Cat Declawing: A Surgery Wrongly Being Used as a Marketing ToolPublished August 29, 2011
Banned in over 37 counties around the world, cat declawing remains legal in the United States and Canada, with the exception of a few cities in the great state of California.
It is no secret that this writer opposes the practice of feline declawing, which a large number of veterinary practices around the country routinely perform. While I understand that many cat owners out there simply don’t know that declawing isn’t necessary, I think it’s up to all of us--veterinary practices included--to educate potential cat owners.
What really bothers me is--although the American Veterinary Association cautions the procedure not be performed until every possible alternative measure is taken; i.e., providing appropriate scratching posts and cat trees, learning to trim nails, or applying plastic nail covers--many veterinary clinics offer bargain rates for the surgery in conjunction with neutering or spaying very young kittens. Essentially, these offers make declawing a sort of marketing tool for many facilities.
Using surgery as a marketing tool just doesn’t sit right with me.
Kittens being spayed and neutered simply aren’t old enough to have had the chance to demonstrate they can be taught to use scratching posts and cat trees, and accept nail trimming without putting up a fuss.
Our two guys, Dr. Hush Puppy and Sir Hubble Pinkerton happily sit in my lap, purring up a storm whenever I trim the sharp tips of their nails, rubbing their bellies and of course, offering treats each time they receive their bi-weekly manicure. I really think they are relieved that their tender paws won’t get stuck on any of our cloth furniture or when they are madly chasing each other around the house on our carpeting.
I noticed how widely the “bargain pricing” tactic is used when I was scrolling through Stop the Declawing Madness, a group to which I belong, that has over 2500 members and is growing. On the website - “Find a Veterinarian- Local Vets and Veterinary Clinics and Vet Services”, one only has to type in a zip code and search to see what the clinics offer. Declawing is boldly advertised on an extraordinary number of clinic sites. So if you want to know who is declawing, check out the website. Please note that some California cities are still listed, even though it is illegal, which hopefully is an oversight that needs revision.
You see, in reality, with the rare exception of an intractable infection or cancer around the nail bed, as far as I am concerned, there is never a reason to declaw cats.
One of the most brilliant videos posted on the Internet explaining why cats should not be declawed was uploaded to YouTube by feline behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, aka TheCatDaddy66. In the video, Jackson answers questions posed by viewers. The section on declawing starts at 4:15 into the video. Additionally this is a terrific resource to share with friends who might not know there is an alternative to declawing.
What are your opinions on feline declawing? Share in a comment.