Siberian Cat Café | 205, chemin Old Chelsea | Chelsea (Québec) | 819.827.MEOOW (6366)

Declawing

Declawing

Our breeder has taken a very firm and strict position regarding declawing and it goes without saying that the Siberian Cat Café administration supports this position and publicly states that we are against declawing as well as all other forms of animal mutilation.

Declawing: a Cruel and Painful Operation

Declawing literally mutilates the cat. In addition, this operation can lead to complications on a physical, emotional and behavioural level. It’s not true that declawing is a harmless procedure that resembles a manicure. Cats’ claws are an essential part of their anatomy, essential for their balance, their mobility and their survival. Declawing is a procedure that is surgically irreversible and that involves amputating the third phalange. It is a very painful procedure with a high risk for secondary complications.

Cat shows claw

In addition to being an intrinsic part of the cat, their claws are their defence. You might think that since your cat doesn’t play outside that it doesn’t need its claws. But it’s possible for your cat to get outside by accident and that you are unable to find him. He would have no defense in a potentially hostile environment. It is not true that there are new methods of removing only the claw. This is just an urban myth for people who want to believe that declawing is without consequences.

Without their claws, cats can become unstable. Their stress can show itself in different ways. Feeling defenseless, your cat could become hostile towards humans (you included) as well as other cats and could become prone to biting. Some cats develop an aversion to litter because of the pain associated with scratching after the operation. It’s for these reasons that several European countries have made declawing illegal; it is considered to be inhuman.

Some examples of pain experienced by amputees

Headaches: Headaches are common in humans, but they are not documented or recognized in animals. According to specialists, very little effort has been put into identifying the signs that an animal might display when they have a headache.

Angry cat

We suspect that when an animal pushes its head against a hard surface or grinds its teeth they might be suffering from a headache, but these behaviours could also indicate other physical pain.

In a study lead by Levine and Wolff in 1932, they finally tried to determine whether cats suffered from headaches. Without going into too much depth about the study, which was, like all research done on animals, extremely cruel. The cats in the study displayed sweating from the pads of their feet, which was considered as a response to a headache. The problem with declawed cats is that they rarely let anyone touch the pads of their feet.

Phantom Pain: After the amputation of a limb, there is often the sensation that the severed limb is still there. Phantom pain is present in about 90% of amputees (Jensen et al, 1983).

In some cases, the patient experiences constant pain or prickling where the amputated limb once was. With time, the pain’s intensity subsides.

In humans, phantom pain appears at around four days following the amputation.

CatDirtyPaw

Complex regional pain syndrome: This is a primitive or secondary syndrome characterised by restricted mobility, vasomotor issues, and trophic disorders of the skin, muscles, articulation and bones (Patchy Osteoporosis), which are most likely derived from a local autonomic issue. It is a very painful affliction caused by nerve damage and is especially felt when the nerves are stretched. The sensation is that of extreme pain much like a burn.

Neuromas: Neuromas are moniliforme tumours of the peripheral nerves, generally observed in Neurofibromatosis (formerly known as Recklinghausen disease); their growth and occasionally their associated pain can cause insoluble treatment issues.

Briefly, a neuroma is a benign growth or subcutaneous tumour of nerve tissue, contributing to pain in the nerve extremities that are trying to regenerate or regrow.

Pain associated with amputation-induced neuromas has been observed in dogs who have had their tails cut, which can result in their chewing at this part of their body.

An animal can externalize pain in different ways. For example:

  • To distance itself, isolate itself, hide, or remain lying down and immobile
  • To have an abnormal body position
  • To behave aggressively if someone tries to move or manipulate part of its body
  • Lick, bite, itch or chew itself
  • Make noise, howl, growl, rapid or troubled respiration
  • Depression