Cat Lover, Mr Lee, Needs Our Help

Cat Lover, Mr Lee, Needs Our Help

A nice supporter and cat lover, Mr Lee, asked me for help so I’m asking all of you to join in.

Mr Lee sent an email with questions about the NY anti-declawing legislation to the Cornell vet , Dr Paul Maza, who was at the Cornell Feline Health Center’s booth at CatCon on August 12, 2017.

Dr Maza forwarded the email to the Ass. Director of the Cornell Feline Health Center, Dr Bruce Kornreich.

Dr Kornreich responded to Mr Lee’s questions in an email and said that Mr Lee could reach out to him if he needed anymore assistance, so he did but Mr Kornreich never responded.

This is where you come in. Can you please respectfully reach out to Mr Kornreich and the other Cornell vetmed bigwigs and ask them to please answer Mr Lee’s important questions and send the studies that back up Mr Kornreich’s comments. Also please ask them what the Feline Health Center really did with Rhoda Hogan’s $125,000 bequest that was to go to helping to end declawing and to support legislation that would ban it. Petition and story about Rhoda Hogan’s bequest that Cornell received


Here is Mr Lee’s first email.

Dear Dr. Maza,
How are you today?
Many anti-declaw advocates, including myself, would like to know why Cornell does not support the bill in legislature that will ban declawing. One would think Cornell would support the bill to ban declawing because Cornell is a prestigious veterinary college and one would think Cornell would try to help end this outdated barbaric cruelty that benefits veterinarians only, not cats. Thank you in advance for your answer, please do not send me a canned response, I am human, not a robot.Sincerely,
David Lee
Here is Mr Kornreich’s response.

Hi Mr. Lee,

Thank you for contacting Dr. Maza re: this controversial legislation, and I am taking the opportunity to reply to you, as Dr. Maza kindly agreed to attend CatCon to represent us, as I had previous plans that precluded my being able to attend.

I hope you had a great time at Cat Con and that you learned lots while doing so. CatCon is really pretty amazing in terms of the dedication of the event organizers and attendee dedication to and interest in cats. We appreciate the opportunity to interact with the cat loving public at such an event, and we also very much appreciate the passion of cat lovers like you. We share your passionate concern for the well-being of cats, and we take our mission of improving the lives of all cats very seriously.

Unfortunately, we cannot comment upon pending legislation. It is important for you to understand, though, that this does not mean that we support declawing as a primary means of addressing destructive scratching in cats. Quite the contrary..we strongly recommend and promote the use of non-surgical means of addressing scratching in cats (i.e. behavior modification, nail caps, scratching posts) before ever considering declawing, and we feel that the only time that declawing should be considered is when all other means of preventing destructive scratching have been attempted and a cat is at risk of being surrendered/euthanized and/or the health of a person within the household may be at risk for health problems in the event of cat scratches.

Unfortunately, some people have mistakenly interpreted our inability to comment upon pending legislation as a blanket approval of the application of declawing to any and all situations, and this is simply not the case. I trust that you can understand the distinction between these two perspectives, and that all is well with you and yours.

Please feel free to contact me if I can ever be of any assistance to you and your kitties, and I hope that you are having a wonderful summer.



Bruce G. Kornreich DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Associate Director, Cornell Feline Health Center, Cardiologist, Department of Clinical Sciences


Here is Mr Lee’s excellent response with some very important questions. He never received any answers from Mr Kornreich.

Dear Bruce,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I assume that you have data behind these statements. I would appreciate seeing it.

I think the fact that no major human health organization, and that includes the CDC, NIH and USPHS, as well as the prominent animal health organizations, AAHA and AAFP, all advise against declawing cats to protect human health, that they’d be very interested in your compelling data that say that declawing might be necessary to protect human health.

Please do send me those papers.

Also, it’s interesting that Cornell would say that declawing a cat prevents it from losing its home. Again, I would very much like to see those data from your shelters. You are probably aware that Cornell’s data differ markedly from that of North Shore Animal League and 50 other shelters in New York State. They are all signed on to support the bill to ban declawing.
They feel that declawing causes cats to lose their homes. Cornell’s shelters must be very different from theirs. That is so interesting!

Your shelter also doesn’t seem to have had the same experience as the shelters in California where declawing has been banned for about 8 years. Their data show marked decreases in owner relinquished cats.

The head of Los Angeles Animal Services attributes the decline in the number of owned cats losing their homes directly to the declaw ban. This, by the way, amounts to over 40,000 cats’ lives saved. The reason for less dumping? Fewer people are fed up with cats biting or having box aversion. It is interesting that Cornell’s shelter hasn’t experienced the same phenomenon that ALL the declaw ban shelters in California have. Please share those data.

I believe that you could be a leader here if you wanted to. One day, declawing will be illegal in NYS and you’ll probably share in the celebration saying that Cornell has always been against declawing.

