Cat Haters Are Out In Full Force

Earlier this week New York became the first state in the US to ban cat declawing, which is a major victory not only for the many people who have been pushing for a ban for years, but especially for the potentially millions of cats who won’t be mutilated for the sake of someone’s couch or drapes.

It’s a time to celebrate, revel in a rare legislative victory for animal welfare, and look ahead toward similar proposals in other states. If more states follow New York, it could pave the way to a national ban.

Innocent, sentient creatures won’t be harmed as they have been for a long time. What could be better than that?

Here come the cat-haters

The thing is, legislation like this brings out the crazies and lots people who think protecting the innocent is a zero-sum game. In their world, helping animals and helping humans are mutually exclusive things instead of two goals that should be part of any coherent moral belief system.

Just because people are suffering in some parts of the world doesn’t mean we can’t help animals, just as helping animals doesn’t preclude us from helping people.

Declawing bans don’t take resources away from starving children in Somalia or America’s urban poor. Compassion for animals doesn’t somehow detract for compassion for people. In fact, all the research points to the opposite: That the way a person treats animals is a strong indicator of how they treat other human beings.

A comment on a story about New York’s historic declawing ban.
The zero-sum game that isn’t.

Animal abuse and violence crime

That’s why there’s a link between animal abuse and violent crime against people. Animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violence against fellow humans, research shows. Criminologists have been aware of this link for many years, and smart investigators know to keep tabs on animal abusers because they often “graduate” to hurting humans.

That was the case with Luka Magnotta, a notorious animal abuser who, among other crimes, filmed himself feeding a young kitten to a python. Magnotta went on to kill a man with an ice pick, a crime that could have been prevented had detectives in Canada taken Magnotta’s animal abuse more seriously. Animal life has intrinsic value, and Magnotta should have been imprisoned for killing the kitten.

Cats scratch. Get over it.

Then there are the declawing advocates, the people who inexplicably argue that it’s okay to brutally mutilate living, feeling creatures in order to protect inanimate objects like couches and drapes.

One thing should be absolutely clear to anyone looking to adopt a cat: Scratching is completely natural behavior, and it’s your responsibility as caretaker to make sure you provide adequate scratching posts, as well as redirect your cat to those posts and vertical scratchers.

If you can’t or won’t accept that responsibility, you should not adopt a cat.

Cute Kitty
“Don’t touch my paws!”

Of course there are people who will insist declawing has no negative effects on cats. They’re wrong. That’s not a matter of opinion, it’s fact: A 2017 study, the most comprehensive of its kind, detailed a long list of negative effects that result from declawing.

Declawing is NOT a manicure

Declawing, which is the amputation of a cat’s feet up to the first knuckle — and not “kitty manicure” — causes lifelong pain in cats. Because cats are digitigrade animals, meaning they walk with their weight on their toes, the act of walking itself becomes painful. That leads to cats altering their gaits to limit the pain, which in turn leads to poor posture, which ultimately leads to early-onset arthritis and other physical problems, according to the 2017 study in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

It’s a cascade of physical problems that leads to misery.

Because cats are famously stoic, doing everything they can not to show pain — they are prey animals as well as predators, after all — it may not be obvious, but declawing hurts them. A lot.

While people may think they’re solving a problem by declawing their cats, they’re creating new ones. Declawed cats are several times more likely to bite because they no longer have their claws for defense. They’re five times more likely to stop using the litter box, because the simple act of standing on litter granules is painful on their raw toe stumps. They’re more likely to be aggressive and ill-tempered.

Insult to injury

Those are all prime reasons why people surrender cats to shelters, causing another type of cascade: One in which a negligent owner has his or her cats declawed, then surrenders the cats because they’re acting out. Declawed cats are twice as likely to be surrendered to shelters as cats who are not declawed.

That directly contradicts claims by proponents of declawing, who say declawed cats are more likely to be adopted. In fact, declawed cats are more likely to end up without homes.

It’s 2019. The information is out there for anyone to look up, and ignorance is no longer an excuse. Declawing is wrong.

Here’s to hoping New York is just the first of many states to ban the barbaric practice.

