Ok, so this is a topic I often don't discuss here at the KC Dog Blog -- but this particular case I think is very disturbing, and I want to call some attention to it.
Now, I admit, the practice of declawing cats is somewhat controversial. I personally don't like the idea of declawing cats any more than I would like the idea of my own fingernails being cut out of my fingers.
However, as an owner of two cats, I can say, in spite of our best efforts, the tricky little buggers do claw at things -- and often they're things I don't want them clawing on. It's sort of hard to keep really nice carpet, rugs and couches around when you have a couple of cats. And so while I am not a fan of the practice of declawing cats -- I do understand how frustrating it is to have your stuff torn up from time to time. I do get it.
Now, some proponets of a ban on declawing would say, well, then you just shouldn't own a cat then if you want to declaw it. I guess that's one way to look at it. But here's a reality. Every year, some 2.5 million cats are killed in shelters every year - -most of them very lovable -- simply because it is difficult to find homes for all of the available cats. As far as I'm concerned, as long as we're STILL killing homeable cats in shelters because we can't find good homes for them, then we shouldn't be in the practice of eliminating perfectly good homes because someone prefers to have nice carpet.
And while I personally wouldn't love the idea of having my own finger nails cut out of my fingers, if give the choice between that, and being killed, I'm 100% sure which one I would choose for myself. And that's the route I would choose for the cats too.
While all of this is a bit crazy enough, there is one other thing that really strikes me here -- and I'm going to post Gina's opening statement on the topic word-for-word because she succinctly handled the this issue for me:
"I am struck by the disconnect between the legislative agendas of some very vocal animal advocates: They want to force EVERYONE to surgically remove he reproductive organs of all dogs and cats, and at the same time, they want to allow NO ONE to surgically remove the claws of cats."
My hope is that many of these people -- most of whom I think are well-meaning -- will really look at these issues closely and determine to do what is in the greater good of the animals. And while I don't love the practice of declawing, I love it a lot more than the practice of killing animals in shelters because we cannot find homes for them -- and denying potential new homes because they choose to declaw a cat. Talk to them. Reason with them. But if it's the difference between the cat having a home and ending up in a shelter where death is a likely option -- then by all means, we should not prevent that cat from having a home.
This decision, like so many others, should be left to a pet owner and their licensed veterinarian.