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Anti-Amputation

CAUTION!
What you are about to read and see is very hard to digest. I just wanted you to be able to
know the truth about the so called de-claw surgery. It's much more than that.  I'm not some light wieght narrow minded sissy either I'm just an animal lover who leads a very active life that's had several surgeries myself
and I am here to tell you this $%#@ is barbaric! I watch my cats for hours a day having so much fun in the great kitty playland I have built them and I can tell you they wouldn't even be able to attempt the moves they pull off all day without thier claws. So anyone who tells you they don't even know they don't have claws hasn't seen a cat land flat on it's back when it's trying it's best to just be a cat. It would be like an NFL reciever trying to catch the ball the same way after having the first digit of his fingers cut off. I Wonder if he would mind never catching a ball again?
The butchers are chopping off the whole first digit of the toe with what I used to clip my bulldogs nails.
If you don't believe me keep going on this page. If you don't have the time to take 5-10 minutes a
week to clip thier nails you have no business owning a cat in the first place.

"Declawing is an inhumane, unnecessary procedure that has many alternatives. It is never in the cat's best interest. With declawing, we are interfering with a species' nature because of our own whims, mis-conceptions, misinformation, and sometimes, laziness." " ~ Neil Wolff, DVM, Co-Founder of AVAR ~

Drawing of a Claw:



A drawing of one of the claws of a cat,
showing the mechanism for extending it.
Declawing removes the claw immediately
above the "extending mechanism."
The joint is cut off and the underlying
tendon is cut.

RESULT: Amputation of the cat's toes.
 
Clawed for Life...
because a declawed cat is a maimed cat

"The consequences of declawing are often pathetic. Changes in behavior can occur. A declawed cat frequently resorts to biting when confronted with even minor threats. Biting becomes an overcompensation for the insecurity of having no claws. Bungled surgery can result in the regrowth of deformed claws or in an infection leading to gangrene. Balance is affected by the inability to grasp with their claws. Chronic physical ailments such as cystitis or skin disorders can be manifestations of a declawed cat's frustration and stress." ~ David E. Hammett, DVM ~


The purpose of this page is not for entertainment nor is it open for debate (which means, for those who can't understand the written word and shoot off an email after reading this page, we will not discuss this issue with anyone who is pro-declaw period). Its only purpose is to educate those people seeking facts about declawing a cat. Its goal is to further the education of those who want to know why cats need the claws they come with. Cats come into this world with claws for a number of reasons.


Feline Anatomy:

American and Canadian material proud cat owners in recent decades have the claws of their cats surgically removed by qualified veterinarians. The main reason behind the popularity of declawing is that more and more pet felines in urban areas are being kept as indoor cats by "valuable furnishings" conscious owners. Therefore, the cat must carry out his essential claw services in his owner's carefully furnished rooms. This procedure is done to prevent the cats from scratching "valuable" furnishings. BUT...declawing has only started in about the last 30 years. Clawed cats have been living indoors much longer. Declawing is the removal of bones, tendons, ligaments and claws to the first knuckle of each toe. Declawing robs the cat of a vital part of his or her anatomy. Simply stated, a declawed cat is a maimed cat.

Apart from the physical pain declawing inflicts, it is also psychologically damaging to a cat and puts him at a serious disadvantage in all climbing pursuits, hunting activities, and feline social relationships.

A 1994 study by the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine found that of 163 cats who were declawed, 50 percent had one or more complications immediately after surgery, such as pain, hemorrhage, lameness, swelling, and non-weight bearing. Of the 121 cats whose progress was followed after surgery, 20 percent had continued complications, such as infection, regrowth, bone protrusion into the pad of the paw and prolonged intermittent lameness and palmagrade stance (abnormal standing posture).

Seventy percent (70%) of cats turned into pounds and shelters for behavioral problems are declawed cats. Twenty-five percent (25%) of cats turned into pounds and shelters are purebred.

Information immediately above is based on a national survey from pounds and shelters - obtained from Caddo Parish Forgotten Felines and Friends.

To remove a cat's claws is far worse than to deprive cat owners of their fingernails. This is because the claws have so many important functions in the life of a cat.

Cleaning:

A smooth, clean coat is essential for a cat's well-being. It is vital for temperature control, for cleanliness, for waterproofing, and for controling the scent signaling of the feline body. As a result, cats spend a great deal of time daily dealing with their grooming routine. In addition to the typical licking movements, they perform repeated scratching.

