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View Full Version : Declawing: a big round of applause to West Hollywood


istara
01-23-2003, 03:55 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/2686125.stm
Councillors in West Hollywood have voted unanimously in favour of a draft ruling outlawing the de-clawing of cats.
If the draft goes on to be adopted the city, which lies in the Los Angeles area, would be the first in the United States to ban the practice.

In making their decision the councillors agreed with the view of animal rights activist that removing cats' claws is inhumane.

The tips of the cats toes are also removed along with the claws, activists say.
As an anti-declawer, I for one am delighted to see the first ban of this barbaric practice in the US, by West Hollywood. I hope other jurisdictions, states and countries will follow their excellent lead.

I know this is a contentious issue, with strong opinion on both sides. So this landmark decision for feline rights seems an appropriate time to open up a debate on Declawing: Acceptable or Unacceptable?

jjimm
01-23-2003, 04:15 AM
Actually, there is already a debate going on, though haven't got time to find it for a link.

Anyway, my €0.02: I think declawing is unacceptable except in extreme circumstances. It's mutilation for the convenience of humans.

If I had an elephant, I wouldn't remove its trunk to stop it stealing buns.

Odesio
01-23-2003, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by istara

I know this is a contentious issue, with strong opinion on both sides. So this landmark decision for feline rights seems an appropriate time to open up a debate on Declawing: Acceptable or Unacceptable?

I didn't know felines had any rights. Oh well, I suppose people in W. Hollywood can just take their cats out of town to get them declawed. Just sounds like one other California town passing feel good laws that won't amount to changing a thing.

Marc

SPOOFE
01-23-2003, 05:50 AM
Possible advantages of this ruling:

Kitty feels better.

Possibly disadvantage:

People, after getting a cat, realize just how much of a pain in the ass their claws are. They take the cat to a vet for declawing, but ALAS! they cannot. They were willing to front the cash for it, but take the hours and hours to drive out of town, to a different vet, to do it? Forget it. They throw Kitty into a sack, throw the sack into the river, and tell the kids about Kitty Heaven.

Then they get a dog.

That sounds like a better solution to you? You monster!

(Note: This post to be taken partially in jest. Partially.)

istara
01-23-2003, 07:45 AM
MGibson - part of the issue is that it's not just a "nail clipping" - it's the permanent surgical removal of their nail and top tendon (ie their actual digit). It is a maiming practice.

Felines may not have the right to vote, but I think anything that lives under our guardianship deserves to be treated with respect and decency during its life. This goes for food animals too - IANAVegetarian, I eat meat, but I expect the animals to be well treated for the duration of their lives.

Liberal
01-23-2003, 08:03 AM
I spoke to our cat, Jane, about this, and he says you're argument is absurd.

You speak about declawing as "maiming", as though the cat is wrestled to the ground where it screams in pain as its limbs are ripped from it by nefarious punks who also tie cats' tails together and hang them over clotheslines.

It is in fact a surgical procedure under anesthesia, performed by a veterinary doctor, that is for the benefit of the animal so that it might live out its life in luxury. Jane is presently curled up in front of the heating duct on his favorite blanket, licking his chest, and savoring the aftertaste of his delicious and nutritious breakfast.

He could hardly be treated any better.

Were he to have claws, we could not be his servants and wait on him hand and foot in our home. He would probably already be dead, either run over by a car, eaten by a dog, euthanized by a humane shelter, or frozen to death in an ice storm. Instead, he's luxuriating in our warm home and probably wondering why I keep looking around at him.

delphica
01-23-2003, 08:13 AM
First, I would never declaw a cat. It strikes me as both mean and unnecessary.

However, other people do lots of things that I would never do (for various reasons), and I don't think we need laws against them.

In sort of a perverse way, I'm more concerned about cats who are allowed to roam, and at least declawing keeps more cats inside-only. I'd support a no-roaming law, as the justification would be the protection of the property of others.

The fact that you can leave town without even knowing it (well, I can because I get lost all the time) in West Hollywood makes this law seem even sillier.

Does West Hollywood have an opinion on the docking of dogs' tails?

erislover
01-23-2003, 08:21 AM
I can surgically remove your testicles, Libertarian, under the most pleasant of conditions. Doesn't make it any less of a maiming.He could hardly be treated any better.You suppose your boss demanded that you get your nails removed to keep your station in life (and I know you are your own boss so this thought experiment is slightly tortured hehe :)) that you would feel that way?

LouisB
01-23-2003, 08:27 AM
Will West Hollywood conclude that keeping cats indoors is contrary to a cat's true nature? Will they pass a law mandating that all cats be allowed to roam at all times? I would bet that West Hollywood already has laws in place that prohibit dogs from roaming. Keeping a dog confined in a kennel or in a fenced yard violates the dog's nature, doesn't it? Castrating a male dog or cat seems inhumane to me---I know I wouldn't like it even a little bit. Spaying a female cat or dog deprives the animal of its basic right to be a mother, doesn't it? Let's make that practice illegal while we're at it.

I think that a LOT of animal activists have completely lost touch with reality.

TeaElle
01-23-2003, 08:27 AM
< hijack >
Lib, you have a male cat named Jane?

No wonder you don't find declawing to be inhumane! :D
< /hijack >

robertliguori
01-23-2003, 08:32 AM
Good fuxzoring Lord, people. If declawing or neutering is maiming, then slaughtering a cow is murder. And cannabilism.
Animals don't have human rights. And whether or not people should declaw their animals is a different beast from whethere or not they should be allowed to.

Liberal
01-23-2003, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by tlw
< hijack >
Lib, you have a male cat named Jane?

No wonder you don't find declawing to be inhumane! :D
< /hijack > It's a long story, but the short version is that we thought he was a girl cat when we first got him. In visits to the vet, it never came up until we took him in to be (dare I say it?) spayed. :D

erislover
01-23-2003, 08:40 AM
robert, declawing fits maiming as well as I can imagine:maim: 1 : to commit the felony of mayhem upon
2 : to mutilate, disfigure, or wound seriouslyI suppose permanently altering a cat's outward physical appearance isn't disfiguring to you? Or what?Animals don't have human rights.They don't need human rights. In fact, I will argue that all anti-cruelty laws are bunk because of it. But I have a strong opinion on animal mutilation and abuse. You can perhaps see that these are not contradictory opinions? Ah, yes you do:And whether or not people should declaw their animals is a different beast from whethere or not they should be allowed to.Yep, my side is: declawing is as unacceptable as a law being passed against it.

