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Resources on the declawing surgery, why it’s unnecessary, why landlords shouldn’t require it, how to help declawed cats, and more.

Chronic Pain of Declawing

Declawing is an extremely painful procedure. According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), "Physically, regardless of the method used, onychectomy causes a higher level of pain than spays and neuters. Patients may experience both adaptive and maladaptive pain; in addition to inflammatory pain, there is the potential to develop long-term neuropathic or central pain if the pain is inadequately managed during the perioperative and healing periods."  (Emphasis added; please note that veterinarians who claim that using a laser decreases pain are not justified by the facts; using a laser ...


A Declaw Story

NOTE: One of our readers, Karen Whitaker, contacted us with this story about her cat Sasha, and has graciously (and courageously)  given us permission to post it. Thank you so much, Karen, for telling your story, and helping people understand the devastating consequences of declawing. This kitty probably isn't the image anyone has of animal cruelty. I however am as guilty as any other perpetrator, although it was not my intent. After our precious kitten destroyed a substantial amount of furniture and exhausting every anti scratching methodology I ...


Declawing Cats Required to Rent?

By Jean Hofve, DVM and Judith Beggs, JD    Many landlords require cats to be declawed before they will rent to a cat guardian.* Sadly, because it's already hard to find a place that allows pets, many cats fall victim to this unfair requirement. If you're thinking about declawing your cat in order to find a place to live, please print out this article, show it to your prospective landlord, and ask them to waive the requirement. Landlords need to know the truth about declawing, and the property damage and ...


Declawing – Annotated Reference List

1.     Ansah OB, Vainio O, Hellsten C, et al. Postoperative pain control in cats: clinical trials with medetomidine and butorphanol. Vet Surg 2002;31:99-103. Medetomidine and butorphanol provided equivalent pain relief up to 2 hours. 2.     Atwood-Harvey D. Death or declaw: dealing with moral ambiguity in a veterinary hospital. Soc Anim. 2005;13(4):315-42. Discussed strategies used by clinic staff to cope with declawing, whatever their feelings about it. 3.     Bamberger M, Houpt KA. Signalment factors, comorbidity, and trends in behavior diagnoses in cats: 736 cases (1991-2001). J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2006 ...


Studies Pertaining to Declawing (Annotated)

Adapted from Patronek, Studies Pertaining to Onychectomy, 2001 Additional studies not cited in the original noted in color; additions and comments by Jean Hofve, DVM Study No. Cats Time Relevant Outcomes Description of Study, Sample and Major Findings Comments Benson et al., 1991 18 Post-operative plasma catecholamine levels Randomized experiment. 24 cats were randomized to either no surgery, or onychectomy with intravenous morphine, xylazine, or salicylate. Onychectomy was associated with increased postoperative plasma catecholamines that were decreased by morphine and xylazine but not saline. The conclusion was that pain is ...


Cats tell Pet Psychic how they feel about declawing

The following article was written during the declaw ban movement in California. Other animal communicators and intuitives have reported the same thing. Pet Psychic Talks to Declawed Cats: Some Find Painful Toe Amputation Hard to Forgive Honestly, declawing is hard for me to forgive, too! I just don't get why U.S. (and Canadian) veterinarians continue to work so hard to ignore the pain and suffering they are causing to hundreds of thousands of cats every year. But there is hope on the horizon. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association recently ...


Declawing: Another Veterinarian’s Perspective

By Special Guest: Michael W. Fox, D.Sc., Ph.D., B.Vet.Med., M.R.C.V.S. Say No! To De-clawing Cats Many veterinarians routinely de-claw young cats. It's part of the package when they come in to be spayed/neutered. Many cats suffer as a consequence. The operation entails more than simply removing the claws, (onychectomy) under general anesthesia. It entails removal of the first digit (digitectomy). It's like you having your toes and fingers removed at the first joint, i.e. a radical phalangectomy. Cats are very dexterous, and this operation essentially eliminates their dexterity, greatly reducing ...


Declawing Handout for Shelters

2017: THIS OFFER IS STILL VALID! To help shelters and rescues educate potential adopters about declawing, Little Big Cat has prepared this free handout, which can be customized with your organization's logo in place of the picture of the cat. You can copy and paste from this page, or we can produce and send you a file that can easily be reproduced on one sheet of paper (front and back). Please send a copy of your shelter's logo, or a link to the shelter's main web page (usually we can ...


Cats and Claws — Living Happily Ever After

By Jackson Galaxy and Jean Hofve, DVM Claws are a physically, socially, and emotionally vital part of every cat. Scratching, for a cat, is not only a natural act, but a necessary one as well. First, it removes the dead outer sheaths of the nails, keeping the claws sharp and ready for action. Second, it is an essential exercise technique which serves to stretch and strengthen their upper bodies. Third, cats mark their territory visually, especially in multi-cat households, as a way of determining rank. And finally, between your cat's ...

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