

    Why do people have animal companions if they’re not aware of the risk to certain pieces of furniture? 🙂 Let cats and dogs be cats and dogs. It’s not up to us to adjust any animal to our “liking” – they are as nature intended!

  • peta sucks says:

    I think that if you are going to have a cat inside than that is just fine to declaw and that it is none of anyones buisness if a owner wants there cat declawed. All cat at some point are going to rip up furniture and other things. Dogs being debarked I DNT THINK SO that is wrong. If you dont like a dog to bark than dont get it but there again it is not our place to tell someone what they can do. Peta is a bunch on people that have nothing better to do than stick there nose where it should not be. This is why the world is like it is. We have the right to do what we want and if it is eating meat, rodeo, declawing cats, having a litter of dogs, farming, fishing, hunting, than that is what we can do.

  • MommieAllie says:

    I remember my mom wanted to have this done but luckily I got her to look up what the surgery actually was! She was horrified! Instead I agreed to come over every other week to trim the kittens nails. The kitten never fought us and mom didn’t have her furniture destroyed! All won! We all love our cats so much, why would we hurt them this way??? I think the biggest issue is that no one really knows what the operation entails. Thanks PETA for your hard work to educate people about this!

  • Sandrine says:

    In France, cats declawing is forbidden. I live in Spain and know s.o. whose cat (a male) was declawing. Each time he’s angry (because he is and often looks being in a bad mood), he tries to bite, obviously not like a tiger and I let him biting me because I know he doesn’t want to hurt me, he’s perfectly aware that he has no physical defense, the ones the nature gave him but that humans remove. I have two beautiful cats, a male and a female, both found in the street (the female is a Siberian and the male a Birmanese, she was a kitten and he was yet an adult cat). The female destroyed 2 sofas with her claws but it was my fault, I didn’t bought a “cat tree”. She still has her claws because at home we have so much respect for life. I found a solution to keep her far away from the sofa, she now has a splendid doormat to share with her boyfriend, and she forgot our new sofa. The male looks like coming from a “royal family”, I’ve never seen such a noble behaviour from an animal. When my cats watch me in the eyes, they’re saying “I love you” and this is the most important to me because they trust me.