Liberal
01-23-2003, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by erislover
I can surgically remove your testicles, Libertarian, under the most pleasant of conditions. Doesn't make it any less of a maiming.You suppose your boss demanded that you get your nails removed to keep your station in life (and I know you are your own boss so this thought experiment is slightly tortured hehe :)) that you would feel that way? My station? No. But the equivalent of Jane's? Hell, yes.

erislover
01-23-2003, 08:42 AM
Oh, Lib brings up a good point... if we are against declawing are we also against population control through mutilation? Would we have to be?

RickJay
01-23-2003, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by erislover
robert, declawing fits maiming as well as I can imagine
So do spaying and neutering.

So, has West Hollywood passed a law against spaying and neutering yet?

you with the face
01-23-2003, 09:49 AM
I think a lot of people declaw their cats because they think it's one of those things that has to be done. Same with docking the tails of dogs. Same with circumsision. It's one of those pet-owner habits that until recently has gone unquestioned.

As someone who has performed neutering and declawing (oh my!), I can testify that although these are elective procedures, they are done humanely. Using the word "maiming" is misinformed hyperbole. Personally, I don't like declawing cats because it is unnecessary and may cause behavioral problems that result in worse problems than tattered furniture. Plus, any operation that requires anesthesia carries the risk of death. But I don't liken it to hacking off people's genitalia with a cold butter-knife. There's no need to use War On Drugs-like propaganda to express your disfavor of declawing, people!

This is what I believe: Veterinarians need to educate their clients when they come in requesting the procedure. The cool thing about claws is that they can be clipped rather easily; the finger-tips need not be amputated to spare upholstery. Perhaps if more people knew this they wouldn't be so quick to put Socks under the knife. Informing the clients about all the possible options is the most ethical thing a vet can do, short of banning the practice altogether.

ywtf, soon-to-be vet (5 months and counting!)

Who_me?
01-23-2003, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by RickJay
So do spaying and neutering.

So, has West Hollywood passed a law against spaying and neutering yet?


NO, no, no!!! Spaying and neutering are for the animal's own welfare!!! Declawing is for the human's welfare!!! :rolleyes:

Liberal
01-23-2003, 09:55 AM
Why the false dilemma? It is hardly of benefit to the cat that he dies in the wild.

(Congratulations, Face!)

erislover
01-23-2003, 09:59 AM
Please refer me to a better definition of maiming that demonstrates the hyperbole. It seems to me the one Merriam-Webster offers in number (2) fits the bill without any messy exaggeration.So, has West Hollywood passed a law against spaying and neutering yet?Well, RickJay, this is an interesting question. If we outlaw pot, do we have to outlaw alcohol to be consistent? Or can I say, if we allow alcohol to be legal, do we have to legalize cocaine to be consistent?

grimpixie
01-23-2003, 10:09 AM
It is well worth noting that this is not an issue that is agreed upon amongst vets - the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK is against the practice and others like it, for example the docking of dog's tails - this from their Guide to Professional Conduct (http://rcvs.org.uk/vet_surgeons/professionalconduct/annexes/anx_mutilat.html):Claws, removal of
This procedure is only acceptable where, in the opinion of the veterinary surgeon, injury to the animal is likely to occur during normal activity. It is not acceptable if carried out for the convenience of the owner. Thus the removal of dew claws in certain breeds of dog where they protrude from the limb and are likely to become caught and torn is justifiable and even advisable. On the other hand, the removal of claws, particularly those which are weight-bearing, to preclude damage to furnishings is not acceptable.They also refer to "mutilation" rather than maiming, saying that "...the term should be understood as covering all procedures, carried out with or without instruments, which involve interference with the sensitive tissues or the bone structure of an animal, and are carried out for non-therapeutic reasons."

Grim

RickJay
01-23-2003, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by erislover
Well, RickJay, this is an interesting question. If we outlaw pot, do we have to outlaw alcohol to be consistent? Or can I say, if we allow alcohol to be legal, do we have to legalize cocaine to be consistent?
Well, actually, I happen to believe exactly that, erislover. The prohibition on pot while permitting alcohol is the most ridiculous sort of nonsense I can think of in the law today.

But look, it's not me saying it's maiming. IT'S YOU. Now I want you to explain, logically, why declawing is "maiming" but spaying and neutering are not "maiming." Please explain why cutting off the testicles isn't "mutilation or disfigurement" but cutting off the claws is.

jjimm
01-23-2003, 10:11 AM
What Face said: I regularly clip Cookie's claws with a pair of nail clippers. She's learned to enjoy it. I've taught her not to scratch, but clipping catches any occasional mistakes. Just be sure not to go so far down the claw that you catch the nerve - that would be cruel.






Cookie is my wife, by the way.



;)

Liberal
01-23-2003, 10:14 AM
Posit that there is a cat and that ours is the only home for him. We will take him in if he is declawed; otherwise, he must fend for himself in the wild. From what is given, do those who applaud West Hollywood prefer that we not take the cat?

you with the face
01-23-2003, 10:21 AM
by erislover:
Please refer me to a better definition of maiming that demonstrates the hyperbole. It seems to me the one Merriam-Webster offers in number (2) fits the bill without any messy exaggeration.

The problem is not that the definition is wrong. The problem is that it is used to inject emotionality into the debate. One man's "maiming" is another man's "elective amputation" and another man's "phalangectomy". Nothing is solved by using one term over another.

In other words, just because it meets the dictionary definition of maiming doesn't make it any more morally objectional. Technically my sister maimed herself by getting a breast reduction, but that doesn't mean anything morally, right? I can tell her that she maimed herself until the cock crows three times and she would still just ignore me. I wouldn't blame her.

Refuting the practice of declawing on rational grounds is much more effective than deliberately using words that have provocative connotations. That's what I meant to say when I wrongly said "misinformed hyperbole". Sorry.

zwaldd
01-23-2003, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by Libertarian
From what is given, do those who applaud West Hollywood prefer that we not take the cat? I would. IMO, a declawed cat, particularly a declawed indoor cat, is more pathetic than a cat on its own. But since that is simply my opinion, I don't really applaud the West Hollywood proposal, since many people enjoy the company of clawless, housebound, cat-shaped pets.

Liberal
01-23-2003, 10:36 AM
Interesting choice. Right now, Jane is sitting comfortably on the window sill as he watches a wild gray cat outside, wet from freezing rain and shivering in 10 degree cold.

erislover
01-23-2003, 10:38 AM
Technically my sister maimed herself by getting a breast reduction, but that doesn't mean anything morally, right?Of course. So them "maiming" isn't injecting any moral component into the debate that wasn't already there.

