Of the controversies that exist surrounding the animal world, declawing is probably one of the biggest. Some rescues refuse to adopt out to a family that intends to declaw a cat. Others feel if the cat gets a good home its worth it.
First of all what exactly is declawing?
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language has two definitions:
1. To remove the claws from
2. and this one I found vastly entertaining:
To strip of power, potency or strength; make harmless or less threatening
Why do I find this entertaining?
Back when I was--I was going to say young and stupid--but lets change that to much younger and less educated. I had my cat declawed. It wasn't the choice I preferred but I rented and Bruce was a tiger among cats. He actually clawed chunks out of the wall. So I really felt like I had no other choice. But declawing Bruce didn't slow him down one bit. Where the stupid comes in, he was an indoor-outdoor cat. A declawed cat outdoors, you gasp, and rightly so. Now why I find the 'strip of power' definition entertaining. He may not have had claws or, ahem, balls, but he acted as if he had both. If any dogs wondered into the yard, he would jump on their backs and ride them out.
Another little side story. A big dog wandered into our yard and I was afraid for Bruce so I scooped him up and put him inside then when I tried to open the door to get in myself the dog jumped on my back. I was positioned in such a way the door was opened a crack but I couldn't get it open the rest of the way. I really don't think the dog would have hurt me, but I was scared and both animals sensed it. Bruce shot out of the house and ran the dog off.
Another time, my daughter wondered out into a cornfield when she was quite young and wouldn't answer when my husband called for her. The only way he found her was because Bruce stayed right beside her and whenever my husband called, the cat would meow and eventually that's how she was found. Bruce may have been stripped of claws but never power.
But back to declawing.
Declawing is a surgical procedure where the last joint in the front 'toes' are removed. Laser declawing is also available. Laser declawing causes less bleeding and automatically seals the nerves and vessels. Is it better? I honestly don't know. I've only seen one cat that had laser surgery, and that was several years ago, and there were complications.
Is declawing something I would do today? No. My personal reasons are because its not safe if a cat gets out of the house. I've found that using the cardboard scratching pads works like a charm for our cats. I also keep cat clippers on hand and trim down their claws.
Would I adopt a cat out to a family that was going to declaw? If I thought that cat would end up in a loving forever home, yes. Millions of wonderful felines end up in gas chambers each year because there aren't enough homes to go around, because all pets owners aren't as responsible as you are when it comes to spaying and neutering your pet.
I've given you my thoughts on declawing. What are yours?
And by the way, in spite of our lapse in judgment in letting him out, Bruce lived to the ripe old age of seventeen.
Shameless self promotion.
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