Declawing cats is banned in the EU, Australia, Japan, and dozens of other countries, but sadly still a very common occurrence in the United States. Despite the international consensus against it, American cats are subjected to this barbaric act, Cat Support reports.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, cat declawing is a cruel procedure, akin to having the last bone of each of your toes amputated. It is also unnecessary as there are more humane ways to keep cats from scratching furniture. And for the animal the consequences last a lifetime, including behavioral and health problems.
The American Association of Feline Practitioners has pointed out for years that cats can experience arthritis, long-term pain, lack of balance, and behavioral changes due to declawing. It also removes a cat’s main means of defense in the wild. Declawing is only for a human’s comfort and convenience. It never benefits the animal.
“Some studies suggest cats who have been declawed have a higher percentage of cortisol [the stress hormone], which is often associated with pain,” Steve Dale, an animal behavior consultant and pet journalist in Chicago, told the BBC.
“Very few people actually do it properly – the procedure tends to leave bone fragments,” says Prof Gunn-Moore, adding that this could leave cats stepping on tiny fragments of bone when they walk.
Dr Sarah Endersby, veterinary development manager at International Cat Care, says that cats can continue to feel pain after the declawing procedure.
“Part of its weight is borne on its toes – so after the declawing process their gait changes as they put their weight through their paws,” Endersby said.
As NPR reports, New York was the first state in the U.S. to outlaw the practice of declawing cats, though it has already been banned in most European countries, along with some Canadian provinces and U.S. cities including Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Nearly every state has had petitions and movements started by its citizens to get legislators to develop anti-declaw legislation. Some state lawmakers have introduced bills to ban declawing, but none have passed and been made into law.
This brutal and unnecessary procedure needs to end in the United States as it has in the rest of the world. Click below and tell the American Veterinary Medical Association to make the refusal to perform onychectomies part of its membership criterion!