You want me to not use maiming? Ok. Surgical disfigurement. Howzat? That a little less charged for you? ;)Refuting the practice of declawing on rational grounds is much more effective than deliberately using words that have provocative connotations.If you suppose that my entire argument is based on your perception of "maiming" as emotionally charged, I am very sorry. I thought my suggestion of people permanently removing their fingernails in order to keep their station in life—say, a job or a loan on their house from the bank—to be more along the lines of how I actually feel.

erislover
01-23-2003, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by RickJay
But look, it's not me saying it's maiming. IT'S YOU. Now I want you to explain, logically, why declawing is "maiming" but spaying and neutering are not "maiming." Please explain why cutting off the testicles isn't "mutilation or disfigurement" but cutting off the claws is. Let me get this straight. You want me to rationally explain why surgically removing testicles—something I characterized as maiming—isn't actually maiming, in an attempt to show me how wrong I was for characterizing surgical removal of claws as maiming?

:confused:
I said
...if we are against declawing are we also against population control through mutilation? Would we have to be?

xenophon41
01-23-2003, 10:50 AM
We've conditioned Harlee the cat to use her scratching post and to stay away from the carpet and the furniture. We also trim her claws because she's not so considerate about laps. We decided to do this after talking with the vet about possible behavioral problems associated with declawing; however the decision to avoid those problems was counterbalanced against the likelihood that she'd at some point destroy something else we cared about. I can't see the point in censuring someone else over deciding differently. The declawed cats I've known seemed quite happy and completely untraumatized.


Note to future vet you with the face: An interesting behavioral issue has developed with Harlee during our claw trimming sessions. Normally, her favorite colors seem to be "brrown" or "prrrrrple", but whenever I trim her claws, they change to an emphatic "brrllackk!" or red. (I think it's red; she can't seem to get beyond the "rrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRR" part...)

you with the face
01-23-2003, 10:52 AM
In all fairness, erislover, your response to Liberitarian...

I can surgically remove your testicles, Libertarian, under the most pleasant of conditions. Doesn't make it any less of a maiming.

...prompted my comments about your use of maiming. To me, it looks like what you are saying is that surgically removing Lib's testicals consitutes maiming and therefore it's wrong. I disagree. Castrating Lib may be perfectly moral. In fact, "maiming" him in that way may be just what this country needs right now. ;)

Sorry if I misinterpreted you.

you with the face
01-23-2003, 10:59 AM
by xenophone:
An interesting behavioral issue has developed with Harlee during our claw trimming sessions. Normally, her favorite colors seem to be "brrown" or "prrrrrple", but whenever I trim her claws, they change to an emphatic "brrllackk!" or red. (I think it's red; she can't seem to get beyond the "rrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRR" part...)

That's funny. When I'm doing the deed, my cat sounds like a motorcycle being revved up. And by the time I get to the last toe the little Kawasaki is ready to amputate my fingers. With her mouth.

erislover
01-23-2003, 11:03 AM
I definitely am not saying that maiming = wrong. I am saying maiming in order to achieve or maintain a station in life = wrong. Hope that clears it up! :)

you with the face
01-23-2003, 11:10 AM
So that means we can castrate Lib?

Hip-hooray!

zwaldd
01-23-2003, 11:13 AM
Originally posted by erislover
if we allow alcohol to be legal, do we have to legalize cocaine to be consistent? That depends on why we're outlawing cocaine. If it's because it's potentially addictive and deadly, then yes we'd have to legalize cocaine to be consistent. If we say because it's snorted, and we just don't like snorty things, then no, we wouldn't have to legalize it. So if we're outlawing declawing because it's mutiliation, then we'd have to outlaw neutering if we wanted to remain consistent. If we're outlawing declawing because it removes a cats defenses, then no we don't need to outlaw neutering, unless you think neutering removes a cat's defenses, and arguably that may be so (ever seen an intact tom go medieval on a neuter? not pretty).

Liberal
01-23-2003, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by you with the face
So that means we can castrate Lib?

Hip-hooray! I hereby withdraw my congratulations! :eek:

erislover
01-23-2003, 11:24 AM
:D

you with the face
01-23-2003, 11:25 AM
I hereby withdraw my congratulations!

Nope, too late. :)

xenophon41
01-23-2003, 11:28 AM
...wonder what Lib's favorite colors are...

jayjay
01-23-2003, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by xenophon41
...wonder what Lib's favorite colors are...

I would guess breEEEEYOOOOOWWWWWNNNN, just offhand.

Odesio
01-23-2003, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by istara
MGibson - part of the issue is that it's not just a "nail clipping" - it's the permanent surgical removal of their nail and top tendon (ie their actual digit). It is a maiming practice.


I'm aware of what declawing does to a feline I'm just in the camp that doesn't think it is a problem.



Felines may not have the right to vote, but I think anything that lives under our guardianship deserves to be treated with respect and decency during its life. This goes for food animals too - IANAVegetarian, I eat meat, but I expect the animals to be well treated for the duration of their lives.

I don't think that being declawed diminishes the quality of life for a cat. Did W. Hollywood also make laws against spaying and neutering? Those seem like maiming practices to me as well. Or is it ok to maim the animals in your care when you want to?

Marc

Liberal
01-23-2003, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by xenophon41
...wonder what Lib's favorite colors are... My favorite color is brown. :)

SPOOFE
01-23-2003, 05:29 PM
IMO, a declawed cat, particularly a declawed indoor cat, is more pathetic than a cat on its own.
Why? A cat is more than just its claws, you know. It's not like it's getting a lobotomy.

erislover
01-23-2003, 05:53 PM
I know I've been able to sleep at night having justified all the surgery I've done on people like that. I mean, avoid the brain and give them a little shelter... they should be greatful all I did was remove their claws!

zwaldd
01-23-2003, 06:58 PM
Originally posted by SPOOFE
Why? A cat is more than just its claws, you know. It's not like it's getting a lobotomy. I should have said specifically a declawed indoor cat. Declawing an outdoor cat is just plain cruel. I suppose once you make the decision to confine a cat to the house for the rest of its life, declawing it is not going to make much of a difference in its ability to suit your pet needs.

Azael
01-23-2003, 07:17 PM
I have three cats (my girlfriend has this thing about rescuing small animals) and I would never think of declawing them. IMO it is cruel and shows a certain degree of callousness as well as selfishness on the part of the owner. Cats use their claws all the time, whether it be for gripping, balance, self-defense or shredding your furniture. It's part of the package.

