Did you know that cats are the only animals that walk on their claws? They walk toe first. Think about what it must be like to lose your toes, when that's how you walk all of the time. Do you honestly believe that the cat doesn't feel discomfort and pain? (Cats, by nature, hide their weaknesses. It's instinctual for them to hide pain and injury, so that they don't end up some predator's dinner.) What is expected? The cat to sit there and hold those little paws up in the air and say "look what you have done to me?" Of course not. They cope. They compensate. Just like humans do. Bobby lost one of his legs and both hip joints to a fight with an Akita over five years ago. He adjusted. But he isn't the same as he was before. He can't jump on stuff like he used to, but I would never, ever suggest that people do this to keep their cat off of things.
Our vet suggested that we have Bart, our polydactyl, declawed. He said there could be a problem with a couple of the claws not getting properly used. Or, we could trim them. Guess what? Declawing Bart was never an option. We bought some good nail trimmers, made especially for cat claws and they work like a dream. Did you know that by regular trimming of the cats' claws, that eventually the quick gets shorter? And there is not even a hook to the claw?
And the surgery itself is scary. If it isn't done properly, the claws can grow back in, deformed. Remember, the claw is an extension of the bone. Not like a human hand. Check out some of the links provided for drawings of the anatomy of a paw. And it has to be done over again. My neighbor's daughter works for a vet. Somebody had the surgery done at a vet that did a bad job and the paws wouldn't stop bleeding. She took it to the vet where my neighbor's daughter works and her boss had to re-operate on this poor cat. The cat died of a heart attack on the table. A pretty steep price to pay for being born with claws, don't you think? I had one woman tell me, that if the surgery was done by a good doctor, then it wasn't amputation. The cat's paws wouldn't be mutilated. Hmmm....does this mean if you get a facelift by an excellent surgeon, you didn't get a facelift? I'm sure some people in Hollywood believe this.
And declawing is a big money maker for vets. A lot of profit in that surgery. I can understand why many of them say "there is no proof that declawed cats have behavior problems, litterbox problems, etc." To do otherwise, would be taking money out of their pockets. A vet in Canada, who use to work at a clinic in the United States, said that 50% of the clinic's surgeries were declaws. Now that she's on her own, she won't declaw a cat. One vet advised his client to have his pedigree Bengal cat declawed. Said it would be better for the cat. Surgery is performed, months later the cat gets mean. The owner asks for advice from other cat owners, is told that declawed cats can become aggressive. The cat owner broaches this with his vet. The vet admits that some declawed cats do have behavior problems. The cat owner now feels very guilty for doing this to his cat. On his vet's advice!!
Dr. Louis J. Camuti, the first U. S. vet to have a practice exclusively for cats, in practice for over sixty years said:
"I wouldn't declaw a cat if you paid me $1,000 per nail!"
Now, I have heard of some very rare instances where I can see the procedure done. The case of a cat that had eye surgery and kept scratching at his eyes, so they wouldn't heal. Here we have blindness or declaw. In this case, I would choose for the cat to lose his claws. But, as I said, it's a rare situation.
I just don't understand why people can't see what is wrong with declawing, given all of the information that's available. I doubt if I ever will.