When I was a kid (long, long ago) pretty much everyone with a house cat declawed it so there would be no worries about furniture and carpet and drapes being ruined. People loved their cats, and they had no idea there was more of a downside than leaving the poor thing defenseless if it ever got left outside.
Now we know that cats that are declawed often suffer intense and sometimes lasting negative effects that can impact their quality of life for years to come – and many other countries have already banned the practice.
Does Reddit have any good reason for not doing the same in the US? Let’s find out!
13. What about the other animals?
In New Zealand at least, I’m with Gareth Morgan. House cats are an invasive species and if they aren’t being outright culled then they should be at the very most be declawed and at the very least be kept on leashes.
Cats shouldn’t be protected, they are having such a massive negative effect on endemic species. If you keep them and allow them outside, be responsible for the environment you are releasing them into and have them declawed.
12. It’s better than putting a cat to sleep.
As you’ve mentioned, many countries have made declawing illegal, and the arguments against declawing are fairly well established.
The American Vet Medical Assoc. is against declawing but they are also against the banning of it, they think declawing is a valid last option is the owner’s alternative is putting the cat down.
11. Destruction is kind of what you signed up for.
I don’t get it either.. I mean sometimes that’s just what having a pet/cat is like. It’s an animal.
It may shed fur everywhere, puke on your bed, shit on your carpet, wake you up in the middle of the night and scratch on your furniture.. that’s to be expected.
10. There are alternatives.
This source you linked does not mention declawing as an alternative to euthanizing. It does address that there are other alternatives to declawing. Amva discourages it but ultimately leaves it to the vets discretion.
I think Germany takes a better approach, both declawing and euthanizing (except for medical reasons) are illegal.
9. Anecdotal evidence.
They can be taught not to scratch in certain areas
How many cats have you owned dude? Cats DGAF.
I think most people are just lazy and don’t want to bother with alternatives
I have a cat. I have had cats all my life. Where I came from in rural PA, declawing was done alongside sterilization. It was the default setting for every cat. And you know, I never once saw a negative outcome. Perhaps my cats were lucky, but the two of them racked up over 40 kills in our backyard without claws. They brought home birds, mice, squirrels, even the occasional rabbit.
We had a batch of kittens, declawed and sterilized them all, and they all turned out just fine. Even went back a decade later and saw one of them. I find it hard to believe a quarter of cats are limping when every cat I grew up around was fine.
So it’s not about laziness to me. It’s about the fact that I have yet to see any negative results from declawing. Like, if I went and declawed the cat I have now (I live in Peru and vets won’t do it) and she came home gimpy and was never the same, I’d feel devastated and completely change my mind.
8. Because more people might want them?
You didn’t include in your OP how many cats are put down.
Many people have an aversion to cats because cats are naturally self sufficient and can lash out when handled improperly.
That said, it may increase the amount of people who want them without the threat of physical harm or harm to property by this animal.
7. They still love cats, but…
Yes I agree, sometimes people want to enjoy the benefit of having pets, but they failed to consider the wellbeing of their pets. I think people should be prepared to accept the fact that having a pet will bring them “trouble” sometimes.
On another hand, I have friends who adopt cats from the shelters – they really want to give the cats a home and they are kind people who do not want the cats to be destroyed, but they really don’t have time to train or trimmed the cats so they just simply get the cats declawed.
6. It’s not always terrible.
Your “aggressive” article is a summary of a research paper. The data in the actual paper shows that botched surgery cats were more aggressive (understandably, they were in pain) while properly declawed cats were less aggressive than non declawed cats. Admittedly, the numbers were small.
There are many ways to attempt to detour cats. Success rates vary greatly.
5. It can be done humanely.
The procedure can be done with a laser, is far less traumatic surgically and provides a far better post-op outcome. I’m not a proponent for casual de-clawing, but if there is a compelling exception to be made in, say, the owner of a cat that is immunocompromised, or hemophiliac and literally cannot afford any cat scratches/infection.
4. You get what you get.
If we are talking statistically overall, then idk the answer, however I’m going to be speaking anecdotally.
My parents declawed their cat (since then they’ve regretted the decision every day). The cat is harmless, gentle, and an affectionate cat to anybody.
On the other hand, my cat, is a fucking asshole. One wrong move and you’re covered in scratch marks haha.
However, the declawed cat appears to indeed be traumatized from the declawing. And has many issues regarding it.
I’m all for banning declawing if necessary. I am just saying that declawing her didn’t make her more “vicious”. Meanwhile my cat who isn’t declawed is an absolute demon. But I love her regardless.
3. There will always be exceptions.
Well, I knew a couple who had a cat they loved but it started to suffer from dementia and would claw the shit out of people with no warning or provocation, and they chose declawing instead of putting it down.
I’m normally against declawing but that made sense to me.
2. One vet’s opinion.
I realize this is a very emotional debate, and have used a burner account for this reason.
I think declawing cats shouldn’t be done without careful consideration of the alternatives, but much of the debate regarding this topic has been using hyperbolic misconstrued data.
Yes, it is amputation of the last digit, which means that if the claws regrow, there was a complete surgical failure. A botched surgery does not have good results, no matter what the surgery. You could argue against spays, neuters and any surgery claiming poorly done procedures have bad results.
The study everyone points to that claimed to show cats were more likely to be aggressive was misconstrued. Cats who had a botched surgery were more likely to be aggressive. Cats who has the surgery dome properly were LESS likely to bite than undeclawed cats. Undeclawed cats are definitely more likely to be abandoned outside or to a shelter, which the adoption rates are not great.
Yes, I’m a vet. I have had many clients who are older and on blood thinners who had a choice of declaw or give the cat up. Many people with newborns are in similar positions when the cat is curious. Cat posts, clipping claws and claw caps just don’t work for some cats. And having a 90 year old grandma have her one companion taken away is barbaric unto itself.
I’ve been practicing 25 years, and in 24 years I’ve had 1 cat limp for a few months post surgery. That cat is now running and jumping normally. Admittedly, I am very specific on how it is done, and we focus very heavily on pain control for all procedures, and even more so for declaws. Yes they are very sore for a few days. My personal cat is declawed and uses his front feet to need, jump down, and swat or puppy constantly without hesitation.
Now, I specifically left out my first year of practice. They don’t teach declaws in schools or CE, so you are left being taught by someone else. My teacher was not the greatest, and my first few did not go well. It is awful that such a critical procedure for saving the homes of many cats can’t be taught due to emotion.
And yes, it is “barbaric” to think or amputating all the tips of your fingers. Having said that, if my choice was amputation or death or permanent isolation from my family, my new nickname would be “Stubby.”
1. Where is the line?
Edit: forgot to mention spay and neuter as other surgical mods that we are okay with. These procedures may hurt the animal long term as well.
Since this is change my view and all the top comments are against declawing, let me play Devil’s advocate (I like cats).
Cats, like dogs, are a wild animal domesticated and breed by humans. We kill and eat and skin other domesticated animals. We brand and surgically modify them as well. Besides the emotional attachment we have to our pets, why do we treat them differently than pigs, or cows or rabbits? Animals are used by humans in all kinds of inhumane ways.
If you don’t like declawing because it’s cruel, don’t eat meat, or wear leather, or drive cars (cars have many animal parts, even things besides leather seats. ) declawing is a way humans domesticate animals and modify them to their needs.
Is the at cruel? Is keeping a cat in a small apartment cruel? They aren’t free, is tagging them with a chip cruel? Ect ect. . So where do we draw the line?
(I like cats and am against declawing.)
I have to say, this seems like a no-brainer.
What about you? Are you passionate about changing this?
Tell us why or why not in the comments!