I have something very serious to discuss with you today. I know most of you who visit me on my blog are already against declawing cats and know it is wrong. But last week, my human went to see a documentary called The Paw Project, and Jennifer Conrad, DVM, the veterinarian and director responsible for it answered questions after the screening — and she pointed out some cold, hard facts that I think you should know! And it is up to me to tell you because a lot of veterinarians out there won’t.
There are studies that found out every one of the items on this list. They are not made up. Some come from veterinary journals, so I don’t understand why some vets will not acknowledge them.
- A third of cats who are declawed suffer one or more behavioral problems after being declawed. This is from a report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA).
- Another article from the JAVMA found that declawed cats were more (not less) likely to be relinquished to a pound, and that out of all cats taken to the pound, more than 50% declawed cats were said to avoid the litter box. Only 29.1% of non-declawed cats were said to have this same issue.
- Forgotten Felines and Friends of Caddo Parish in Louisiana conducted a survey in 2003 and found that 70% of cats taken to shelters for behavioral problems were declawed. A Delaware animal shelter did a similar survey and put the number at 75%.
- Up to one half of cats have acute complications right after a declaw surgery. Longterm complications from declawing are reported in about one-fifth of cats — this according to another JAVMA article.
For more information, you can go to the Paw Project’s website — there is lots to pour through there.
The bottom line is that declawing is painful and potentially crippling procedure. That last fact about longterm complications? Those were things like nail and bone regrowth and lameness. It did not include things like arthritis, phantom pain, or death from a cat escaping outside and not being able to defend herself against predators. Or cats being taken to a shelter because they started biting or refused to use the litter box after their declaw. Do not let anyone tell you declawing is no big deal. It is a very bad deal for both cats and the humans who live with them!
The Paw Project is a very thorough and well-done film about the fight to outlaw declawing in one of the few first-world countries that still allows it — the United States. It was a big fight, but the anti-declaw movement was successful in getting eight cities in California to ban declawing. That includes San Francisco and Los Angeles, so population-wise, this is actually a lot! But the battle is still going on everywhere else, and sadly, there are veterinary organizations that are trying to stop the no-declaw movement. These organizations have way more money than those who want to ban declawing, so it is tough going. Fortunately, humans are starting to wake up to what declawing really means, and how much it harms cats.
My human has been against declawing her whole life, and she and I want to help the Paw Project bring its message all over the U.S.! So I’ve created this tote bag for sale at my Zazzle shop:
From now until the end of the year, my human is going to donate 100% of the royalties from this tote bag to the Paw Project. I am aiming to sell at least 20 of them in that time — it’s not a huge amount, but it makes a statement. Can you help spread the word? And can you help spread the word about the Paw Project? It’s important that everyone knows about it!
Ragdoll mommy says
We have ALWAYS been against declawing!!!
Great post! I’ll share on Saturday!!!
Rascal and Rocco says
I will share it on my next Monday Matters post. Thanks for acting to save kitties claws! Very important indeed!
Texas, a cat in... Austin says
We’re all anti-declawing in my house too. Declawing is a barbaric practice!
Great post! My mum and I are against declawing too. In the UK where we live it is illegal so we cannot understand why in the US it isn’t. It’s torture!
Have shared your post on twitter and pinterest.
We shared your very educational and informative article on our s/n pages, with love and *PRAYERS* that anyone out there who is ignorant will READ IT and get hip to the truth. DECLAWING is BAD for EVERYONE. When we run across someone who talks it up, we want to rip ’em a new one. With our SHARP, SHARP CLAWS. 😡
Nat Ã Chat says
I really cannot understand that, in the 21st century, a civilized country still allows declawing. It is a torture.
I am french and happy that it is forbidden here !
My little blue lady and her “sister” are so happy with … all their claws. They really do agree with you Sparkle.
Fur Everywhere says
The mom will try to get a bag before the end of the year, but isn’t sure she can because she has to make a lot of sacrifices for her dental surgery to get done. 🙁 She hopes you continue to sell it in the new year when she knows she will be able to get one.
My mom would never have declawed me, but the rescue she got me from – Every Creature Counts – makes their adopters sign a no-declaw contract. She is glad that they do this to protect all the babies from that rescue.
Mom was shocked when she first heard about how painful declawing is for kitties. Hers is very against declawing babies due to all the pain it causes them.