But really, have you?

Looking forward to seeing your facts.
All the best.
David Lee

——————————————————————————————————————————Please send a respectful email to all these influential feline folks at Cornell and try to get an answer for Mr Lee to all his very important questions. If it’s easier, you can just copy the link to this story and send it to them and ask them to answer Mr Lee’s questions. Bruce Kornreich, Ass. Director of Cornell Feline Health Center, Department of Clinical Sciences, Diplomate – American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Cardiology)   Luis M. Schang, MV, PhD
Director, Cornell Feline Health Center and Baker Institute for Animal Health Meg Thompson, DVM, DACVR, Director of Continuing Education Paul Maza, DVM, PhD Department of Biomedical Sciences, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy  General Cornell Vet Hospital e-mail  Cornell Feline Health Center




Also, Mr Kornreich was quoted as saying that declawing, “might cause some degree of discomfort” in a 2016 news story about the anti-declawing bill in NY. Here is a quote from the story and link to it.

“Though he declined to comment on the pending legislation, Kornreich pushed back against activists’ claim that declawing is painful and unsafe.

“It might cause some degree of discomfort, but that is expected of all surgical procedures,” said Kornreich. He said that the vast majority of declawed cats recover from post-operative complications.”

Ithaca Voice Story
Declawing A Cat, Dog, or Kinkajou is ALWAYS an Amputation Surgery

Declawing A Cat, Dog, or Kinkajou is ALWAYS an Amputation Surgery

August, 2017

This is a Public Service Announcement and story to educate the public about how a declawing procedure is done. It is ALWAYS an amputation procedure. You cannot just remove a nail from a dog, cat, or kinkajou without it growing back.

A supporter sent me this picture that a kinkajou owner posted on facebook. The owner said in a comment that she had her kinkajou 4 paw declawed because, “the declawing allows us to give them (she had another kinkajou named Mazy declawed) more freedom in the home. She said that her mom is on blood thinners and the kinkajou would “inadvertently” claw her. She said that her mom would , “help me bathe her, clip her nails or even play with her and she’d get cut up and bleed.”

This owner also said, “only his nails were lasered off. His toes are intact,” in a comment on facebook.

I wanted to know if it was true that kinkajous only have their nails taken off when they are declawed. I had a researcher look into this with a phone call to the vet that declawed both both her kinkajous. They asked the receptionist if they could get their kinkajou 4 paw declawed and how much it would be. The employee on the phone said that it was around $578 and that Dr Matthew Stone had just done one last week. The researcher asked if Dr Stone just removed the nails or if the whole bone was removed.

The receptionist said, “If he knows what he’s (Dr Stone) doing and he takes the claw off below the nail bed, it doesn’t really matter if we take the whole first digit or not. I can’t tell you if they do or don’t.”  The researcher said that they would like the receptionist to ask Dr Stone which way it is performed and called back on another day. The receptionist checked with him and said he, “cuts the whole first digit off. They seem to be fine.”

I sent a note to the owner of the kinkajous and asked her if Dr Stone told her that he was just removing the nails. I asked her if he counseled her on the humane and commonsense alternatives to declawing.

She wrote back, “I’m sorry I nor my husband agree with you. Have you ever owned a kinkajou? Claws are non retractable so common sense is used. We tried nail caps, trimming and filing and she would still inadvertently claw us. The fact is that it’s done and they’re both happy and doing well. And the vet and his team were great.”

I asked her once again if Dr Stone educated her about the declawing process and how the last bone is removed.

She wrote back, “Believe it or not I am a big advocate for animal rights. I understand your concern but we had reasons for doing it and put time and thought in to the decision. They’re our pets and the procedure is done. And just an fyi…yes he was bandaged up but that was so he couldn’t pick at his feet. He was up moving around like nothing happened the next day.”

She wouldn’t answer my important question if Dr Stone told her it was an amputation procedure. She just said, ” I have no comment. I have no problem with Dr. Stone.”  She said that she doesn’t want any part of my story and then also asked me if I believe in spaying and neutering and if that is mutilating.

Here’s a review from this kinkajou owner about Dr Stone’s practice, Animal Hospital of South Carolina.

I decided to reach out to the vet, Dr Matthew Stone, at Animal Hospital of South Carolina, to ask him some questions about declawing kinkajous and about what this kinkajou owner said.

I called the practice where he worked and asked for an email for Dr Stone. The receptionist gave me one and said that he checks it often so he should get back with me soon.

I wrote an email telling him who I was and asked him if he counseled this kinkajou owner about how declawing is performed. I also sent him this info from the USDA about declawing kinkajous.

