This is turning out to be a cat-themed week, but can you really blame me? I learned a lot about cats while adopting Steve, and I want to share some of that information.
Like information about declawing.
I haven’t written about it before, since I thought enough people knew it’s an awful procedure. However, after adopting Steve, I found out I knew people who didn’t know how bad it is. Really, this article was inspired by my need to make sure people know how horrible declawing is.
I’ll start with the most important and basic bit of information: declawing is amputation. The surgery removes the first knuckle of each toe, which leaves the paw looking “stunted,” like Steve’s.
Even without knowing all of the potential medical problems that declawing could cause, I knew a procedure like that is awful. But in case you’re still on the fence, here are some more reasons you should never declaw your cat:
- Their balance becomes messed up. Without his front paws to help him navigate, Steve is much more prone to falling when trying to climb places, and he can’t pull himself onto surfaces.
- They lose ability to defend themselves. Declawed cats should never be allowed outside because of this. Even if they still have their back paws intact, they’re at a severe disadvantage. That can prove fatal.
- Declawing means a higher chance for arthritis when they begin to age. Yes, cats can also suffer from arthritis. That cat is more likely to if it’s been declawed.
- There’s a chance for infection or other complications. The older your cat is when it gets declawed, the higher these chances. Declawing is already fairly expensive and painful for the cat, so you run the risk of subjecting them to more pain by doing this.
This information either came from my observations of Steve versus the non-declawed cats I’ve had, the kind people at our local shelter, and our vet. While my observations obviously aren’t universal, I would like to believe that our shelter and vet know what they’re talking about.