what does declawed cat mean

Declawing is the amputation of the last bone of each toe on a cat’s paw. It would be like cutting off your finger at the last knuckle. The standard method of declawing is amputating with a scalpel or guillotine clipper. The wounds are closed with stitches or surgical glue, and the feet are bandaged.

Where is declawing cats illegal?

Most of the European Union, Australia, the United Kingdom, Brazil, New Zealand, Israel, and many other countries prohibit cat declawing because they believe it to be needless and cruel.

In Canada, declawing cats is presently permissible at the federal level. However, the following provinces have made it illegal:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Prince Edward Island

In 2003, West Hollywood, CA, became the first city in the United States to ban cat declawing, and numerous other cities around the country have since followed suit. In 2019, New York became the first state to do so. It is joined only by Maryland, which passed a bill in March 2022 to ban declawing. Other states could soon follow suit, however — a bill to ban the practice was proposed in Massachusetts state house in May 2023.

While declawing is still legal in most states, the Humane Society has posted the following statement to their website: “The Humane Society of the United States opposes declawing except for the rare cases when it is necessary for medical purposes, such as the removal of cancerous nail bed tumors.”

Thankfully, there are a lot of non-declawing options available for cat owners that can save both your bond and your cat’s paws.

What does declawing a cat mean?

Declawing, also known as onychectomy, is the removal of a cat’s claws so they will not grow back. There’s a common misconception that declawing cats involves simply pulling out the nail and its root, but what actually takes place is an invasive surgical procedure. The veterinarian amputates the cat’s toes up to the first joint (knuckle). For comparison, it’s the equivalent of cutting off the tips of all your fingers.

Trupanion veterinarian Dr. states, “If the decision has been made to declaw, it should be performed earlier in life rather than later.” Caroline Wilde, expressing her personal disapproval of the process Depending on the method employed, a cat’s recovery can take anywhere from one to two weeks. Recovery time increases after one year of age. ”.

Wilde lists the following possible health issues that declawing cats could cause:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain
  • Regrowing claws (rare, but possible in cases of poorly executed procedures)

“Laser declaw reduces the chance of complications and expedites the healing process,” says Wilde. “It is less painful and bleeding is minimized. ”.

In order to investigate the long-term effects of declawing, researchers looked at 274 cats of different ages, half of whom had undergone the procedure. They looked for signs of pain in the animals, which in cats can include flinching at touch, excessive licking or chewing of fur, potty issues, and body tension. They studied animals in shelters as well as those that had been brought in for veterinary visits. Additionally, they examined the cats’ medical records and behavioral reports from their veterinarians and owners.

Declawing a cat may sound like a relatively benign procedure, like getting your nails trimmed. But the process involves removing the bones at the tip of a feline’s toes, which can result in long-term problems for your furry friend, a study concludes.

Declawed cats are more likely to experience difficulty walking because they must walk on the soft cartilage that used to be a part of their joints because the tips of their toes have been removed. They may experience chronic pain, and they have a history of chewing at the tips of their paws. Furthermore, a lot of owners discover that following surgery, their cats become more aggressive.

Cats who undergo the procedure also may be more likely to urinate on soft surfaces like carpets or clothing because it’s less painful than the gravel in the litterbox. Having no other way to defend themselves, they may resort to biting when in pain, and unfortunately for their humans, bite wounds from a cat may be more likely than scratches to cause infection and hospitalization.

Lead author Nicole Martell-Moran is a veterinarian from Texas who serves as a director of the Paw Project, a group dedicated to putting an end to cat declawing.

FAQ

Is it cruel to declaw a cat?

Sensory and motor nerves are cut, damaged and destroyed. Recovery from the surgery is a slow and painful process. This procedure can hamper the sensations and enjoyment involved in walking, running, springing, climbing and stretching. “Declawing is an inhumane, unnecessary procedure that has many alternatives.

Why do people declaw cats?

The most common reason owners elect to declaw their cats is because they are destroying furniture and/or flooring. Some owners also choose to have their cat declawed if it is scratching members of the household, particularly children or older individuals who may have thin skin.

What is the life expectancy of a declawed cat?

Declawed cats are helpless against dog attacks and other cats. If you plan on declawing your cat, you MUST commit to making that kitty an indoor-only kitty for the rest of its life. Interestingly, indoor-only cats have a life expectancy of 15+ years. Outdoor-only cats have a life expectancy of 3 years.

Can cats still be declawed?

Declawing is outlawed in many developed countries, but not the US and most of Canada. However, many American veterinary associations are opposed to declawing, except as a last resort. Before you resort to declawing your cat, try training it first. Yes indeed, cats can be trained.