That said, I am well aware that many people out there do not agree with me. That's fine, it's just my opinion. It's not like we can ask the cats themselves how they feel about it.


I don't think that being declawed diminishes the quality of life for a cat. Did W. Hollywood also make laws against spaying and neutering? Those seem like maiming practices to me as well. Or is it ok to maim the animals in your care when you want to?


:rolleyes:

Apples and oranges. I suppose getting a vasectomy is a "maiming practice" as well? Not to mention that spaying and neutering help to keep the population from booming out of control. That's the sort of situation that lends itself to far worse animal abuses than anything we are talking about here. Throwing around loaded terms like "maiming" and "mutilation" doesn't really help either side of the debate.

It's simple, would you like it if you had the tips of your fingers cut off? That's enough for me, but not everyone sees it that way.

Just for the record, I hate the way they've gone about this in West Hollywood. The law doesn't do anything, people will still be able to find places to get the procedure done. And if they really feel it's necessary, then that is their perogative. A piece of "feel good - do nothing" legislation IMO. Not like I expected anything more.

capacitor
01-23-2003, 07:45 PM
If I am going to declaw a cat, then I'm taking him to Bed-Stuy gym so he can learn how to box.

ElJeffe
01-23-2003, 07:48 PM
I'm moderately opposed to declawing, but I disagree with this law. As has been mentioned, all you have to do is drive ten minutes and you're outside of town. The law is useless. However, even if it wasn't useless (say, a nationwide ban), I would still be opposed. Declawing is a pretty minor thing, in the grand scheme of things, for an indoor cat. And there are legitimate reasons for having it done. I'm considering it for one of my cats, for example, because he doesn't clean himself too well, and regardless of how clean the litterbox is, he alwasy manages to step in his own crap, which gets under his claws, and infects them. To me, that's a good enough reason. What if the vet disagrees? What if the vet say, "Tough noogies, just clean his paws everyday with Q-Tips", and I get denied? Is the vet necessarily a better judge of what will make my cat's life better than I am? I think we should leave the decision up to the people. Let the vet try to talk them out of it, but ultimately, it should be the owner's decision. I don't think that declawing is so horribly cruel that it should be outlawed.

I do have some questions, though, of those who know more on the matter. How does having a cat declawed affect the cat's everyday activites? Is it kinda like me having my earlobes removed? Does it affect their balance? (My cat is a total clod anyway - I don't think he could get clumsier.)


Jeff

you with the face
01-23-2003, 08:36 PM
How does having a cat declawed affect the cat's everyday activites?

It doesn't, AFAIK. A significant number of owners, however, will report that declawing causes cats to avoid their kitty litter boxes. Probably because the cats find the litter granules to be irritating to their nubs.

Liberal
01-24-2003, 10:32 AM
Unbiased cite? Our cat has not problem with the litter box. It's just crushed clay — same stuff they use to clean up oil spills.

erislover
01-24-2003, 10:35 AM
Of course, in the grand scheme of things ElJeffe you are right, removing something like your earlobes probably won't significantly affect your way of life. Suppose parents starting doing this to their children. What sort of outrage would you expect to hear?

No, cats are not people. But I have loved my pets as intensely as I've ever loved anyone or anything. My compassion is not limited by my estimation of another creature's intelligence or physiological appearance. I think declawing is wrong because of the love I feel for them, and though I am glad enough people see fit to pass a law about it, I would never vote for such a law. Animals are there to do with as we please.

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-24-2003, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by Libertarian
Posit that there is a cat and that ours is the only home for him. We will take him in if he is declawed; otherwise, he must fend for himself in the wild. From what is given, do those who applaud West Hollywood prefer that we not take the cat?

Lib, as our resident expert on logical fallacies, can you tell me what this is called? False dilemma, maybe? Excluded middle? I'm not sure, but I smell a rat.

What we would prefer, of course, is that you educate yourself about how to prevent the cat from scratching furniture, and take the cat.

From the Humane Society of the United States (http://www.hsus.org/ace/11780):
[W]hile there have been advances in the way that cats are declawed, it's still true that for the majority of cats, the pain and expense of this surgical procedure are unnecessary. Educated cat owners can easily train their cats to use their claws in a manner that allows cat and owner to happily coexist. Declawing and tenectomies should be reserved only for those rare cases in which a cat cannot be properly trained, and, as a result, must be surgically altered or removed from the home.

From the American Humane Association:

Declawed cats are completely defenseless if they get outside, as they can have difficulty defending themselves or climbing out of harm's way. Indoor cats, if there is more than one cat in the household, can even have difficulty playing normally with other cats because their natural abilities and characteristics have been altered. Most cats can be "trained" to scratch only certain areas, without requiring this unnecessary and potentially harmful surgery.

From the [url=http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/scratch.htm]Denver Dumb Friends League (http://www.americanhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pa_care_issues_behavior_scratching[/url) (one of the best animal shelters in the nation):

We strongly discourage cat owners from having their cats declawed. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats and can be directed to appropriate items. However, if you feel that you must either declaw or give up your cat, we would rather see your cat stay in her home and be your lifelong companion. If you do decide to have your cat declawed, we suggest* you have the surgery done at the same time she’s spayed (or neutered if your cat is a male), that you only declaw the front paws and that you always keep your cat indoors.

Folks who work in animal welfare are pretty consistent in their message: the surgery is usually unnecessary, risks adverse behavior changes in the cat, and is usually painful for the cat.

This is different from sterilization: sterilization is (considering the 5 million animals euthanized each year in US shelters) very necessary, usually results in beneficial behavior changes in the animal (decreased aggression, decreased roaming, decreased spraying, etc.), has a rapid recovery time, and has a host of beneficial side-effects (decreased cancer risks, for example). It is foolish to compare declawing to sterilization.

I don't know how I feel about the law. On the one hand, it's obviously easy to circumvent it. On the other hand, the law might function as a moral statement by the town: it's a way of broadcasting the message to folks that this is generally not a good idea. And some folks respect the law for its own sake, and won't look to circumvent it.

On balance, I don't think the law is a bad idea -- assuming it makes exceptions for therapeutic declawing.

Daniel

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-24-2003, 11:27 AM
Crap!

Click anywhere on the American Humane Assocation quote to go to the full article. The third and final cite was to the Denver Dumb Friends League (http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/scratch.htm). Sorry for the crappy coding.