We will share your post on our Facebook page. It is a very important cause, indeed!
Spitty the Kitty says
Our friend Fritzie (the beautiful orange boy the Human kittysitted for over the weekend) was declawed as a young cat (NOT by his current Dad, I hasten to add!). He’s about 12 now, and fortunately he is a happy, loving, well adjusted indoor-only kitty who thankfully did not suffer any long-term bad effects. But it makes the Human a little sad to look at his little front feet–they seem very small for his size, since probably 1/3 of each toesie is gone, and they are oddly square-ish.
Still she is happy that he has a fantastic life and is one of the most loving cats she knows. We are totally in support of the Paw Project and we think we’ll buy one of those bags when the Human gets some more green papers on the 1st 😉
Thank you and your human for bringing attention to the barbaric practice of declawing. It is cruel and EVIL, and it is horrible that it has not been outlawed here in the U.S. We will share!
Amen, Sparkle! It drives me CRAZY when I hear about people declawing!! My neighbor wants to declaw her kitty, but I helped sew covers for her sofa to save Vinnie’s nails instead. I hope it works.
Cathy Keisha says
When TW was a wee less, she brought a kitten home from a neighbor’s house. They knew nothing about cat care but what they were told which was at 6 months you took the cat to get spayed and declawed. Gramma did that. When Faith came home with little casts on her front paws, Gramma cried. She vowed she’s NEVER do that to a cat again and she never did. Faith didn’t have any of those behavior problems. She was sweet and loving and always used the box. When TW was older, one of her BFFs was a vet tech who told her about declawing being amputation. Now, armed with the facts, she’s been trying to educate her friends who even suggest it.
Angel Abby says
It’s cruel it should never be done. I cannot fathom why anyone who loves their cat could ever consider this torture.
Declawing is an evil practice which has long been banned in the UK. It amazes me that a country like the US still allows it. It amazes me even more that vets whose job is to heal animals and save lives are willing to perform an act of torture on defenseless cats. They of all people should know better, but I assume it is a matter of putting money before welfare.
Fraidy Kats! says
The Paw Project’s website is a great resource for information on declawing. Some of the videos they have of big cats that were declawed and their deformed paws as a result – so sad 🙁 We’ve had a link to them on our blog. Your tote is really cool, Sparkle. We’ll add that to our cart when we get your calendar 🙂
Pip, Smidgen, Minnie, HOllie
Sue Brandes says
No declawing at our house. I shared where I could Sparkle. That is a great bag.
Toby & Leia says
Everybody in THIS house is 100% anti declawing! Horrible practice.
We didn’t know about the Paw Project but what a great cause and we love your tote bag! We know that back in the day a lot of people didn’t really understand what declawing actually meant so it was done quite a bit but these days you’d think that’d be different. We’re glad you’re helping spread the word. We have all our claws and we don’t destroy anything in the house unless it’s for us like our cat tree or scratchers so there’s NO excuse for declawing to continue!
Loupi and Zorro says
OMC ! We cannot believe that declawing is still allowed in the USA, a self-claimed “modern country” ! Declawing is completely outlawed here in Switzerland, and Mum was, is, and still will be totally against it. We donâ€™t understand why people declaw their cats : what remains of the felinity without claws ? And what a pain for the cat ! Paws up for you and your mom Sparkle ! We will spread the word. Purrs
The Woman worked for a vet who insisted that declawing was okay. Of course they also docked tails and ears too–which is hardly ever done any longer and fortunately they stopped doing ears about a year or so after she started working there.
Someone said it’s hard to talk about declawing. Well one reason is that people are often told by their vets to do this thing and then others start saying how horrible you are for declawing your cat. It’s a catch 22 when it comes to educating because those who have done it, and have learned because of behavioral problems will never do it again but they get judged by those who start acting as if they are the problem. As owners, they are rarely the problem. They probably got advice from their healthcare provider, who should know, about what to do. This means it’s really really important for those who have made the choice to declaw to come out and say, Hey I did that. Didn’t work out so well not just for other PEOPLE, but for their veterinarians so they can stop recommending the procedure.
Fortunately most shelters talk about declawing and why you shouldn’t do it, but still, some vets argue with that wisdom.