These scratching actions are a crucial part of the cleaning routine: getting rid of skin irritations, dislodging dead hairs, and combing out tangles in the fur. Without claws, it is impossible for any cat to efficiently scratch himself. The entire grooming pattern suffers as a result. Even if owners brush and comb daily, there is no way they can replace their cat's sensitivity of the natural scratching response. Any human who has ever suffered from an itch that can't be scratched (or can't reach an itching area) will certainly sympathize with the dilemma of a declawed cat.

Climbing:

Climbing is second nature to felines. It is virtually impossible for a cat to switch off the urge to climb, even if punished for doing so. And punished for life he is if he attempts to climb after having his claws removed - for he will no longer have any grip with his toes and feet. If he has escaped outdoors, he will be in constant danger. If he is chased by a rival cat, a dog, or a human enemy, he will try to flee by scampering upwards the first opportunity that arises, out of his adversary's reach. As he leaps upwards onto a wall, fencing, or a tree, he uses his nonexistent claws to cling to the surfaces. To his horror, he will find himself slipping and sliding, tumbling down at the mercy of his foes.

Defending:

When faced with the need to protect himself, when confronted with an enemy, he will be at a greater disadvantage. When he strikes out with his paws, a cat is robbed of his defensive weapons. Often, it's only the sharpness of the pain caused by the stiletto sharp claws that stands between life and death of a cornered cat.

Hunting:

In addition to destroying a cat's ability to groom, climb, defend himself against rivals, and protect himself against enemies, the declawing procedure also eliminates a cat's ability to hunt. "Oh," you say, "this isn't important for my cat; he's a well-fed family pet." But that well-fed declawed cat could find himself lost on the streets or homeless one day and would rapidly die of starvation. The vital grab at prey with sharp claws extended would become a useless gesture.

Summary:

In short, a declawed cat is a crippled, mutilated cat; no excuse can justify the surgery for owner convenience. In some countries (example: England and Germany), owner convenience surgery of this kind on healthy cats is routinely refused by qualified vets. In others (example: United States of America and Canada), it has become increasingly commonplace - i.e., owner convenience - and is referred to as onychectomy (the Greek word meaning "nail cutting out").

Note: In England declawing is illegal. It is regarded as animal abuse. Other countries where declawing is either illegal or is not routinely performed unless under extreme circumstances are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales, and Yugoslavia. The list continues to grow.

Against declawing are the ASPCA, Humane Society of the United States, Massachusetts SPCA, Denver Dumb Friends League, San Francisco SPCA, SPCA of Texas, and the Animal Welfare League (Chicago, IL, the Midwest's largest humane society). The SPCA of Los Angeles puts it in no uncertain terms: "We do NOT support, nor condone, the act of declawing cats. It is cruel, unnecessary, and inhumane." The Cat Fancier's Association, the world's largest pedigreed cat registry, opposes declawing as "without benefit to the cat" and involving "post operative discomfort or pain, and potential future behavioral or physical effects."

In 2006, the USDA - normally an extremely conservative federal agency - amended the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit declawing of exotic carnivores, saying that it "can cause considerable pain and discomfort to the animal and may result in chronic health problems." In 2007, the California Court of Appeals upheld a ban on declawing enacted by the city of West Hollywood, CA, in 2003.

If you can stomach the sight of actual surgery, declawing is shown step-by-step in order of surgical procedure in the following pictures- WARNING: PICTURES ARE EXTREMELY GRAPHIC.




















Still think "de-clawing" is "no big deal"?

Four Precautions to Prevent Damage to Furnishings:

  1. Provide the cat with a sturdy, well-built scratching post. A wood log with bark intact is an excellent scratching post.

  2. Cover furniture with thick, washable protective throws which can be easily removed when you have visitors to your home.

  3. Train the cat to not scratch your furniture. You must put forth effort to work with your cat, taking the time and patience to make sure he understands the purpose of the post. Do not resort to shouting or swatting your cat. Your efforts will fail and furthermore, verbal and/or physical abuse is totally unacceptable as a responsible pet owner. Give the offending cat a "shot" from a water pistol. This usually works, unless you have a cat who likes water as does our Lucky. For him and his sister, Tigger, we mimic an exasperated mother cat. When her overactive kittens annoy her, she stops them from doing their "bad act" with a low growl. And it works - all of our cats, both older and younger, immediately stop any bad behavior actions when we growl at them. When scratching furnishings in the home, imitating a queen's growl may be more effective than any other deterrent. See Feline Scratching for additional information.