Daniel

Threadkiller
01-24-2003, 11:46 AM
Of course if you make declawing illegal, back alley declawing establishments will spring up and people will still be able to get there cats declawed—at much greater risk to the cat. This issue will, of course, decisively divide the country into pro choice and pro cat camps. Pro cat extremists will protest and vandalize veterinarian establishments that offer this service and pro choice advocates will maintain that it is the right of the owner of the cat (who bears the burden of caring for the cat) to make this decision. :D

Seriously, I’m personally not in favor of declawing (I like indoor/outdoor cats) but I don’t really care what other people want to do. I have also had cat scratch fever (given to me by a clawed cat) but bear no ill will to the cat. I have to admit that I have had two cats declawed, but only because the apartment complex I lived in required it. The cats were fine with it (once they figured out how to climb the cat stand without front claws). They never went outside but I did keep a careful eye on them. Their declawed status made it much easier to give them away to a good home when I got married and moved into a larger apartment that didn’t allow pets.

If a government made it illegal to declaw cats, cat ownership would decline.

xenophon41
01-24-2003, 11:50 AM
There's only a few sites I found with Google searches which are ambivalent about declawing, with the great majority of sites being strongly against it. Seems like those who care greatly about the issue are near-unanimous in recommending against the procedure, but most admit there's no rigorously collected data supporting the expectation of subsequent behavioral problems.

Here's a well balanced consideration of the ethics of declawing (http://www.catsonly.com/Eth%20Declawing.htm).

Here's a relatively neutral (http://www.vetinfo.com/cencyclopedia/cebehavscr.html) page from "vetinfo.com".

Here's a relatively ambivalent (http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_declawing_and_its_alternatives.html) page.

Beagle
01-24-2003, 12:10 PM
It depends on the cat. I could see declawing an overtly aggressive mean cat. Those cats are more likely to get the "river treatment" SPOOFE mentioned.

Declawing a poor kitten because you are too lazy to train it to scratch on a post is sad.

Having had five non-declawed cats over 15 years the destruction total goes: four dining room chairs ruined over about eight years by one particular cute little black Persian (replacement cost $300.00), rug damaged by black and white domestic shorthair (no cost), one office chair destroyed by Ragdoll and Chocolate Point Persian (replacement cost $100.00). Related costs: scratching posts (one huge $150.00, approx. three small $60.00), cat nip $50.00, one large Super Soaker water cannon $20.00)

Not having to disfigure and cripple poor little kitties, rendering them defenseless: PRICELESS

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-24-2003, 12:35 PM
Actually, Beagle, it can be an especially bad idea to declaw an aggressive cat: they'll sometimes start biting instead of scratching, and a cat bite is much more dangerous than a cat scratch. But otherwise, I agree with your post.

Daniel

Whack-a-Mole
01-24-2003, 12:42 PM
Is laser declawing still a no-no in the anti-declawing world? The cat in this case does not have its digit removed. Just no more nails. Further, there is very little pain or recovery time for the cat from this procedure (if done during spaying/neutering you need only put the cat under once as well).

For those who maintain it is a 'simple' matter to train yoru cat are welcome to come ovwer to my place and have a shot at my cat. My wife and I read books and spent a good deal of time trying to train appropriate claw places. The cat did claw on her designated claw tree mroe often than not but she still had at furniture with gusto and she would cause fairly severe damage to that furniture. Fortunately we were poor and and crap furniture anyway at that point but we had plans for new furniture and that behavior could not be tolerated.

As for clipping the nails I tried that too and my cat nearly killed me. Even our vet, who is well practiced at clipping the nails, had a bad time with our cat. The cat fought so vehemently against this that you couldn't hold her hard enough to keep her still without hurting her. I tried twice myself after being shown. First time she bit me and the second time she managed to lay four separate, fully bleeding scratches on me. Never again.

You might be getting the sense that our cat is somewhat of a bitch and you couldn't be more right. She cuddles with me but she seems to hate every other living thing on the planet (including our other cat who she's shared a house with for six years...still hisses at the other cat if it gets within three feet of her). As a result this cat likely could never be adopted by anyone else.

Our choices were declawing or the pound (we couldn't make up our mind about a no-kill shelter and if she'd be ok there). She no longer has her front claws and for the life of me seems no different from before or after. FWIW she is strictly an indoor cat. Fortunately the few times she made a dash for the door she got only a few feet out the door, decided the big world scared her and ran back in. She will never ever be roaming outside short of a major mistake on our part.

you with the face
01-24-2003, 12:45 PM
It's rather hard to find a non-biased source on the web about anything let along about hot topics like declawing, but here's the best I could to.

http://www.api4animals.org/doc.asp?ID=555

from the link:
Veterinarian Kimberly Harrison refuses to perform declaw procedures. She states that "behavioral problems frequently haunt declawed cats. By far the commonest thing we see is cats not using the litter box. When cats have stress beyond what they can take it often shows up as a litter box problem and declawing makes them stress intolerant, in general, for the rest of their lives." Dr. Harrison gets 3 to 12 calls a day about litter box problems in cats and, after ruling out medical problems, 90% of the cats with litter box aversion are declawed cats.

you with the face
01-24-2003, 12:58 PM
Is laser declawing still a no-no in the anti-declawing world? The cat in this case does not have its digit removed.

Non-laser declawing doesn't remove the digit, only the tip of the digit (i.e. first knuckle on up). The lasar procedure does the same thing.

SC_Wolf
01-24-2003, 01:15 PM
Originally posted by Who_me?
NO, no, no!!! Spaying and neutering are for the animal's own welfare!!! Declawing is for the human's welfare!!! :rolleyes:

Explain how spaying and neutering are for the animal's own welfare? I would posit that these procedures are done more for the benefits of people, not cats: reduces spraying in males, keeps a household from having to deal with trying to give away a litter of kittens, keeps a male cat from knocking up some female stray in the neighborhood thus increasing the general stray problem so that people don't have to have the guilt of all the stray kittens that are put down each year hanging over their heads.

The only "welfare of the cat" reason I can honestly see is that the females no longer go through the every few weeks of being hot and bothered, rolling around on the floor and caterwauling the feline equivilent of "WHO DO I HAVE TO SLEEP WITH TO GET A GOOD F*** AROUND HERE?" Now with ferrets, it's a different story: females, if not bred upon the onset of estrus, DIE. Unlike cats, having a female ferret that you don't intend to breed spayed is a welfare of the animal issue.

Beagle
01-24-2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by DanielWithrow
Actually, Beagle, it can be an especially bad idea to declaw an aggressive cat: they'll sometimes start biting instead of scratching, and a cat bite is much more dangerous than a cat scratch. But otherwise, I agree with your post.

