Declawing maims, mutilates cats

I would like to comment on the veterinarian column in Friday’s paper on declawing cats.

I know that I and many other people on this island and around the world would disagree.

As a matter of fact declawing is banned and illegal in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil and 18 European countries. Only four cities in the USA have banned it but no doubt more and more places will follow in their footsteps.

What is not explained in the article is exactly what declawing is and how the procedure is preformed.

It is not just a minor surgery.

Declawing is 10 or 20 separate painful amputation of each of your cat’s toes.

To make it easier to understand its like cutting off the top of all your fingers and toes and then being made to walk on them afterwards. Is this really necessary?

Many cats after surgery are so shocked that their personalities change. Many cats become withdrawn, deprived of their primary means of defence they become nervous, fearful and aggressive leading to unnecessary biting and who would blame them!

In some cases when declawed cats use their litter box after surgery their feet are so tender they associate their new pain with the box permanently resulting in a life long aversion to using the litter box.

Many cats surrendered to shelters are surrendered because of behavioural problems that developed after the cats were declawed.

In a study of 163 cats that underwent surgery (Jul/Aug 2004 journal of veterinary surgery) showed that 50 per cent suffered from immediate postoperative complications.

Words such as deform, disfigure, disjoint and dismember all apply to this surgery. Is this something you really want to do to a family member?

In short a declawed cat is a maimed, mutilated cat.

Your cat should trust you and depend on you for protection.

Don’t betray that trust by declawing your cat.

Jennie Boyers

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