Why Is Declawing Your Cat Illegal in the UK?


Any seasoned cat owner can easily recognise the gut-wrenching sound of little nails being dragged across a beloved piece of furniture. It’s one of the very few downsides to co-habiting with a feline. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent your pet from shredding your soft furnishings. One method which has been highlighted for its controversy in the press recently is declawing. 

Please note – this blog post covers a sensitive topic regarding feline wellbeing.  If you are of a sensitive disposition, please take caution before reading further.  



Why Is Declawing Your Cat Illegal in the UK?
Why Is Declawing Your Cat Illegal in the UK?

Declawing, although a simple and permanent method of possession protection from a human perspective, has more than a few drawbacks.  This surgery is currently illegal in the UK, and despite it still being legal in some other parts of the world, many vets refuse to perform the elective surgery on moral grounds. 

 

The negative effects of declawing

The Humane Society states that there are zero health benefits to this non-reversible procedure.  Unlike having your pet spayed or booked in for life-saving surgery, there is no health-related reason to remove your cat's claws.  On the contrary, there are several physical and psychological side effects of this procedure.  Declawing can be an intensively stressful procedure for a cat, and it can mean amputating healthy parts of their feet.

As we all know, cats love to climb – and they have very sensitive feet.  Removal of the claw and parts of the toe can have a profound effect on a cat’s ability to walk on certain surfaces.  Even if only the front claws are removed - which is typical for this procedure - it’s the equivalent to ten amputations. 

Your vet may prescribe analgesic medication post-surgery, but pets can suffer phantom pain for months following the operation.  Many pet owners who have had their cats declawed have reported unusual and mainly stress-related behavioural issues post-op. 

Cats can also become physically deconditioned from no longer being able to grip things as they stretch, run and climb.  This, combined with an increase or alteration in sensitivity and pain in their feet, can mean that many cats will reduce their physical activity.  This can lead to early ageing and joint problems such as arthritis. 

Cats also use their claws to defend themselves.  Even the most homely indoor cat may find themselves outside by accident.  Cats rely on finely-honed instincts to protect themselves.  Faced with a predator and no claws means no way of escape or defence. 

Some cats may even become withdrawn and aggressive as a mechanism to deal with the stress of losing their claws.  This can mean that they start hiding from you, or even lashing out. 

Perhaps worst of all, even the best-trained moggy may start refusing to use their litter tray.  Cat litter can be rough on the scar tissue, and the newly scarred skin could foster bacteria.  This could make some cats opt for the carpet, rather than their box. 

 

What are the alternatives?

Fortunately, there are many feline-friendly and often budget-friendly alternatives to this inhumane operation. As well as training them not to scratch what they shouldn't, you may want to add something they can dig their claws into, such as a scratching post.  These toys come in pretty much every shape and size.   Cardboard or rope is usually the main material here, both safe for your cat and fairly cheap for us.

There are also plenty of how-to-guides online if you fancy making your pet their own custom scratching post or box.  These can be cheap and easy alternatives if your cat likes to 'hulk out' on their toys.  You can also purchase plastic furniture guards to protect your upholstery. 

Last but not least, of course, is making sure your pet’s claws are professionally trimmed, this can effectively reduce your cat’s need to self-manicure and, in the long run, save your sofa!  There are many things we can do to protect our home against cat claws – but removing them from our pets shouldn’t be one of them.   pawsr

   


More posts

Got Your Christmas Tree Up? Here’s How to Stop Your Cat Falling off It!

It’s November, it’s after Bonfire Night, it’s official - Christmas is here! The ads are invading our airwaves and stores are swapping their typical pop filled playlists in favour of seasonal songs on loop.

Read



British Beastie of the Month: The Noble Hedgehog

If your pets are anything like ours, they love the great outdoors!  Every mud puddle must be swum in and each tree must be tested for scent, scratch-ability, and a bird-watching/hunting vantage point!  It’s only natural they encounter non-domesticated critters along the way. 

Read



What Are Some Fantastic Holiday Dog Treat Ideas?

The most festive time of the year is on the approach!  With three major holidays on our doorstep – Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas - everyone starts to make party plans, and what party can be considered truly festive without seasonal and themed food? 

Read



Should I Colour-Code My Dog?

As pet owners, it's safe to say we would all like to know how animals feel. It can be extra tricky to spot behaviour patterns with unfamiliar animals.  When you have a dog who just has to be best friends with every other canine in the park, things can get a bit worrisome.

Read



How Do I Know If My Cat Has Healthy Teeth?

Your cat’s teeth are extremely important to them.  As carnivores, they’re going to need those sharp-and-pointies on a daily basis!  However, did you know that cats can suffer from similar dental problems as humans do?  With that in mind, we should be paying more attention to how we look after our pets’ dental hygiene, and what we can do to protect them moving forwards.

Read



Can Brain Training Benefit My Dog?

It’s probably pretty easy to assume that all dogs need is a little physical exercise and active stimulation once in a while.  However, our beloved pooches need much more than the odd walk or fussing from day to day!  As you likely already know, dogs are extremely perceptive and actually have the ability to learn very quickly.  Did you know that some dogs can actually learn numbers, as well as words?  It really is fascinating that we can train dogs at all, if you think about it!

Read



What Are Cat Playgrounds - And Does My Pet Need One?

Anyone who owns a cat will tell you that they are endlessly curious.  Cats and curiosity, naturally, come hand in paw – and that’s why plenty of pets find themselves getting caught into many a scrape!  Keeping a cat means keeping an eye out for all of their crazy adventures.  That means making sure you don’t have anything valuable on mantelpieces that they can weave through, and ensuring you don’t have anything too shiny or interesting for them to bat around.

Read



How Can I Help My Dog Cope With Fireworks Anxiety?

As we roll into autumn, the nights are starting to draw in sooner, and with that, plenty of people will be purchasing fireworks for the celebrations and festivities ahead.  However, while this may be great fun for people, our dogs can often get very scared or anxious due to the loud, frequent noise.  While some dogs can cope well with the rolling noise of fireworks, others can show signs of high anxiety.

Read



Should I Train My Cat to Use The Toilet?

All cat owners know too well that litter trays can be a bit of a nuisance!  However, setting up a convenient toilet space for your cat is always going to be preferential to you finding mess on the carpet.  Once you’ve got the hang of filling up and disposing of litter, there’s really nothing to it.  But what if there was a more convenient option?

Read



pawsr screenshot showing Kiki

About pawsr: Sharing Happiness

pawsr is the new social network just for pets.

It's the purrrrfect place to share and enjoy beautiful photos and videos of our four-legged friends in a loving community.

Connect with like-minded pet owners by giving your cat or dog a dedicated social media presence.


Learn More