We used to believe that declawing cats saved their lives. We feared that cats with claws would be turned in to the shelters in record numbers, and that we were doing a good thing by making cats more likely to stay in their homes.
As it turns out, the numbers do not bear this out. When areas have stopped declawing, the number of surrendered cats actually dropped. This left us with a question. We know that even under the best of circumstances, a declaw is a major and painful surgery, (and no less so when it is performed with a laser, by the way.) It is an amputation of the end of the cat’s “finger,” not just the removal of the claw itself. And even when performed perfectly, can have life-long complications.
So we wondered, if we weren’t saving cats, and this procedure can be painful to cats, why were we doing this? Although we know furniture destruction can be a problem, it can almost always be prevented with the right techniques. Besides, when it comes down to it, as veterinarians, our main concern is the cats, not the couches. We have to do what is best for our patients.
When cats start walking on their balls then we will start believing the NJVMA’s spokesvet Dr Yurkus and his animal hospital that declawing isn’t more painful than neutering.
Meanwhile, the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ policy on declawing states:
“Physically, regardless of the method used, onychectomy causes a higher level of pain than spays and neuters. Patients may experience both adaptive and maladaptive pain; in addition to inflammatory pain, there is the potential to develop long-term neuropathic or central pain if the pain is inadequately managed during the perioperative and healing periods.” [AAFP Policy Statement on Declawing, 2007.]
Declawing changes the conformation and weight-bearing characteristics of a cat’s paws. This paper graphically shows these physical changes.
February 2023 Update. Dr Michael Yurkus, 2017-18 President of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association, is still declawing cats according to an employee at his hospital, Middletown Animal Hospital. An employee at this hospital said that declawing is a very painful elective procedure like if a human is getting plastic surgery. Researcher asked if it […]
It’s also sad to me to know how uneducated and lied to some people of the world are because the vets don’t tell them what declawing really is or no one else ever did.
You shouldn’t even be allowed to call yourself a vet if you do this to cats.
You’re supposed to love, protect, and heal these animals, and if you go into the vet field with the mindset that this is okay, you do not belong in it.
Just like the tobacco companies did in the 30’s and 40’s for smoking, the veterinary profession started deceiving cat owners in the 50’s to believe that declawing was humane.
The veterinary associations and pro-declaw veterinarians are still perpetuating these lies and deception about declawing so that they can keep making money from this very inhumane procedure.
Let’s thank the NYSVMS for reminding us that we must use our VOICES and EDUCATE the public and CAT OWNERS that DECLAWING is ANIMAL AB– USE and that we must protect all cats from LICENSED VETs who are doing this mutilating and inhumane procedure!
Purina’s Yesterday’s News cat litter is purchased and recommended by most veterinarians who declaw cats, as their go to, post-surgical litter for declawing.
Sadly, around 2 million cats a year in America are declawed. That’s a lot of sales of Yesterday’s News cat litter from this very harmful and inhumane procedure.
If Purina donated just 50 cents from every sale of Yesterday’s News litter to the cause to end declawing OR used that money to make educational videos about why cats need their toes and claws, it would save hundreds and thousands of cats from going through this very inhumane procedure.
It would show that Purina truly cares about helping to end this horrific and unnecessary procedure that is done to millions of cats in North America mostly for the welfare of a sofa.
The AVMA position statement on declawing is purposely deceiving.
The AVMA says that there are no studies that show that declawed cats have more behavior problems when compared to a control group.
The AVMA’s intention is to make it sound like there is no evidence that declawed cats have more behavior problems but, the reality is that there really are NO STUDIES, (meaning none have been published), that compare declawed cats to those in a control group.
Isn’t that the most super slimy way to deceive people?!?
Why would they do that?
Photo is from an AAHA hospital with American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) vets, that declaws cats with their laser, tells cat owners there are no long term negative consequences from this inhumane procedure, suggests declaws with neuter surgeries to first time cat owners, doesn’t offer any behavior advice for scratching issues and cats, doesn’t suggest scratching posts or Soft Paws (they have a section on their website called “Behavioral Medicine” with a photo of a dog with a torn up pillow and say they help with behavior issues.)
They say their laser declaws aren’t painful, and say that it’s $199 for the front declaw, and they say, “doing it by a laser doesn’t hurt them as much as it used to when they used to just pull them (claws) out and it hurt them more.”