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Declawing- The Truth

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 The Truth About Declawing- And All Elective Procedures, For That Matter.

An Atypical Perspective written by Betty of Darling Dolls Cattery.

Elective- as defined by dictionary.com: ..beneficial to the patient but not essential for survival. open to choice; optional; not required…

So many breeders, most of them, are against declawing. Having worked in the veterinary field for 10 years and counting, having seen HUNDREDS of patients recovering from this procedure moments, days and some even years after. Having it performed on a kitten of my own, I can with full confidence support this procedure.

Did you know that JUST like declawing, spays and neuters are ELECTIVE procedures? This means that while it may be of a benefit to the animal, it is HUMAN CHOICE and not critical to the animal’s survival. Society has gladly welcomed spaying and neutering with open hands in today’s world in an effort to combat the animal overpopulation problem. But, mention declawing, and most people have a skewed, unrealistic view on it. Did you know that by supporting declawing you are helping combat pet overpopulation? We think nothing of robbing an animal of it’s testicles or ovaries because this is more convenient to us humans. Is there no pain associated with these procedures?? Are there no risks or possible deaths with anesthesia alone, and furthermore for serious complications afterwards?? I’ve seen ill effects including intestines roll out of the abdominal cavity when a female cat ripped all of her sutures out after a spay- and what about the risk of infection? The truth is- declawing is MUCH LESS risky than a spay- and LESS PAINFUL. Can we really even compare a large incision in the abdominal cavity to the snipping of the end of the last joint on a cats’ toe? Seriously. I’m FOR all of these procedures- but helping to convey a realistic view of exactly what comparison lies here. Spaying certainly has more health benefits to the animal, but both declawing and spaying can have EQUAL BENEFITS TO THE OWNERS.

Consider what would happen if declawing was no longer permitted. Consider the hundreds of thousands of homes for cats provided by elderly individuals. Consider those with medical conditions; the anemic, those taking prescription blood thinners, or those that are especially thin-skinned, just to name a few. These people MUST have their cat de-clawed in order to prevent unnecessary blood loss or bodily harm from the playful kitty at the foot of the bed that has lacerated them while they are sleeping.

Consider another huge population of cat owners; those who rent. Most landlords do not appreciate damage to wood work, carpets, and other household fixtures. What if all of these people were forced to surrender their cats and overfill shelters even more so??

Most scratching done by kittens is playful, most done by adults is territorial/behavioral- only occasionally is it done aggressively. While the opposing might recommend using other tools and tips to avoid declawing- they rarely are a permanent fix. For instance, recommending that you provide your kitty with a sisal covered post, or carpeting turned inside-out so that kitty won’t associate this scratching area with softer materials like carpeting, mattresses and sofas. Honestly, do you think during your long working days your cat is going to ALWAYS use the designated scratching area? Even if he/she had ONE slip-up per day- using the arm of your recliner, imagine the damage after 1 month of once-daily scratching. I promise damage would be easy to detect! Some may suggest Soft-Paws or comparible claw coverings. While these are nice- they are costly, temporary, and often only work as a bandaid to the problem at hand.

I’ve seen HUNDREDS of kittens and cats- ranging from 10 weeks to 14 years- recover from declawing. I would estimate about 90% of them, the next morning, are playfully cuffing out through their kennels for attention- not at all apprehensive. They have NO CLUE they had surgery, let alone were declawed. Some pull their little “booties” off and begin kneading, and purring immediately. If it was REALLY as painful as these extremists say- wouldn’t they at least show a tiny amount of hesitation? Oh, but they are still under the affects of anesthesia, somewhat? What about afterwards, when they are at home? Having had it performed on a kitty myself, Willy, I saw exactly what recovery was like. In one word: UNEVENTFUL. Willy walked around perfectly fine, and did have to adapt to no claws when he went to jump into my lap and dig in as he usually does. He slid, and I caught him. He used his litter box with no hesitation- and even continued to bury his droppings, not reluctant at all. Not once did his paws bleed, or swell. The lies about claws growing back in scary places, while possible, is actually VERY rare. Only if claws are missed or not fully/properly removed will they return. And no, he didn’t develop any gruesome behavioral problems afterwards. He wasn't scarred for life, emotionally distraught of painfully disfigured. He was the same old Willy. He walked the same way, and raced through the house for that matter.

Personally, all the kitties at Darling Dolls Cattery still have their claws. This doesn’t mean that I won’t some day declaw. Especially taking into consideration my pitiful English-style sofa that now has giant holes in it‘s would-be gorgeous arms. And, my upstairs Berber carpeting that is missing patches and unwinding in several areas. Not to mention my wood work in the living room that has become carvings of the cats’ creations. I realize damage with animals is to be expected, but if this can be avoided with a simple, inexpensive declawing procedure that the cat will not remember and will not suffer long term post traumatic stress because of, as those opposing wish for you to believe, where does the harm truly lie? Declawing does not affect a cat's quality of life, at all.

Bottom line- Declawing is a personal choice- just like spaying and neutering. All of these procedures- while having some health benefit to the animals, yes- have MORE benefit to their humans. This is necessary with domestication and civilization, and is inevitable. Support de-clawing, and you’ll prevent thousands of ridiculously unnecessary cat surrenders. SUPPORT DECLAWING AND YOU WILL SUPPORT ANIMAL ADOPTION/RESCUE.

 

The above article is owned by Betty of Darling Dolls Cattery containing her views and opinions. Article may not be used or reproduced without express consent. Please have respect for our work and email for permission to reproduce this article. Contact your veterinarian for more information on this elective procedure.

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