  4. Provide your cat with nailcaps by SoftPaws (HollywoodSphynx will provide a six months supply of these free of charge with the purchase of your kitten at your request.) that are fitted over the top of the claws. The caps are temporary, takes only a few minutes to fasten in place and last from four to six (4-6) weeks. They are completely safe, even if the cat manages to dislodge one and eats it. The caps come in clear or several colors and in three (3) adult sizes. Kitten size comes in clear only. Before scoffing at artificial nails for cats, this solution is a thousand times better than declawing.

How to Trim Claws:

As an alternative to declawing and to help stem the destruction from scratching, many cat owners keep their cats' claws trimmed. This is easiest if you start from the beginning when your cat is a kitten, although most cats can be persuaded to accept this procedure.

Use nail clippers available at pet stores. Look for the guillotine type (don't use the human variety, this will crush and injure your cat's claw if you're not very careful) and get blade replacements as the sharper the blade is the easier this procedure is.

There are also clippers that look like scissors with short, hooked blades. These may be easier for some people to handle.

Set your cat down securely in the crook of your "off" arm, with the cat either in your lap or on the floor between your knees, depending on the size of your cat and your own size. Pin the cat to your side with your arm and hold one of his paws with your hand (this is sometimes a little much for an "off" arm, you may wish to practice).

With his back away from you, he cannot scratch you, or easily get away. With your "good" hand, hold the clippers. If you squeeze your cat's paw with your off hand, the claws will come out. Examine them carefully (you may want to do this part before actually trying to trim them, to familiarize yourself with how the claws look).

If the claws are white (most cats' are), the difference between the nail and the quick is easy to see (use good lighting). The quick will be the pink tissue visible within the nail of the claw at the base. This is comparable to the difference between the nail attached to your skin and the part that grows beyond it. DO NOT CUT BELOW THE QUICK. It will be painful to your cat and bleed. When in doubt, trim less of the nail. It will just mean trimming more often.

Clip the portion above the quick for each nail and don't forget the dewclaws. On cats, dewclaws are found only on the front paws, about where humans would have their thumbs - they do not touch the ground. Some cats are polydactyl, and have up to seven claws on any paw. Normally there are four claws per paw, with one dewclaw on each of the front paws. Rear claws don't need to be trimmed as often or at all; they do not grow as quickly and are not as sharp. You should be able to hold any of the four paws with your off hand; it will become easier with practice.

If you have too much trouble holding the cat still for this, enlist someone else to help. You can then pick up a paw and go for it. Be careful; this position often means you are in front of his claws and a potential target for shredding. Older cats generally object more than younger ones; this means you should start this procedure as soon as you get your cat if you intend to trim his nails yourself.

Trimming claws should be done weekly. Different claws grow at different rates; check them periodically (use the same position you use for clipping: it gives you extra practice and reduces the cat's anxiety at being in that position).

Claws grow constantly, like human nails. Unlike human nails, however, to stay sharp, claws must shed outer layers of nail. Cats will pull on their claws or scratch to remove these layers. This is perfectly normal and is comparable to humans cutting and filing their own nails. You may see slices of claws lying around, especially on scratching posts; this is also quite normal.

In Conclusion:

If one's possessions are more important than the welfare of the cat in the family, we strongly urge you not to own a cat. Instead, sponsor a needy cat at a sanctuary or shelter each month. And you're more than likely to find plenty of previously owned declawed cats desperately in need of a loving home at any sanctuary or shelter.

Save a Paw - Don't Declaw!

Declawing
by Suzanne Weaver

A cat who had a manicure,
That is, his claws removed,
Was brooding on the state of things,
With hopes they would improve.

No longer could he scratch the couch,
The rug remained intact,
The furniture looked good for once,
The glasses all stayed stacked.

Each day dragged by, the cat was bored,
To motivate got tough.
"Without my nails I'm half a cat,
I might as well be stuffed."

A thought came to him with the dawn,
While he was still in bed;
"A claw is fine but what the hell,
I'll use my teeth instead."

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