Declawing is Killing our Cats

Merriam-Webster defines mutilation as ¨an act or instance of destroying, removing, or severely damaging a limb or other body part of a person or animal.¨ To many, declawing your cat is a quick, easy fix for ending torn-up curtains and scratches. But what may be harmless to you could be causing excruciating, permanent pain for your pets.

Declawing is the surgical procedure- also known as an Onychectomy-where a veterinarian removes a cat’s claws by removing the toe joint. This is equivalent to cutting off the first knuckle on our hands to remove the fingernails.

BBC reports that “between 20% and 25%” of cats in the U.S. have been declawed. AVMA reports that there are about 58 million cats in the U.S. alone. Using that number, simple math shows us that roughly 14,596,431.25-11,677,145 million cats are declawed. Why is this bad?

Declawing your cat is not only physically painful but also emotionally painful. Cats’ claws give them a sense of protection and without them they are vulnerable and defenseless. This leads declawed cats to become skittish, isolated, and aggressive out of fear. Many declawed cats also walk with a limp. When you declaw your cats you also put them at risk for infection, tissue necrosis, and back pain.

Another factor many cat owners forget to consider is that declawing is not a perfect fix. For example, if you declaw your cat in hopes of them becoming more docile and less aggressive, this may lead to the opposite effect. The Washington Post perfectly explained it: “Declawed cats tend to bite more, in part because their first line of defense, their claws, has been removed. A possible infection from a cat bite is much more dangerous than an occasional scratch from a claw. Without claws to hold and manipulate things, declawed cats tend to become more oral, mouthing and chewing more.”

Please reconsider declawing your cat for their own wellbeing and safety. If the scratching has gotten out of hand, consider calling a cat trainer like The Cat Counselor or Hannah´s Cat Training. Even if you do not have a cat you can sign the following petitions to ban declawing procedures: