So, a few months ago I got a cat. She's scheduled to be spayed in a couple weeks. By two thursdays from now, I need to decide whether or not I also want to get her declawed.
The family cat that we had growing up was declawed, so I've always assumed it was common and perfectly acceptable. After poking around online, it's apparently a highly controversial issue that some people find incredibly inhumane and downright barbaric. Some of the arguments I've heard are...
It's mutilation of your cat!
Well, isn't spaying and neutering the same thing!? Granted, I realize that one has to do with "convenience" and the other is rooted in population control, but still. They don't seem that different to me.
Your cat will be defenseless!
But this is an indoor-only cat. She's not coming in contact with rival cats or predators. This isn't a concern.
It's a North American fad -- the procedure is banned all over Europe!
This fact I find pretty intriguing. But, strength in numbers only goes so far -- I still can't rationalize why it's so evil.
I'm sure 95% of my stance is rooted in the fact that my upbringing viewed this practice as completely acceptable. But, besides that, I find that the counter-arguments tend to be hyperbolic and somewhat disingenuous. Anyone want to try to convince me the other way, or alternatively, assuage the ounce of pre-operation guilt I'm feeling right now?
I look forward to Mary and Planet chiming in, the usual suspects offering cheap one-liners about how cats are awful and should be completely eradicated, and also the potential of this thread devolving down a left-versus-right, Bible-bashing political tangent.
EDIT: I should also add that I've tried things like:
- deterring the scratching of furniture / humans by spraying her with water approach
- "Soft Paws", which I've had absolutely miserable results with (falling off almost immediately, extremely difficult to apply to begin with)
- trimming nails
- buying scratch posts, pads, etc...
Despite all of this, I am still routinely scratched (obviously you're going to get scratched from time to time, but this happens way too often), and my furniture (carpet, couch, etc) is being destroyed.
Kyle, you know where I stand on the issue and I am firm on that. However, I had declawed cats (and my oldest still is). The scratching posts don't work? How old is your cat/kitten? I got my older cats declawed back in the day and it was a scene from "Saw" when I tried to bathe them after they pissed themselves on the way home. Serious blood in the bathtub, etc. I don't know that there are studies out there that say declawing reduces a cat's life span, but cats accidentally get out all the time and to think they'd have no means to defend themselves is just irresponsible cat ownership. Of course, you mention the humane issue which is no. 1 in my book. So I keep a stash of Neosporin on hand, big deal. It's only because I choose to play with them.
Three of them involve jokes. They are a handy comedic prop.
Once I needed to scare away a groundhog, and had nothing else at my disposal.
And once I needed to make some money to pay my rent, so I made a deposit.