I received an email back with no name on it that said,

“Good afternoon!
Thank you for the information.  We appreciate your concern.
We do not discuss specific cases without permission of the owner.  If she is willing to give permission or call up here, it is something that we can discuss.  
However, we always discuss pros and cons of every surgery prior to any surgery.  As far as declawing in particular, we as a veterinary society, and here in general, have greatly cut down on the amount of laser declaws done.    It is a procedure often asked for, but rarely done except in extreme circumstances.  
Often times declawing is done for specific medical reasons, and we try to adhere to that rule.
Have a good weekend!”

Since I didn’t get an answer, I wanted to make sure that he didn’t want to provide a statement for my story that I was going to do about kinkajous and declawing.

I sent Dr Stone another email and I told him that I must educate the public about the fact that exotic animals like kinkajous are also declawed and it’s done the same way that vets do it to cats which is amputating the last bone in the animal’s paw.  I asked him what he considered “pros” for a declaw.

I also said this, “Also I think you are incorrect about the vet profession cutting back on laser declaws. I’m in the trenches and work 16 hr days with this cause and see lots of instances of vet practices promoting their laser declaws because it is more humane, quicker healing, and less invasive which is all such a lie. Of course all of the vets who buy those $35,000 lasers have to do a lot of declaws to pay them back.

The President of the AAFP’s practice says that declawing with a laser is actually worse because it “because it can, “scar the tissue really bad, it can burn the tissue and there can be delayed healing as a result of that.”  More about this story-

I received an email back that said, “We are also not interested in being part of your story. We are under the impression that you intend to disparage us either way.

However, we would like to educate you on veterinary suicide rates. Unfortunately the veterinary profession has suicide rates of 2-5x the general public. This is often due to cyber bullying and client financial constraints, as well as low pay with large student loan burdens.

We suggest putting pressure on AAFP to specifically condemn declawing, or perhaps your local legislature.

I wrote him back and said,

“Just to be clear, Dr. Stone, are you telling me you feel so bad about declawing the kinkajou that you’re contemplating suicide? Don’t be drastic. Just practice better medicine from this point on and you’ll feel better.
 So instead of answering a couple generic questions that would help clarify a serious issue about how you educate your clients about the way you perform a declaw, you play the cyber bullying victim card and bring up the suicide rates in the vet profession?
Yes, I’m very aware of the issue of suicide rates in your profession and I’m also very aware of how declawing vets  promote declawing on social media, lie about how declawing is performed, advertise declaws with coupons, and deceive the public to believe that declawing isn’t harmful to a cat. Then when they are caught doing these unethical things and called out about them, they play the cyber bullying victim card. I will remind you that the only victims are all the cats (and kinkajous) that are unnecessarily and barbarically having their toe bones and claws amputated.

Thanks but I don’t need suggestions on how to go about this cause. I’ve been exposing AAFP’s, AAHA’s, AVMA’s, and other vet associations unethical and hypocritical ways for years. They are all about protecting the welfare of their pocketbooks and their vet’s pocketbooks more than they care about the welfare of cats.

Plus the vet associations use all their money to stop the anti-declawing bills so their vets can keep profiting from this inhumane procedure.

The best way we can end declawing is to educate the public and people like your client, Angie, about the awful truth about declawing and that it is always an amputation procedure of the last toe bone, so that they won’t try to find a vet to perform such harmful procedure on their cats and/or kinkajous.

That’s why I still need to do this important story to educate the public.”

Lori and City the Kitty

I received two emails in response to my note. One said, “Sounds good” and the other said, “We wish you good luck with your book sales. But we request you stop contacting us immediately. We are busy helping clients and animals.”


Please don’t threaten or be rude to anyone involved.  We must do the right thing and take the high road and be respectful.  It is wrong to threaten them in any way plus they will twist things around and play the victim. We know that the only victims are all the kitties that are being unnecessarily and cruelly declawed. We MUST continue to shine light on this cause and share all of these stories so that we show the truth about what is going on. We MUST continue to educate cat, dog, and kinkajou owners that declawing is an amputation surgery and is very harmful to the health and well being of their pet and how there are humane alternatives that they can use instead of declawing.

The way that we make positive change is through peaceful and respectful actions and words. When you lash out and are threatening, it hurts our important cause and makes us all look bad, and in turn saves less kitties from this very cruel and inhumane procedure.

Ohio State University Vets ensure their own job security by declawing cats thus creating a lifetime of serious and costly medical problems for their patients.

Ohio State University Vets ensure their own job security by declawing cats thus creating a lifetime of serious and costly medical problems for their patients.

August 2017

Please take 20 seconds and sign my petition to Purdue and Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine OSU and Purdue petition

How can declawing be considered a common procedure at Ohio State University but it is considered mutilation at the Royal Veterinary College, so they would never teach it or perform it? It’s the same surgery.

Yet Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center’s Hospital for Companion Animals’ website has declawing right after spay and neuters on their list of their “common conditions & procedures.”