Austin Towers says
This is so important. Thank you for sharing, though it is hard to read! I am spreading the word!
That is such important information Sparkle. I feel so bad for 3 of my sisters who came to us already declawed.
what a horrible thing to do to a kitty,xx Speedy
Famous SpokesGoat Pricilla says
The publicist shared this on her pinterest page for you Sparkle.
Back in the olden days Fred was declawed because the male person said no claws or no Fred. He was VERY destructive. Fortunately Fred never showed any behavioral issues at all and acted like all of the other cats in the house. He never showed any signs at all that he had not claws. He still scratched at all of the furniture and he was his old self. The publicist will never do it again though.
Down with the declaw!! The bags are super cool! Thanks for posting about this. It’s so important for people to know! – Crepes.
I’m totally against declawing. Some people simply don’t know how cruel it is. It’s really important to educate people what declawing does to kitties. Great post to get words out and raise awareness!
It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? It’s about laziness and humans thinking they are some kind of superior creature that all other living creatures are here to serve and amuse them and they have no responsibility to meeting other living creatures on their terms – it’s all about the humans needs, wants, comforts. Pisses me off…
Clarissa & Co. says
Our mom is totally against declawing kitties. Our sister, Lily Rose, was adopted from The Ky Humane Society. She is a total declawed kitty. Yes, her former guardian(s) had all four of her paws declawed. Mom was told that Lily Rose was “found” on somebody’s front porch and was turned in as a stray cat. We are very lucky to have her as our sister, although she really doesn’t like us. She growls and swats at us if we get too close! On the other paw, she adores people and is not a biter. She does go outside of the litterbox (mom as seen her do it). Mom just cleans up the floor and goes on. She loves Lily very much and Lily love her.
Katnip Lounge says
The Mommy Here: Back when I was ignorant I had a kitty declawed. I say “ignorant” because that’s exactly what I was, neither the vet or anyone else informed me that it was such a cruel, painful procedure. Max later had litterbox issues, thankfully we had a huge pole barn that he happily adjusted to, and went on to live to 19 years old. Our Sylvester is declawed, and a two-time returnee from the vet–he pees inappropriately. I’ve tried all kinds of litter but I think it hurts his paws. I compromised with him–he pees on an incontinence pad and poops in the box, without having to scratch around and cover. Poor boy, some days he limps, too. Kudos to you Sparkle, to help get the word out. And I’m going to see where my vet stands on declawing, and speak with my wallet from now on. Great idea.
Savannah's Paw Tracks says
I am on this. Will share and do a post. And support the project. Great post Sparkle!
Random Felines says
we are glad you are taking a stand. while we won’t deny an application for someone saying they are going to declaw, mom uses it as a good way to educate people and she says that she believes she has changed a few minds once she explains the process. and our rescue vet….they WILL NOT declaw – no matter what!!
What a great post. We are so against declawing. I am going to do a post about this too later on. It is so criminal to declaw the cat. I have been told that the declawed cat will start biting as an alternative.
Kitties Blue says
Mom had her first kitty, Skooter, declawed (front paws only) back in the mid-eighties. She didn’t know any better at the time but has always regretted that she did it. Luckily, he didn’t develop any behavior problems. She has never declawed a kitty since and now gets so upset when she hears that somebody has done that to their kitty. She finds that they are usually ignorant of the facts about it. What a major step for LA and SF. Hope this project can save other kitties from this fate. Thank you so much for sharing. Have a furry good week. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Misty May, Mauricio, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette
Caren Gittleman says
we are sooooooooo against declawing! Happily shared all over!
Sparkle, well done for shouting out about what a vile and cruel procedure declawing is. Not many people know that it is actually an amputation of the third digital phalanx bone in the cat toe. The vets don’t tell them. Nor do they tell them about the 4th degree internal burns cause by so called “painless laser declawing”
Declawing is often advertised as a package with vaccinations, spay/neuter at discounted prices too. “$5 per claw” was one billboard campaign. Kittens as young as ten weeks are declawed, before they have even learned to use their claws. This is so shameful.
Vets who declaw never mention the special care that a declawed kitty needs either. Many cats bleed out or get terrible infections because of this. The trauma can be lifelong, the mental and physical pain it causes cats is never acceptable.
Even Israel has banned declawing. At the last count 39 countries worldwide had banned it!
