Hyde Park Cats is against the practice of declawing. We do not declaw our cats, and we don’t want our adopters to do it either.

The main reason we are against declawing is because it means amputating the last joint of the toes of the cat. Their claws are fused to their toes and cannot be removed without cutting off the last joint of their toes. This is not only incredibly painful but also can lead to many behavior and health problems.

We are also against the practice of tendonectomy. An alternative surgical procedure, deep digital flexor tendonectomy, involves severing the tendon attached to the end toe digit but maintaining the claw in the sheath. The cat is no longer able to extend the claws. The technique limits the cat’s ability to damage surfaces when scratching as long as the claws are kept trimmed. It is less painful (cats recover within 2 days) and it has minimal postoperative risks. However, ongoing claw trimming is a must or the cat can use its claws again to some degree and there is a risk of ingrowth into the paw pads. Some veterinarians have reported joint fusion and arthritis problems. The technique has not been favored by most veterinarians mainly because of the above negative factors and the potential of the client’s dissatisfaction and ultimate desire for declawing.

An informative page on declawing: by the veterinarian who developed Soft Claws (the nail covering alternative).

Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat’s claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your the cat’s claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat’s “toes”. When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing. Wheelchairs and bedpans are not an option for a cat.

Your cat’s body is perfectly designed to give it the grace, agility and beauty that is unique to felines. Its claws are an important part of this design. Amputating the important part of their anatomy that contains the claws drastically alters the conformation of their feet. The cat is also deprived of its primary means of defense, leaving it prey to predators if it ever escapes to the outdoors.

Please read the following article that provides information on why declawing is harmful to cats as well as ways to prevent your cats from scratching all of your belongings. Please click here to read the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ statement against declawing practices.

There are MANY ways to minimize a cat’s scratching on furniture, etc. These include behavior modification, clipping your cats nails, providing suitable surfaces for scratching, etc. Our volunteers are happy to talk to adopters about these issues.

Many shelters have cats who are already declawed. If you know in your heart you only want a cat who has no claws, please do not adopt a cat and have it declawed. Adopt a homeless declawed cat from a shelter or rescue.

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