Daniel Most of the mean cats I've seen claw you and hold so they can get a good bite on you. Biting and clawing are hardly mutually exclusive. They are more like peanut butter and chocolate - to a mean cat.For those who maintain it is a 'simple' matter to train yoru cat are welcome to come ovwer to my place and have a shot at my cat. Simple? No. Possible? Yes. Labor intensive? Extremely.

To be totally effective you have to stalk your cat where it claws. This may entail closing off portions of the house, whatever. Water guns, scratching posts, and cat nip all help. Carrot, meet stick.

Sometimes, the initial damage is all it takes to make you stroke out anyway. Once furniture has gashes, well, it has gashes. Sometimes things can be recovered. This can be a blessing in disguise, in the case of fugly hand-me-downs. Or, in the case of our dining room chairs, the new ones are a lot nicer than the ones that came with the set.

My advice: get cheap furniture or don't let your cat into the rooms with the expensive stuff. Or, combine the two.

My German Shepherd ate the carpet in two rooms. Solution: tile.

you with the face
01-24-2003, 01:30 PM
Explain how spaying and neutering are for the animal's own welfare?

I'm pretty sure most owners don't do it for this particular reason, but the risk of some diseases is drastically reduced by spaying/neutering. Mammary, uterine, and prostate cancers and venereal diseases are some that quickly come to mind. Castrated animals also tend to roam the streets a lot less, which keeps their cute little heads out from under the wheels of SUVs.

Just FYI...

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-24-2003, 01:39 PM
What You with the Face said on the animal's welfare.

You can also consider the welfare of the 5 million animals that are euthanized in US shelters every year because there are so many more cats and dogs than there are homes for them; were we to spay and neuter more cats and dogs, we'd see a corresponding drop in the number of euthanized animals.

Daniel

Liberal
01-24-2003, 01:43 PM
Daniel wrote:

Lib, as our resident expert on logical fallacies, can you tell me what this is called? False dilemma, maybe? Excluded middle? I'm not sure, but I smell a rat.It would have been a bifurcation if I had not asked you to posit that ours is the only home for him.

Who_me?
01-24-2003, 01:45 PM
Originally posted by SC_Wolf
Explain how spaying and neutering are for the animal's own welfare?.

Actually, I posted that with the rolleyes because I figured that would be the anti- declawing sentiment on the question when RickJay asked it. And I was apparently correct because:

Originally posted by Azael

Apples and oranges. I suppose getting a vasectomy is a "maiming practice" as well? Not to mention that spaying and neutering help to keep the population from booming out of control. That's the sort of situation that lends itself to far worse animal abuses than anything we are talking about here. Throwing around loaded terms like "maiming" and "mutilation" doesn't really help either side of the debate.

I think declawing is not maiming. Do declawed cats continue to have pain? Can they still lead a healthy, happy life?

zwaldd
01-24-2003, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by SC_Wolf
Explain how spaying and neutering are for the animal's own welfare? It's not so much the animal's own welfare as the welfare of its potential kittens. Point being there are more cats than there are homes for them already, we don't need to increase the homeless, euthanasia-candidate cat population. Still a human issue, IMO, but a legitimate one.

istara
01-24-2003, 02:23 PM
My half-cat, who I really should try to get spayed, is only eighteen months old and is pregnant for the third time. She is half-feral, and I only see her a few nights of the week, and she is only tame with me and freaks out at other people, hence the difficulty in getting her to a vet in daylight hours.

However although she seems to revel in her pregnancies, I can't help feeling that gestation after gestation is just going to wear her little feline body out. Plus - as others have mentioned - the huge problem of unwanted kittens here. (Sadly, she has vanished for weeks each time after having her kittens, and never shown them to me. She just turns up again eventually for food, you can tell she is still breastfeeding them, but they never appear and I have no clue what happens to them once they are weaned. It is a maze of rat-run alleyways around here.

Back to clawing: her claws are sharp and nasty. When she crawls onto my lap and starts her "love-pawing" it hurts like hell, because they dig in. She also started scritching up my brand new tribal Persian rug the first day she saw it. But it's still not reasons to maim her (even if she was a 100% indoor cat, which of course she's not). Her claws are part of her. I could always hang the rug on the wall. Restrict her to rooms where there weren't scratchable furniture. Sew protection patches of hessian on lower parts of furniture. Put a towel or something over my lap when she sits on it.

Because ultimately, I love and respect my half-cat more than any inanimate object. I would always put her health and wellbeing and physical wholeness first.

erislover
01-24-2003, 02:33 PM
I think declawing is not maiming. Do declawed cats continue to have pain? Can they still lead a healthy, happy life?Neither of those are criteria for a maiming. A person whose arm I put through a wood chipper would still be able to live a healthy happy life without pain. It is still a maiming.

What is it with this word that is so intolerable?

zwaldd
01-24-2003, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by istara
My half-catI know what a henway is, but what's a half-cat?

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-24-2003, 03:03 PM
It's like Eric, the half-a-bee.

Daniel

DrDeth
01-24-2003, 05:17 PM
Well, you see...MOST male cats will do things like get aggressive & spray- thus, in general, spaying is a good thing to do. And, in many instances- the cat will not stop the spraying behaviour once started, even if neutered later. And- these behaviours are very hard to train the cat out of. Sure, I wish we didn't have to fix my male cat- but it was for the best.

However- MOST cats will not be destructive in their usage of claws, and MOST cats who do use their claws on the furniture can be easily trained to use scratching posts & the like. Thus, declawing is not usually needed. I would *consider* it- but only as a last resort. Thank God we have never needed to do so.

Note that declawing also seems to be far more traumatic to a cat that neutering, and has a higher risk of side effect.

So, yes, I'd say that declawing is not nessesarily "wrong & evil", but it is something that should not be done routinely, but only in a few special cases. However, too many families just do it without considering more humane alternatives.

Daikona
01-24-2003, 06:57 PM
Originally posted by zwaldd
I should have said specifically a declawed indoor cat. Declawing an outdoor cat is just plain cruel. I suppose once you make the decision to confine a cat to the house for the rest of its life, declawing it is not going to make much of a difference in its ability to suit your pet needs.

See, this confuses me. Usually, the people I hear up in arms about the cruelty of declawing also tell me that allowing cats outside means one should not be allowed to have them. After all, it's dangerous out there. Which makes me wonder then, what I am to do with my cat, since no matter where she is someone will insist it is cruel to have her there.

erislover
01-24-2003, 09:41 PM
Do what you want with your cat; the unreasonable expectation is that no one should care, or that you can appease all parties.

