Manicure or Mutilation?

Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist and host of the television show My Cat From Hell, posted an informative YouTube video regarding declawing.

In this video, Mr. Galaxy addresses several key justifications against declawing. He states that declawing is inhumane, barbaric, and mostly cosmetic. In my opinion, this video is using extremely effective rhetorical arguments. His persuasive techniques accurately portray an appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos. This video sums up my entire opinion on the subject of declawing cats. I strongly suggest that any individual who is unaware of the declawing practices in the United States takes five minutes out of their day to watch this video.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), an organization promoting health and welfare of cats, released a declawing statement in 2015. The following points are the foundation of their position statement:

  • Declawing is an ethically controversial procedure
  • It is NOT a medically necessary procedure
  • Scratching is a normal cat behavior
  • Declawing is an amputation
  • It is a veterinarian’s obligation to inform cat owners on alternatives to declawing practices

This organization is ran by a panel of veterinarian professionals who are extremely dedicated and passionate about the quality of care that cats receive. I trust their opinions on declawing procedures. Not only should cat owners be informed of these alternative options, but I also feel that the legality of this procedure should be questioned in the United States. As it stands now, declawing is already banned in two dozen countries around the world. In recent news, a proposed ban on cat declawing got support in the New York senate. If this bill passes, New York will be the first U.S. state to ban declawing. Hopefully the other 49 states follow in their footsteps.

As I continued to research this topic, I found several other reliable resources. Jean Hovfe, a certified veterinarian with many years of experience, posted an article on Little Big Cat, stating the main ten reasons cat owners decide to declaw their pet.

This list includes:

  • To protect furniture or other property (95%)
  • They don’t know that a cat needs a scratching post
  • They don’t want to try to train the cat
  • They tried one or two things to train the cat but it didn’t work
  • Their other cat is declawed and they want to “level the playing field”
  • To stop the cat from scratching them
  • Their friend’s or family’s cat is declawed
  • They have always had declawed cats
  • Their veterinarian recommends it
  • Because they just do not know any better

The main problem that keeps arising is that cat owners are uninformed of the alternative options that could potentially save their felines from years of distasteful behavior. Declawing is not simply giving a cat a manicure, it is mutilating their paws.

No one wants to deal with an eternally grumpy cat. In order to avoid this, I suggest not taking away their primary defense mechanism. If you’re highly curious regarding a cat’s true motives, I suggest you watch this video (it does not pertain to declawing, but it’s still entertaining).