Hello Gentle Readers,

Jan Murphy

My name is Jan Murphy and I am the shelter manager at The Animal Protection Society of Friday Harbor.  Welcome to our new and improved website!  I’ll be writing a blog for the shelter to keep folks up to date on things that are happening around the shelter as well as pass along information about the wonderful world of pet ownership and animal rescue.

When I sat down to write my first blog, I had to consider what topic to discuss.  I’ve decided to write about my number one “Pet Peeve”,  cat declawing.

I’m happy to say that declawing cats has become much less prevalent than it was in the past.  In fact, the United States is one of only a handful of countries that have not outlawed the practice.  Even so, there are thousands of veterinarians in the U.S. that do NOT declaw cats, due to the cruelty implicit in the procedure.

However, there are still vets who will perform declawing surgeries on cats, which is, in reality, amputation.  When a cat or kitten is declawed the last bone of each toe is cut off.

Not only is the procedure incredibly painful, it has been shown to cause a number of serious problems for cats who have been subjected to it.

  • Declawed cats often develop either aggressive or reclusive personalities, because they become more vulnerable.  A cat’s claws are emotionally and physically the first line of defense.  Declawed cats often tend to bite or become less social.
  • Cats who have been declawed often become dangerously overweight, because they are unable to jump, play and exercise like a cat with full use of its claws.
  • Declawing surgeries often lead to arthritis and joint problems in cats. Many declawed cats become permanently disabled.
  • The pain associated with declawing can become chronic and last throughout a cat’s lifetime.
  • The stress of de-clawing can lead to many stress-induced issues, such as inappropriate urinating and Stomatitis, (a painful gum disease that requires the total extraction of a cat’s teeth).

My advice for people who would consider de-clawing a cat is simple; “Don’t do it!”.  If your furniture is more important to you than your furry family member’s health and well-being, perhaps you should reconsider adopting a cat.