Virgowitch
01-24-2003, 11:40 PM
Everyone who has their cat declawed should have the tips of each finger removed to the first knuckle so they'll know what it's like; under anesthesia, of course, humanely.

istara
01-25-2003, 07:01 AM
Originally posted by zwaldd
I know what a henway is, but what's a half-cat?
She's not quite mine. She only occupies half the space in my life (though a full quota of love) that a normal pet cat would. Because she's feral, so is only there around half of the time.

SC_Wolf
01-25-2003, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by you with the face
I'm pretty sure most owners don't do it for this particular reason, but the risk of some diseases is drastically reduced by spaying/neutering. Mammary, uterine, and prostate cancers and venereal diseases are some that quickly come to mind. Castrated animals also tend to roam the streets a lot less, which keeps their cute little heads out from under the wheels of SUVs.

I'll buy the first one, but also would wager that preventing said diseases is not the first benefit that most cat owners would list when asked why they got their cat neutered/spayed. :)

The second one, is a bit of a stretch. Would other 'maiming' practices, such as quaduruple amputation, become acceptable because they also prevent the cat from roaming the streets? It's for the welfare of the animal, you know.

you with the face
01-25-2003, 11:52 AM
Would other 'maiming' practices, such as quaduruple amputation, become acceptable because they also prevent the cat from roaming the streets? It's for the welfare of the animal, you know.

If you can show how quality of life is negatively affected by spaying/neutering, then I'll concede that you have a point. Not until then, though. :)

SC_Wolf
01-25-2003, 12:21 PM
My ex-roomate's siamese became dramatically overweight overweight after he had her spayed. It's my understanding that this is fairly common. How much of a negative effect on quality of life do those extra pounds have? Do the health benefits of disease prevention outweigh the health risks of obesity?

Also, surely there's extra effort during even mild to moderate exercise, such as walking across the room and jumping, but it's hard to tell just how much of an impact this has on the cat's life. I mean, after all, you can't tell if a cat is laying there thinking "Damn, whenever I walk across the room I get tired hauling around this lardbutt of mine" or if they're just laying there because they're well... a cat, and that's what cats do.

Now getting back to the original topic, just how badly does declawing affect the quality of life of an indoor cat?

Azael
01-25-2003, 12:44 PM
So, yes, I'd say that declawing is not nessesarily "wrong & evil", but it is something that should not be done routinely, but only in a few special cases. However, too many families just do it without considering more humane alternatives.


Agreed, DrDeth.

You'd better have one hell of a sob story if you want to justify declawing your cat. Doing it because it's easier than training or because of some mistaken belief that the cat's quality of life is not effected is selfish and stupid.

GOM
01-25-2003, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by erislover
Neither of those are criteria for a maiming. A person whose arm I put through a wood chipper would still be able to live a healthy happy life without pain. It is still a maiming.

What is it with this word that is so intolerable?

I'm not sure it's intolerable. I think it's inaccurate. The person you describe in your example clearly will have reduced function. Major loss of function in fact. A cat that has been declawed does not show any signs of reduced function. They jump fine. They walk fine. They essentially do all the normal cat things except destroy furniture.

Once declawed they cannot defend themselves very well, so they should never be allowed outside. Some people keep their cats inside at all times. I think calling it maiming is overkill.

.02

P.S. I have never declawed any of my cats, and probably never will. I have had a lot of cats over the years.

Rico
01-25-2003, 02:53 PM
Folks, I think there is one point that a lot of you have missed:

The City of West Hollywood is only 1.9 square miles! (http://www.losangelesalmanac.com/topics/Cities/ci86.htm)

:rolleyes:

If a person wants their cat declawed. they can WALK out of the city anad get it done.

This is another example of a useless, ineffective law. It's symbolic only.

Oh yes, and IMHO no cat should be declawed, even though Duffy has shredded my hands a few times in play.

I'm simply amazed by the number of people that believe this is going to make any difference in the grand scheme of things.

erislover
01-25-2003, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by GOM
I'm not sure it's intolerable. I think it's inaccurate. The person you describe in your example clearly will have reduced function. Major loss of function in fact. A cat that has been declawed does not show any signs of reduced function. They jump fine. They walk fine. They essentially do all the normal cat things except destroy furniture.If declawing a cat does not reduce any amount of functionality, then it really is unnecessary surgery, wouldn't you say?

A man with only one arm doesn't show reduced functioning by that reasoning: he can drive, he can eat, he can scratch his nose. He jumps fine. He walks fine.
Once declawed they cannot defend themselves very well, so they should never be allowed outside.So there is a loss of function! Huh. ;)

elfkin477
01-25-2003, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by DrDeth
So, yes, I'd say that declawing is not nessesarily "wrong & evil", but it is something that should not be done routinely, but only in a few special cases. However, too many families just do it without considering more humane alternatives.

I agree with this too. However, my family has had two declawed cats, both siamese. One of them was one of our many "rescued" cats. Before we took him in he'd been abused then abandoned (and abused some more by people on a constuction crew who though it was fun to throw hammers at him. He was minus a fang from that. We got him from the guy on the crew who took the cat away from them.), and was very timid, though very loving. His previous owners had declawed him. The problem was that our other house cat hated him. She was a lot bigger than him, and weighed twice what he did. She decided that it would be fun to scratch him bloody every chance she got. She even demonstrated a new trick, and learned to open door latches so she could go after him. So we had a delemia on our hands. Did we give our poor rescued cat to the shelter, where he would probably been put down due to his advantanced age and not great health, or did we declaw the other cat so she couldn't hurt him as much? We opted to have her declawed as well. Once she was clawless they no longer fought; they actually became best buddies. We hated to have it done, but it seemed to be the only good solution at the time (had those claw sheaths been around then we probably would have gotten them instead). I wouldn't declaw another cat, but I don't regret that we had it done to that particular cat and I can see other cases where it might be better for the cat than being tossed out. YMMV

you with the face
01-25-2003, 04:30 PM
by SC_Wolf:
My ex-roomate's siamese became dramatically overweight overweight after he had her spayed. It's my understanding that this is fairly common. How much of a negative effect on quality of life do those extra pounds have? Do the health benefits of disease prevention outweigh the health risks of obesity?

Cats who have been spayed/neutered do have a higher propensity for putting on pounds. However, that problem can be avoided by feeding the cat reasonable amounts and a proper diet. My spayed kitty keeps pretty trim because I make sure her intake equals her output. This is something any owner should do.

