Most kittens are declawed before they are 8 months old

  • by
Declawing is like this

In the tweet on this page, The Paw Project is saying that the reason why kittens are being declawed at such a young age is to avoid owners being scratched but if they were trained in those early years beyond 8-months-of-age to minimise scratching it would avoid the need to declaw. They refer to this training as behaviour modification. So the argument is that the veterinarian should give kitten owners advice to train their kitten and indeed train themselves to avoid being scratched instead of declawing. If they did this they would comply with AVMA guidelines. Declawing should be a last resort. It clearly isn’t.

Delawing is a misnomer

Delawing is a misnomer. Illustration: Ruth aka Kattaddorra.

But if you declaw a kitten at such a young age without discussing these possibilities and without engaging in ongoing kitten training you are pre-empting the behavior modification training. You are bypassing the more ethical process of taking steps to avoid being scratched without declawing. This is vital because declawing is a terribly brutal and cruel operation. Perhaps veterinarians don’t see it like that. Perhaps they don’t see declawing as cruel and brutal because they have become used to it. The vets even refer to it as the removal of a kitten’s ‘nails’. This is highly misleading and a misrepresentation of the surgery which is 10 amputations of the end of the toes. It’s an actual amputation from the last knuckle to the claw. It is not trimming nails and is not ‘declawing’. It is partial amputation.

Veterinarians owe a duty of care towards their clients and their patients to seek alternatives and therefore The Paw Project is correct in their tweet. The point is though – and we all know this – that the vast majority of American veterinarians don’t give a damn. They don’t want to find alternative remedies to avoid declawing. They want to amputate to make money. It is a bread and butter operation. For the kitten it is a blood and acute pain operation with a possible lifetime of disability.

But they’re silent about this even though it’s obvious. It’s the elephant in the room; the obvious cruelty and unnecessary nature of the operation because it is done at the client’s convenience and not in the best interests of the health and welfare of the kitten. All veterinarians who declaw kittens are in breach of their solemn oath and have been for decades.

Please can someone start screaming this from the rooftops?