In the UK declawing has ALWAYS BEEN BANNED. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons who are the governing body for vets in the UK always had it as a banned procedure and up until The Animal Welfare Act of 2006 it was listed on their section on “mutilations”
Elective Declawing has never been allowed in the UK – EVER! This is the truth and can easily be verified by contacting the RCVS.
Declawing is also banned in the rest of the EU now formalised under the European Directive on Animal Welfare 2007.
It makes me and the Ape sad to see that so many loving cat owners of the blogosphere (who would never declaw their kitties) use vets that still declaw cats and cripple them for life. Maybe they can’t find vets who don’t declaw? Vote with your feet and your dollars people! Tell your vets that declawing is totally unacceptable. Find a vet who does not mutilate cats for any reason. Encourage your vets to educate people about all the alternatives available, how to set up a cat friendly home, how to train kitties to scratch in appropriate places.
Being able to scratch is as essential to a cat as it is for a human to be able to blink.
Most declawed cats don’t make it out of shelters. They are killed due to the behaviours that declawing caused. They are deemed unadoptable. We know a few very kind bloggers who have welcomed declawed kitties into their homes and they are wonderful people.
Once a few years ago there was a massive ruckus on the CB about declawing. It was not pretty. People are scared to talk about it. They shouldn’t be. Knowledge grows the longer we are on this earth. We now know that cats need claws, they are essential to their beautiful lives. You don’t need to take your cat and dump it at a shelter or have the vet who declawed all four of its gorgeous paws, kill it because you have a new baby. With proper understanding of the cat’s behaviour, humans and cats with claws can live safely and happily together. Would anyone cut off the fingers of a toddler because it used a crayon on the wall? Of course they wouldn’t.
It seems that many people who insist it is their right to have their cats crippled by declawing, believe myths such as those that say a cat who is going to live with the elderly or be around children should be declawed because the cat might scratch them. The cat is more likely to bite when declawed and a bite is more serious. This is crazy talk. In the UK our Accident and Emergency Units are not full of elderly folk or children who have been ripped up by cat claws.
Sparkle we give you extra props for being brave and speaking out against this cruelty. The PAW Project rocks and we love to see their work being promoted.
If you don’t like claws, don’t get a cat.
The paw of a cat is the eighth wonder of the world.
Mungo & The Ape
Feline Yogi says
My human saw this film many months ago. It’s a must-see for everyone. We are big supporters of the de-clawing movement in this household and will definitely help get the word out! Meow and Namaste! ~ Pippy the Feline Yogini
The Island Cats says
We’re totally against declawing and the mom tries to educate those that may not know how bad it is for us kitties. Good luck with the sale of those bags! And we’ll get the word out!!
Madi and Mom says
Sparkle thank you for this post
Hugs Madi your bfff
The Poupounette Gang says
We totally agree with Hannah and Lucy, and simply do not understand why it is still allowed in the States.
The Paw Relations says
Declawing was completely outlawed here in the UK in 2006. However before that time it wasn’t as popular as it has been in the USA. We don’t understand why people still feel the need to declaw their cats. The woman says that 99.9% of the time she and anyone in the house has been scratched by a cat it was their own silly fault.
Sometimes, Cats Herd You says
We are so glad that the word is getting out about declawing. The head peep had declawed cats in the house when she was growing up, and the recovery was just awful. She can’t imagine putting cats through that, but people just don’t understand. Education is key.
Declawing is utterly vile and I cannot see any reason ever to do this to any animal not least a cat with their super-sensitive paws. Amputating a human’s fingers for such a spurious reason is rightly counted as torture.
Any owner who thinks this is acceptable should be made to have the equivalent human operation on their fingers and toes done first just to see if they still think it is a good idea before inflicting it on an animal they have responsibility for.
With you all the way Sparkle.
The Kitties of Purring Pines says
Great project! We’re against declawing too!
A terrific project. If you email me a succinct ad, I’ll Share on Facebook.
Hannah and Lucy says
The humans that do that to their cats should have their finger nails pulled out without pain relief. Declawing is CRUEL.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx
Tillie and Georgia says
That is a great bag for a great cause Sparkle!!
We agree, NO Declawing!
Purrs Tillie and Georgia,
Treasure,Tiger, JJ and Julie