Annie Bruce of www.goodcatswearblack.com writes: (3/8/03):
I have written the American Veterinary Medical Association many times about the property destruction and cat bites that people suffer when owning declawed cats. The AVMA should cease declawing or tendonectomizing of all cats because these cats are dangerous for people to own and it is abuse of cats. As a cat owner consultant, I have logged hundreds of calls and found that declawed cat owners have an increased risk of: litter box maintenance; lost floorboards, drywall, carpet, sofas, beds and security deposits because of urine damage; getting bit; chewing damage; and having to give up the cat (giving cat away, abandoning cat or having him euthanized.)
Declawed cats have more diabetes, depression, litter box problems and drug use than clawed cats. There were 0% declaws in 1965. There are approximately 50% declaws in the US today. Many countries (Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, etc.) have made it illegal.
Cats are being abused, abandoned, surrendered to shelters and destroyed due to behavior problems resulting from declawing/tendonectomies. But people dont know that its only declawed cats who have lost security deposits, leather sofas and floorboards because of their notorious urine problems. Declawed cats have damaged computer cords and wood/furniture by chewing on them.
Its declawed cats that people want to get rid of. Clawed cats do NOT have the same problems. When a clawed cat has a litter box problem, he is nearly always sick or old. People think that all cats pee outside the box or bite but this is not true. Declawing or tendonectomies do NOT save sofas or cats. They do the exact opposite. There is data to support my claims listed on www.goodcatswearblack.com.
Both operations damage the feet of an animal who uses his paws to cover potent urine. Urine and biting problems are more dangerous and more expensive to solve than litter box, biting or scratching problems. Urine and teeth penetrate deeper than claws. Some cats cant walk after the surgery and must be destroyed. The AVMA has not told the public and they do not inform clients.
The AVMA does not take into account the number of declawed cats residing in feral colonies, homeless declaws in shelters or ones kept in basements due to litter box problems. The AVMA only reports on cats that only veterinarians report on. They dont believe the damage and heart aches my clients have suffered. People are being bitten by declaws and must seek medical attention/antibiotics. And valuable property is being urinated on by declawed and tendonectomized cats. Consumers are not being told. Informed consent is being disregarded when it comes to cat owners. (if a birth control pill had a 33%+ failure rate, wouldnt doctors be held accountable for not telling the client? Declawing has a very HIGH failure rate.)
The Animal Welfare Act and animal cruelty laws are not being enforced when cats get declawed or tendonectomized. Consumer protection laws are not being enforced. People are bringing home peeing/biting machines and they dont know why.
Clawed cats are safe for the public to own. Declawing, tendonectomies and mistreatment of cats needs to end. NOT ONE cat needs to be declawed, tendonectomized, olfactory bulb removed, fangs removed, or penis shortened in response to behavioral problems. A medical condition may require an occasional cat to have ONE toe removed, not 10 or 18 toes! Not 40 million cats! There are millions of smart, trainable cats who die each year due to lack of homes. Theres no reason to abuse any of them. Continuing these practices will continue to mislead the public while hurting the reputation of ALL cats. This affects future adoptions which burdens an already overworked animal shelter system. Nobody wants to adopt peeing/biting/expensive cats.
Cats deserve better treatment and Americans deserve to own safe cats. Declawing and tendonectomy of cats is fraudulent, negligent and abuse. Veterinarians, veterinarian colleges and animal behaviorists should know better than to recommend or perform these dangerous procedures.
Annie Bruce is the author of Cat Be Good -- available at www.goodcatswearblack.com. We thank her for writing.