Re-Posted By Dawn Kairns, Author of MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
Israel Makes Cat Declawing Illegal
On November 28th, the Israeli legislature voted unanimously to make cat declawing illegal. Imagine the collective meow of relief that was heard across the country! If someone is caught declawing a cat they can expect up to one year in jail and a hefty $20,000 fine. Israel joins the U.K., Brazil, most of Europe, and Australia for taking a strong stand on this cruel practice. In the United States, declawing unfortunately remains legal except in a handful of cities.
Onychectomy (the medical term for declawing) is a procedure where the claw and part of the bone of a cat’s toes are removed, usually to keep the feline from ruining furniture, catching birds or scratching children. Cat claws however are rooted deep in the bone, so partial bone removal is necessary in an onychectomy. To put this in perspective, the bone removed on each digit is akin to removing up to the third knuckle on each human finger. OUCH!
In addition to being painful, declawing leaves a cat virtually defenseless. For an indoor cat, this may not be much of an issue, but for a cat that spends time outdoors and meets an unfriendly dog, being declawed can be fatal. Cats also need their claws for stretching their tendons, climbing, balance and marking their territory. Oh, and shredding your favorite reading chair.
Many people who consider having their cats declawed think the procedure is simple and relatively painless — and that it is a quick fix for razor sharp claws on their otherwise sweet and cuddly kitty. Clearly, having a significant section of bone removed on each toe is not a simple painless operation. Please consider passing on the word to new cat owners or submitting an editorial to your local newspaper that this is not the case!
A humane alternative to declawing is the monthly trimming of claws with nail clippers. Although, that sounds like a potentially hazardous endeavor for any human to undertake, it can be safely done! I trim my cats’ claws, especially in the winter when the snowy weather keeps them house bound and they get less natural wear and tear. I just use human nail clippers and only do it when they are sleepy. I am very careful not to clip beyond the clear claw area. If you clip into the pink sensitive area (called the “quick”), your cat will definitely let you know about it! The goal is to blunt the end of each claw. For a more detailed explanation on how to cut kitty’s claws without drawing your own blood, visit the website: Cats Scratching.
So, again three cheers to Israel for having the gumption to just say no to cat declawing."