JUST SAY NO TO DECLAWING
From the "Paw Project"
Hold up your hand, locate the last joint of any finger. Now cut each finger off at that joint. Now look at your foot...either one will do. Find the last joint on each toe. Now cut each toe off at that joint. That is DECLAWING. Officially, the procedure is known as onychectomy or de-knuckling which are really polite words for amputation. Per The Paw Project: "In humans, the fingernails grow from the skin but in animals that hunt prey, the claws grow from the bone." The procedure not only cuts off the claw but also cuts off the last knuckles of a cat's paw. Thus, the bone behind the claw as well as tendons, skin and nerves are cut. It does not matter if the proedure is done by laser or other surgical instrucment; the harm/injury is the same.
The kitten/cat has extreme pain after surgery and faces a potential lifetime of painful and crippling after-effects. Per The Paw Project: "25 to 43% of cats in America are declawed." Some vets actually market declawing. Other vets never explain to the kitten/cat's owner what the declawing procedure entails. In The Paw Project film, one lady said that she had no idea that her decision to allow her beloved kitten to be declawed would result in permanent injury.
The pain in walking frequently prevents the cat from using the litter box. The cat, not knowing why or where the pain is coming from, is more likely to bite their human. The result from these negative behaviors is that the cat is likely to be abandoned. But wait, there is a procedure that can, in some instances (and at considerable expense), reduce the pain and restore more normal movement so the cat, exotic or domestic, can be a cat again.
The Paw Project, a non-profit charity, advocates banning the declawing of exotic and domestic cats. Since 2000, generous donors have worked with the Paw Project's veterinarians to provide reparative surgery on lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, jaguars and domestic cats maimed by declawing.
The Paw Project booth at the CatConLa Conference 2015 provided me (Mewma) a DVD with The Paw Project film. Jennifer Conrad, DVM and founder of The Paw Project explains and illustrates the problems post declawing. The film was heart wrenching but moving and inspiring. It made me want to do something. So, my beautiful, precious cats, known as the CatAuthors.com and I want to advocate for cats who have been declawed and, most important, to save other kittens/cats from the insult of declawing.
There are over 22 million declawed cats in America. Jennifer Conrad, DVM and the veterinarians who work with The Paws Project, saw the effects of declawing and know it is not an answer to preventing damage to furniture or injury to their human. In the film, Jackson Galaxy, star of the reality TV show, "My Cat From Hell," discusses alternatives to declawing. His book, Catification, provides detailed information and ideas to make your cat's world challenging, fun and safe.
The Paw Project website discusses the declawing procedure from all angles and describes the legislative efforts, successes and future plans to ban declawing. Declawing is illegal in Austria, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It is illegal in the United States for exotic cats to be declawed but domestic cats can still be declawed with the exception of some cities.
The film is a must-see for all cat lovers. The Paw Project quotes Ghandi: "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."