Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Paw Project

I am aware that cat de-clawing is not the greatest tragedy in the world, but I watched the movie anyway just to be better informed.  I was shocked by how uninformed I actually was.

De-clawing does not mean simply trimming a cat's nails, or even surgically removing them at the root.  Cat claws grow directly out of the last bone in the toe, so that entire bone is removed.  This results in severed tendons, abnormally short toes, and often chronic infection as the nail attempts to grow back inside the toe.  De-clawed cats are often more insecure, resort to biting, and have difficulty using the litter box because of the pain in their feet.

Proponents of de-clawing are often veterinarians who make $1,000+ per hour for the procedure, and well-intentioned people who believe a de-clawed cat is more likely to find a home.  They are usually unaware of exactly what the procedure entails, and shelters report that de-clawed cats are often abandoned as a result of the behavioral problems caused by the de-clawing.  

My libertarian mind is on the fence about whether or not I'd want to see de-clawing outlawed, but I'm certainly in favor of spreading awareness.  Clearly cat owners are not going to get unbiased information from their vets, so they should get it from somewhere.  De-clawing is a barbaric practice that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications.  It is also completely unnecessary when there are alternatives like claw sheaths available. 

See the movie.  It's streaming on Netflix and YouTube.  Or, make a donation at and they might send you a copy.

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