Every cat needs their claws

Published May 22, 2012 by Jeannette Louise Smith

“All my toes are intact,” says Star Smith. “Thank goodness!”

The Declawing of Cats is an inhumane matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have claws, otherwise you maim!

June 2012 will mark the one-year anniversary I have been writing my Animal Advocacy column on Examiner.com. In that time, I have met many inspirational people in-person and online. The best part about it all has been meeting and promoting like-minded animal advocates and caregivers, learning, and solidifying my conscience. As I continue to find folk to feature, whose core values I share, I thought I’d take the occasional opportunity to spell out my personal position statements.

In November 2011, Israel became the 25th country to ban the inhumane elective procedure commonly referred to as “Declawing.” In medical-speak, it’s called Onychectomy, the surgical amputation of all or part of a cat’s third phalanges (toe bones) and the attached claws.

There is also another procedure called Tendonectomy, in which a small portion of the tendon in each of a cat’s toes is surgically removed to prevent the cat from being able to extend the claws, therefore, the cat is no longer capable of scratching.

The ASPCA describes declawing as comparable to removing your own fingernails, along with the bones to which they are attached. Like the ASPCA, I am absolutely, “opposed to declawing cats for the convenience of their guardians.” Declawing procedures can cause emotional stress, behavior changes, pain, and surgical complications that lead to disease.

Scratching is a natural and necessary cat behavior. There are harm-free, positive, force-free alternatives and available cat behavior advice and counseling on redirecting cats from scratching on unwanted surfaces. Truly Cat Friendly specialists in feline veterinary medicine, like the Capital Cat Clinic, in Arlington, VA do not offer declawing.

Here is a list of forward-thinking countries that recognize these voluntary procedures as sadistic and gratuitous:

England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, France, Germany, Bosnia, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Yugoslavia, Malta, Israel

It’s NEVER TOO LATE to stand up for what you believe in.

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