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Debarking, No, Declawing, Yes …?

Posted by at 3:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)


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Crazy cat ladies of America, you have some explaining to do. According to a recent Associated Press poll, 55 percent of cat guardians are in favor of declawing, while only 8 percent of dog fanciers agree with debarking, or surgically removing dogs’ vocal chords.

I can only hope that most of the people who voted for declawing don’t know exactly what it is. Declawing is like taking a hatchet to a hangnail—literally. It involves 10 separate, painful surgeries, severing not just the nails but the whole joint, including the bones, ligaments, and tendons.

Complications of declawing include chronic pain, nerve damage, hemorrhaging, bone chips, recurrent infections, and abnormal regrowth of the nail inside the paw. Oh, and let’s not forget those other two common “complications”—biting and spraying. I’ve had two declawed cats in my life (both were already declawed when they came to me), and one was a biter and the other is a sprayer. Think snagged furniture is the worst of your problems? Try walking into a house that reeks of cat urine. It takes destruction of property to a whole new level.

Not all declawed cats become biters and sprayers, of course, but you have no way of knowing how your cat will react until it’s too late. Declawing is a permanent solution to what is often a temporary problem. Kittens usually outgrow their urge to scale the drapes and attack your wiggling toes. Most cats naturally gravitate toward scratching posts and cardboard scratching boxes, especially if you make them more alluring with catnip and toys. Claws’ destructiveness can be curtailed with biweekly trimming. You trim your dog’s nails—why not your cat’s?

Find more tips on discouraging cats from scratching furniture in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s book 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You.

 The article originally appeared on PETA.org.

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9 Comments

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    Sonya says...

    March 5th, 2011, 3:34 am

    Sorry but the people that wants this doing is not right in the head & should not be allowed to have an animal !!!!!!!!! This would never be allowed in the UK !

    Linda says...

    March 5th, 2011, 6:41 am

    Declawing is terribly cruel and should be outlawed. How can veterinarians mutilate cats like that?

    Renata says...

    March 5th, 2011, 2:01 pm

    Fortunately declawing is fobidden in the UK (as well as debarking) because they are both painful and dangerous mutiliations .

    Judith says...

    March 5th, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Good post. Personally, I’ve never had any of my cat’s declawed and never would.

    Cats are at such a disadvantage when declawed.

    Geri says...

    March 6th, 2011, 6:07 pm

    Declawing should be outlawed.It is cruel and dangerous.Providing places for cats to scratch is a much better idea.

    Licha says...

    March 8th, 2011, 7:47 am

    Seven cats own me. They are all spayed or neutered.Never ,never would I have them declawed. I adopted a cat that was declawed several yrs ago. She got out,neighbors dog busted its chain and went after her. We searched for 2 days and found her at the foot of a tree. She could not climb to save herself and the dog snapped her neck . Declawing, debarking its wrong in worst way !

    Lisa says...

    March 8th, 2011, 3:21 pm

    I do not beleive in declawing OR debarking … PERIOD! How would you like it your nails were pulled out and you had your voice removed??????? I’ve had 6 cats and I’ve never had any of them declawed and they’re fine. I have 3 cat scratching posts and 3 card board scratchers and they use those just fine. When they did scratch the furniture, I researched what I could do to deter them and was able to tackle the situation.

    Mary Jane says...

    March 9th, 2011, 11:52 am

    I can’t believe people still commit these barbaric acts against their pets, that they profess to love. I have 9 cats in my house as well as one large dog who believes he is a cat. We have quite a few scratching posts and trees also. But if the cats get confused and use our couch arm, well we have slipcovers for that.

    Marion says...

    March 9th, 2011, 4:06 pm

    I just can’t believe this. These poor animals. What on earth is the matter with some people, do they not think about the animal or just themselves.

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