A Declawed Cat’s Story

Many, many thanks to our friend Barry for this saga. Unlike most pet parents and veterinarians, he was astute enough to truly see and understand what declawing has done to his adopted kitty, Spark. I asked him to share his experience to all of our readers, and we are proud to present it here. I have had pets my whole life. Most often that has been cats or dogs, but growing up on a farm I learned respect for all life. I take the responsibility of pets very seriously. I educate myself ...

2018-05-23T22:57:50-07:00

Anti-Declawing Handbook for Cat Lovers

Good news! We are getting closer every day to stopping declawing! To help cat lovers and animal advocates understand the truth about declawing that so many veterinarians lie about, Dr. Jean has written a detailed, fully-referenced e-book called the Cat Lover's Anti-Declawing Handbook, updated as of February 21, 2020. Click here to download the free PDF (Automatic download) Please download freely, and send to anyone who needs it. Give it to your veterinarian; send it to your legislators! The file is less than 6 MB, so it should be accepted ...

2020-03-11T10:43:47-07:00

City the Kitty

This handsome fellow is City the Kitty. As a magnificently polydactyl (many-toed) cat, he has a special abhorrence for declawing! City--along with his mom, biographer, and photographer, Lori--works tirelessly to educate people and stop declawing. That's not an easy job, with months-old twin babies at home to safeguard (not to mention, keep an eye on!). To help fund his efforts, City has published a beautiful book of photos that, for just $14.99, he will personally pawtograph for you! Please consider supporting this effort! City is quite the character... here is ...

2017-08-07T10:53:27-07:00

Rare Cats, Common Cats, and Declawing

There are some 38 feline species in the world, including the domestic cat. Many are rare, and some are so incredibly elusive they're almost never seen and little is known about them. This video highlights 10 of these exquisite, small wild cats: My mammalogy professor was fond of saying that if you "undress" any cat, the underlying animal is virtually identical across all sizes and species. Sure, there are a few functional adaptations here and there, like the non-retractable claws and large nose of the cheetah, but as the saying goes, "A cat's a ...

2018-06-09T13:51:39-07:00

Declawing: A Rational Look

By Jean Hofve, DVM There are few feline issues as controversial as declawing. There is a great deal of myth and misinformation out there about it. If you are considering having this surgery performed on your cat, or if a veterinarian has suggested it, please read this article first to learn more about this major surgical procedure. Isn't it worth a few minutes of your time to make sure that you make a rational and informed decision? Declawing is not a simple or routine surgery. It should never be done ...

2016-11-19T12:31:11-07:00

Declawing and Science

This summary presents the main arguments against a legal ban on declawing (of cats and other animals), and the documented, scientific facts about each one—as opposed to the opinions expressed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and various other individuals and organizations. Public opinion is subject to change; and the change is now moving in favor of more humane treatment of all animals. The veterinary profession is finally getting clued in, having added "animal welfare" to its Veterinarian's Oath late in 2010 (41 years after it was first written). The inertia ...

2016-08-30T20:10:42-07:00

Physical Consequences of Declawing

Declawing changes the way the cat's paws function, and this creates stress on the joints of the paw, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and spine. The cat's gait changes, as weight is shifted backward from the toes to the large rear pad of the paw. Research has demonstrated that, after declawing, cats shift their entire weight more toward the hind legs. This is quite a feat, considering that the front legs normally bear about 60% of the cat's entire weight. Within 6 months or so, normal weight distribution among the four legs ...

2013-08-11T10:29:52-07:00

Declawing Alternatives

By Jean Hofve, DVM All reasons for non-medical declawing have non-surgical alternatives. There are many humane choices will still protect both human and feline health, as well as sofas and Persian rugs: Scratching posts, mats, corrugated cardboard, logs, softwood boards, sisal rope Training (yes, cats CAN be trained!) Regular claw-trimming Rotary sanders (Peticure, Dremel) Nail caps (SoftPaws, Soft Claws) Emery scratching boards (Emerycat) Double-sided sticky tape (Sticky Paws) Non-stick furniture protectors (Corner Savers, Fresh Kitty Furniture Protectors) Pet repellent sprays Access restriction (upside-down vinyl rug runner) Remote aversive devices (ScatMat, ...

2017-02-21T15:19:01-07:00

Declawing: A Physical Therapist Assistant’s Perspective

Thanks so much to by Ruth Y. for letting us post her great article about the long-term physical effects of declawing! (Originally posted at Pictures-of-Cats.org). There are many good reasons to be against declawing, but the most persuasive are perhaps those which deal with the changes in a cat's functional mobility and the potential for arthritis later in life. I suppose these are the reasons that speak to me because I work as a physical therapist assistant. I recently entered this field, in part because I enjoyed a course in anatomy and ...

2012-07-02T15:15:53-07:00

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 ...

2012-07-04T14:09:18-07:00

No Milk Today

It's true that cats love milk. Most cats will drink it if you let them. And who hasn't shared a little milk with their feline friend now and then? So, what's the problem? Cow's milk is not a natural food for any cat. Even kittens, who naturally drink nothing but milk for the first few weeks of their lives, specifically need milk that is higher in protein, certain fats, and other nutrients, than the stuff we get from dairy cows. In other words, the only milk they need is the ...

2019-06-30T13:40:30-07:00

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 ...

2016-03-04T13:45:56-07:00

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 ...

2016-12-23T14:57:49-07:00

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 ...

2012-07-02T15:58:11-07:00

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 ...

2013-08-11T10:40:55-07:00
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