Paws off our claws!

Some people think of declawing as nothing more than a permanent nail clipping. A harmless, if a tad more invasive, cosmetic procedure. That is not the case!

According to Dr. Jacklyn Ellis, Manager of Feline Behaviour, Rehabilitation, and Enrichment Programs, the procedure is more like an amputation than a manicure. It’s akin to removing the last bone on all of a human’s fingers.

There are a host of reasons why people choose to declaw their pets, but none of them are supported by scientific evidence. Nor do they justify the undue suffering that many cats experience.

Bad reason # 1

“To stop them from scratching the furniture”

● In order to keep your cat from scratching the furniture, just follow these simple tips:
     ○ Keep your cat’s nails trimmed
     ○ Provide plenty of scratching posts in high traffic areas
     ○ Apply a deterrent to the furniture, such as a citrus scent, or double-sided tape

Bad reason # 2

“To reduce the risk of aggression”

● Because they have lost the use of their claws, declawed cats are more likely to bite. Bite wounds from a cat are much more dangerous than scratches, due to the risk of infection from one of the many bacteria present in cat’s mouths.

These bad reasons lead to worse consequences

Of the many painful, crippling side effects of declawing, Dr. Ellis notes the most common: remnant bone fragments becoming embedded in the paw. This can lead to chronic pain, infection, lameness, and serious behaviour problems.

Raising your hand for their paws

Did you know that Canada is one of the last industrialized countries that still permits this procedure? It is banned in the UK, Europe, Australia, Japan, Israel, and Brazil. Within Canada there are several provinces that have decided to ban it. Nova Scotia being the first among them. But since then, BC, PEI, and Newfoundland and Labrador have all banned the practice. From recent developments, it seems Alberta is only steps away from finalizing their ban as well.

If you want to help make Ontario the next province to recognize the importance of preventing suffering due to unnecessary and unethical surgeries, write to your federal Member of Parliament and make sure they know where you stand on the issue.

For more information on the declawing of cats, visit The Paw Project, the Humane Society of the United States, or the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.