“You don’t wanna tangle with these talons, bro. I’ll cut you. I’ll cut you for real. And then you’ll have to lather anti-bacterial cream all over your skin, and you’ll smell like medicine. Hah!”


18 thoughts on “Cat Haters Are Out In Full Force”

  1. Great post – I worked at a vet clinic in Houston 80-81 and our vet wouldn’t do a “full declaw.” He’d developed a method to remove the nail only, then seal the blood vessel with superglue until it healed. The cat was not fully declawed, no part of the bone removed, etc. It seemed to work very well with minimal trauma to the cat. Anyway, I think a ban is great. We lived in Switzerland and NO vet over there will do it – period. Keep it out of the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting. Did the claws grow back? And what about the quick? That’s a very sensitive part of the toe. Anyway, you’re right, a procedure like declawing has no place in a civilized country.


      1. As far as I recall, this was pretty much permanent. The quick and the blood vessel are what was sealed by the superglue. It was a really long time ago, so I’m not entirely sure about the procedure but it was the only thing he would do for people who otherwise wanted a full-amputation declaw.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. why is it that our neighbors in Europe are seeing that mutilation ( declawing, docking tails,etc) of animals is not cool. I bet Europe has less serial killers than we do,since animal cruelty is the first sign of an evil mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish the US would get the message like Europe. The first move in the right direction was when Trump signed the first Federal law against animal abuse – unfortunately, declawing doesn’t fall within that statute.

        I haven’t read it yet, but I’m going to shortly – maybe there’s a way to argue it does. Wouldn’t THAT be wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know the broad strokes of the bill, which was designed to make it easier for prosecutors to charge animal abusers with felonies. Previously animal abuse was treated like minor property crime in the US, which led to some infuriatingly light sentences for people convicted of horrific abuse. (Rachel, IIRC we discussed that Miami case with the man who set a cat on fire. That’s exactly the kind of case that would result in a felony and more prohibitive sentencing.)

        I don’t know if it can be used to prosecute people for declawing their cats. The major anti-declawing organizations haven’t said anything about it, so I’m thinking it probably doesn’t impact elective procures, no matter how cruel or damaging.


  2. I LOVE that NY did this! What made mad when I first read the story was it mentioned there were a bunch of Vets that DIDN’T support the ban. WTF??!! Of all people, they should know first hand how harmful this is to cats! Absolutely floored me.

    PS…. I love getting Buddy’s newsletter in my inbox. Following your escapades is so much fun. Keep up the good work Buddy. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah a lot of people are surprised to learn it’s veterinary lobbying groups that oppose declawing bans, mostly because declawing is a profitable business for vets. Of course there are veterinarians on both sides of the issue and many good veterinarians who will refuse to declaw cats, but the veterinary associations have proven very adept at defeating declawing bans. Many of them donate to state lawmakers and buy influence specifically for these cases, where legislation will impact them financially.

      I’m glad you enjoy Buddy’s stories! Stay tuned for more Budtastic adventures 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so distressed with the ignorance of so many. I even have a family member that is getting a cat that she will declaw. Nothing I have said reaches her closed mind so I give up.
    I can forgive most things, but not animal cruelty. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. They don’t know how important cats are, I hate them, especially that sick fuck that poisons cats with anti-freeze. They meet a horrible and painful death, full of tremors and seizures. I’m pretty sure that illegal, and I hope someone reported that bitch. I’ve always loved cats, and I relate to how you think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed it’s cruel and unjustifiable to leave antifreeze out to kill cats. Lately there has also been a surge in incidents by bird enthusiasts targeting cats due to bunk studies that vastly overstate feline impact on bird populations. I’m working on a post about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This reply is a bit late but one of my cats, Ferdinand, came to us declawed. His first owner abandoned him to starve in the city, where
    Ferd was found begging for food behind a restaurant. He’s been with us for many years now, and he’s starting to show his age. When it gets cold Ferd’s poor paws get sore. Why anyone would abuse an animal by having it declawed is beyond me.


    1. It’s infuriating. It should be illegal nationwide, and it should be a felony. We’re talking about the mutilation of animals and the destruction of their quality of life, physically and mentally. Poor Ferdinand. I’m glad hes’ got you.


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