Obesity does affect quality of life. But spaying/neutering does not automatically equal a fat cat. In fact, my sister has a spayed female that is down right skinny no matter how much she eats.

tracer
01-25-2003, 08:37 PM
If your cat feels defenseless with its claws removed, couldn't you just give it a light saber for its birthday or something?

GOM
01-26-2003, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by erislover
1. If declawing a cat does not reduce any amount of functionality, then it really is unnecessary surgery, wouldn't you say?

A man with only one arm doesn't show reduced functioning by that reasoning: he can drive, he can eat, he can scratch his nose. He jumps fine. He walks fine.

3. So there is a loss of function! Huh. ;)

1. No. I would say it is sometimes necessary but I was rushing my post and worded my sentence poorly, as I often do. Declawing reduces the cat's capability to inflict destruction on furniture, which I suspect is the primary reason the surgery is done. I have not done a scientific survey on this point. It's only my opinion.

2. A man with two arms who suddenly loses one will definitely show major reduced function. If he used to enjoy playing baseball, football, the piano or the guitar he would now fairly and accurately described as maimed. A cat with no front claws is not maimed, imo.

3. hahaha Ya got me there!

GOM
01-26-2003, 01:58 PM
This thread makes me sad. I just realized that I should have declawed one of my previous cats. He was very powerful and would beat up all the other cats in the neighborhood. He even chased away his own brother, who was a beautiful gentle cat. Funny thing about this bully cat is that he was very gentle with a kitten we had at the same time. He would protect him and teach him how to fight, almost in the way a mother cat would do.

Perhaps I should have declawed him. Maybe it would have helped. But I've never done it to a cat so I never even considered that option at the time. Live and learn....

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-26-2003, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by zwaldd
I know what a henway is, but what's a half-cat?

Okay, I know it's driving you crazy, zwalddp, that nobody's asked you, so I'll relieve the tension for you:

How much does a henway?

Daniel

Measure for Measure
01-27-2003, 01:39 AM
I suppose it's an issue of priorities.

The single most important factor affecting feline mortality is whether the cat is an indoor, indoor/outdoor, or outdoor cat. "The average life expectancy of an outdoor cat is just two to five years, while an indoor cat may survive for 17 or more years." http://www.co.lane.or.us/Animals/indoorCat.htm To the (modest) extent that removing kitty's toenails is more likely to persuade the owner to keep it indoors, this surgical procedure may very well save kitty lives.

But, I must admit, I care little about kitty welfare. What I care more about is the massive damage to the environment caused by non-native species, of which cats are prime perpetrators.
http://www.nana.asn.au/n2-cats.htm

Therefore, anything that can keep the kitties locked up is a good thing in my book.

Mothchunks
01-27-2003, 10:28 AM
How would you like your fingertips cut off to make you furniture-safe?

zwaldd
01-27-2003, 12:33 PM
Originally posted by DanielWithrow
How much does a henway? :smack:

xenophon41
01-27-2003, 01:48 PM
And "why did the chicken go to the other side of the road?"

erislover
01-27-2003, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by GOM
If he used to enjoy playing baseball, football, the piano or the guitar he would now fairly and accurately described as maimed. But only then? So a cat who used to enjoy scratching things and stretching out his little digits by digging in claws would be fairly and accurately described as maimed, right? And a guy who didn't do anything which required two arms wouldn't be maimed, is that right?

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-27-2003, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by zwaldd
:smack:

(sorry, zwaldd -- sometimes I'm a right bastard :cool:)

Daniel

DrDeth
01-27-2003, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by elfkin477
I agree with this too. However, my family has had two declawed cats, both siamese. We hated to have it done, but it seemed to be the only good solution at the time (had those claw sheaths been around then we probably would have gotten them instead). I wouldn't declaw another cat, but I don't regret that we had it done to that particular cat and I can see other cases where it might be better for the cat than being tossed out. YMMV

Well, elfkin & azael- if the world consisted of reasonable dudes who made educated choices like the 3 of us- then laws like these would never even be considered.

Of course- you'll never know that you made the ONLY "right decision". However- you considered it, weighed the alternatives, and made an informed choice that considered the cat's welfare & happiness also. That's all we can do as responsible pet owners. So- yes, you did right.

I have never had to declaw a cat- I hope I never have to. But I recognize that sometimes it has to be done.

I haven't had an "outside" or "indoor/outdoor" cat for decades. When I did, we were in rural neighborhood, with little traffic, and it was safer for cats to be outside. Still, 1 out of the 3 cats we had got killed by a car. I likely will not let any cats out again- however, I suppose if I bought a farm for retirement, a few cats kept primarily as outdoor "rodent control" might be a possibility.

So- in general I say NO to declawing & outdoor cats. But I keep an open mind.

Measure for Measure
01-27-2003, 08:45 PM
Traffic is hardly the only risk that cat face outdoors. Other animals such as dogs, racoons, foxes and other cats can attack them. They are more exposed to diseases such as rabies, feline leukemia, distemper, and feline immunodeficincy virus. Vaccines are not 100% effective and there is no vaccine for FIV. Then there are parasites such as worms, ticks, mites, and fleas. Exposure to pesticides, rodenticides and antifreeze poisons and kills thousands of outdoor cats each year. Cats are maimed and killed in traps set for furbearing animals.

It's a scary world out there.

Measure for Measure
01-27-2003, 08:57 PM
Originally posted by Mothchunks
How would you like your fingertips cut off to make you furniture-safe? I do not accept the analogy. I believe that you are anthropomorphizing. No biggie, though.

Other posters have observed that, following a declawing procedure done when the cat is young, the cat did not appear to lead an unhappy or stressed life. Similarly for flowbark, following his circumcision as an infant.

So, unless you can observe enhanced suffering associated with declawing, I say snip away. And keep the cat indoors, where it won't prey upon birds, lizards, and various native species. *

* (Farm cats a separate issue).

sezyou
01-27-2003, 09:23 PM
I understand that West Hollywood is passing a law making male cat circumcision illegal now also. Can't be maiming those kitties!

tracer
01-27-2003, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by DanielWithrow
How much does a henway?
What's a segway (http://www.segway.com/)?
About 80 pounds.

zwaldd
01-27-2003, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by flowbark
I do not accept the analogy. I believe that you are anthropomorphizing. flowbark, can i use that for a sig? :D I couldn't credit you though...it would take away from the effect.

Ahhh, maybe I'll credit you. I'll have to try it out, but I'll need permission either way.

Measure for Measure
01-27-2003, 11:29 PM
zwald: lol. Sure, use it with or without attribution. (I am also relieved to confirm that "anthropomorphizing" is indeed a word. It's even spelled correctly.) :D