Contracts prohibiting de-clawing.

While hunting for a new Chartreux, I’ve found that many of the breeders are insisting on a contract that prohibits declawing.

What I want to know is, how enforceable is this contract? I will probably get the cat from another state.
What could possibly happen when I have the front claws removed and the seller finds out? Does anyone know of any case law on this? I want another one of these cats, but I don’t like being told what I can do with something after I own it.
I even ran into one breeder who insisted on a contract that prohibited the cat from being neutered. Absurd!

It appears such contracts are largely unenforceable (spay/neutering example):

From here:

I signed such a contract when I got my cat. I had to have her fixed (would have anyway), but I was not allowed to have her declawed. I have stood by that, but I will not sign another like it.

She is never allowed outside. Her claws are just used to rip the carpeting.

Has there been a change in opinion about declawing cats? It used to be very common.

I don’t want to turn this into a debate about declawing, but it seems to me that the animals rights nuts have gotten enough people opposed to it that some places have even passed laws against it. Some of the propaganda they spread is nonsense. Every cat I’ve ever owned has been a strictly indoor cat. Scratching posts, claw covers, repelants, etc. never were enough to prevent serious damage. None of my cats showed any sign of problems or personality change due to the surgery.

However I see no reason to remove claws on all four paws. Just the front will do the trick.

Then why go here then?

(my italics)
Whatever, I think that you are morally obliged to adhere to the breeders’ prohibitions even if the “contract” is legally unenforceable.

I don’t. My only concern is if I am legally obligated to it.

Whether contractual anti-declawing provisions are enforceable is a matter of the law in your jurisdiction. Frankly, I seriously doubt it has ever come before the courts of Wisconsin in a published decision. As a general principle, however, it is always safest to assume that a freely accepted contractual term is indeed enforceable.

So the question then is what happens if you violate the contract and have Fluffy declawed anyway? The contract itself may specify the consequences, such as forefeiture of the cat to the seller and/or reasonable liquidated damages. In the absence of such a provision, the ordinary contractual damages would be money measured by what you have deprived the seller of–the “benefit of the bargain.”

I am by no means giving advice about how those damages might be measured, in my jurisdiction or anywhere else, but I have a hard time imagining what would justify more than nominal damages.

I’ve heard it’s recommended not to have the dew claw removed as it causes no damage and also (if removed) leaves room for infection or something.

Personally I find declawing quite cruel. It’s like somebody removing your fingernails because you only use them to scratch an itch.

If you’re that concerned about your furniature buy a scratching post and/or don’t buy a cat!

Yeah, I don’t consider myself an “animal rights nut” - I have neutered both my dogs.

But, I believe that mutiliating animals (that is what it is) is wrong; whether you are talking about de-clawing, docking tails or what have you.

If you got to whittle on the beast maybe you shouldn’t have it.

Baloney - we had a siamese, and she clawed everything BUT her damn scratching post.

Exactly. And if newbie had read the entire thread thay would have seen my post on how other means were not effective!
Removing the front claws can even be beneficial to the cat and other cats in the dwelling (I’ve had a cat scratch the shit out of another cat with it’s front claws).

:smack: D’oh! I’m adding fuel to the fire!
Sigh!I guess this is a subject that just can’t help but turn into a debate.:rolleyes:

The fact is, while I feel no moral obligation to the breeder, I have a moral obligation to myself, my family, and my other pets. I don’t like entering into agreements I intend to break, but if the breeders are so illogical then I guess I’ll have too.

These cats are rare. If they were a dime-a-dozen I bet the breeder would have no such restrictions.

I have only owned three cats during my lifetime, but none of them ever scratched at anything but their scratching post while indoors. Admittedly, they were inside/outside cats, but they seemed to spend more time in than out.

My take on this is to wait until the cat demonstrates that it’s going to start clawing at furniture and stuff, and then make the decision to declaw. If my furniture were being damaged, I’d say “to hell with the contract”.

So it’s ok to cut the animals balls off, but not the claws it’s using to damage things?:rolleyes:

My sisterinlaw was same way until her otherwise nice cat scratched the living hell out of their $2000 couch. The only nice thing they had in their house to show off was a pristine scratching post:p
She damn near ripped those claws out herself with a pliers.

Be sure to ask the breeder if a tendonectomy would be considered “declawing”. It’s a less radical procedure; rather then removing the claws altogether, it takes away the cat’s ability to extend them. (Regular declawing is akin to cutting off your own fingers past the knuckles.)

The disadvantage is that with your cat’s claws still present and her unable to sharpen them, they require regular clipping. Clipping on its own will also make kitty’s unaltered claws much less destructive.

Whichever you choose, if you operate, be sure to get it done at a good vet.

Ooh - flames how intriguing - lol

I meant that to be a factual statement with my opinion thrown in for my penny’s worth. Sorry to start this up

Newbie did read the whole thread and that’s why newbie suggested not buying a cat at all. In my experience you just gotta live with these things.

But contractually - I’m sure that you are legally obliged to carry it out. Just because there is no predecent in the law doesn’t mean you can’t be sued/ legal action may be taken.
Of course - this would be British, I’m not entirely familiar with the American system.

pk, I’m not sure if you’d be interested in something like this but it would be one alternative to de-clawing. I had a family member try these “soft claws” once and they said it was a fair success. I guess that would depend on how rambunctious the cat was getting and keeping them on. Might be considered pricey though.

Good luck, no matter what.

I know we’re getting really OT here - but if that were your other option and you were determined to have a cat I’d say declaw - the ‘soft claws’ look like a good idea for travelling and what-not but the effort involved! It would drive me crazy trying to stick them on.

Are there any lawyers who could advise you on this? I think that would be the best option PK

Like I said, I don’t like entering into agreements I don’t intend on keeping. It’s creepy.

But so is this fallacy that declawing a cat is this inhumane, horrible thing. All around, the benefits outweigh the minuses. And it is a legal thing to have done (at least here it is).
I’m looking for case law on this issue.
Is a contract legal/binding if it prohibits one from doing something that A)is to their own property and B) a legal procedure?
Would a contract with a car dealership saying you wouldn’t ever drive the car over 50 be legal/binding?

Have courts ever ruled on things like this?

Now that is a good point!

Well if a woman can sue McDonalds for giving her hot coffee you may find yourself sued for declawing a prime breeder (don’t ask me how, you know how absurd these things can get)

I strongly recommend legal advice - or just don’t sign the contract and try and keep quiet about it.

Nope. I got my run-of-the-mill cat from PAWS, the local cat rescue, and they have no declaw in their contract.