LInk to their services

The OSU Hospital for Companion Animals is a Gold Level Cat Friendly AAFP practice and is also an (AAHA) American Animal Hospital Association hospital which has a position statement on declawing that says they are strongly opposed to declawing. AAHA and Declawing


I reached out to the two main veterinarians at OSU who perform the declaws, according to employees who work there, with some questions (email with questions is listed at the bottom of this story)  and neither wanted to comment for my story.

According to employees at OSU, there are three board certified veterinarians who perform the declaws at OSU’s Companion Animal Hospital.

Dr Kathleen Ham and a 3rd year resident, Dr James Howard (who, according to an employee at OSU, shadowed Dr Davis to learn how to do declaws), they use both the scalpel and laser to amputate the cat’s toe bones and claws.

Dr Mary McLoughlin who uses a scalpel to amputate the cat’s toe bones and claws.

I reached out to Dr Ham and Dr McLoughlin with some questions (email with questions is listed at the bottom of this story)  and both vets didn’t want to answer any of my questions for this story.

Dr Mary McLoughlin said in an email, “I did receive your e-mail message however, I would not like to participate as a representative of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in a blog story.  I do respect and applaud your enthusiasm for this cause but you have quite a bit of factually incorrect information in a number of the statements that you have made below which make me feel uncomfortable and unwilling participating in your blog.  Wishing you success in your efforts.

Mary A. McLoughlin DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVS
Associate Professor, Section Head Small Animal Surgery and Integrated Oncology
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio 43210″


Dr Kathleen Ham said this in an email reply, “Thank you for contacting me regarding your story,  I would like to decline at this time. You have a beautiful kitty and best regards,

Kathleen Ham, DVM, MS
Diplomate ACVS
Assistant Professor
Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
028 Veterinary Medical Center, 601 Vernon Tharp St, Columbus, OH 43210″


I also reached out to the communications and PR director at OSU veterinary college, Shantay Piazza and asked her if she could get a comment from a veterinary professional at the school and give me the facts about my “factual incorrect information.” She said, “I will ask for you as a courtesy to help you out, but if they haven’t gotten back to you, they may not want to touch it because I know it’s a very controversial topic.”

I never heard back from Ms Piazza.


OSU Hospital for Companion Animals is still declawing cats but they stopped using the laser. The cost for a spay/declaw went up to $985-$1200. The employee said that they only do the front paws unless there’s a medical reason for the cat. They said that they do NOT use a laser for declawing and all their doctors are good at declaws, it’s hard to get hired at OSU as a vet,  and their vets do them “multiple times.”  When the employee was asked if a declaw is ok to do for the cat and if they have any issues with their declaws, they said, “we have a very good track record.”

Another employee said that they stopped using laser because they don’t feel it’s a better way to declaw because it burns and it’s still an “injury.”  They said that they declaw the “traditional” way that that they work as a team with faculty and a resident. The employee said a declaw is from $600-$770 and said, “we do them a lot here.”

Numerous phone calls were made to OSU’s Hospital for Companion Animals in June/July 2017 by my researchers posing as first time cat owners who wanted a spay/neuter with a declaw.

We have withheld the names of employees for fear that they might suffer backlash for their honest answers.

Employees at the hospital quoted prices for a laser declaw with spay as $1245-$1455 or standard declaw with a spay is $900- $1100. They say it is personal preference as to which method you want for your cat but that the laser has, “less bleeding.”  A two paw scalpel declaw is $600-750. A scalpel declaw and a neuter is $750-900.

One employee said they just do the front paw declaw unless there is a medical condition and then they will do 4 paws. They said that declaws are a, “routine procedure” at their hospital. They said that Dr Ham is a, “very good one” for the declaws and she, “does a lot of those” and does them, “often.”

When asked if the declaw is ok since the “cat owner” read online that it is bad for a cat. Only one employee said that declaws could, “change your cat’s behavior, the cat’s think they have claws but don’t, some bite afterwards, or it could cause arthritis, but typically, they do fine,”  after a declaw.

One employee even said, “it’s the best place to come” for the declaws and that “they know what they are doing.” When asked if the cat will be fine after the declaw long term the employee said, “oh of course.”

One employee also said, “there is no advantage to the laser, it’s just a way to cut and the laser can actually take longer to heal.”  This employee said, “Our doctors don’t really feel there is a huge advantage to the laser.”  This employee said all the surgeons there do, “a lot” of declaws and are board certified.

When the “cat owner” asked if there are any long term negative consequences to declawing the employee said a lot of people aren’t doing them as much anymore. The employee said, “It’s very painful for the cat and a lot of cats just don’t recover, it doesn’t matter who does it or how. Most work out fine if they are young. Regardless who does it, some cats just don’t recover very well, some do.”

One employee even said that they had their 3 cats declawed and they have no problems. This employee said that Dr Ham, Dr McLauglin, and Dr Wamstrought all have done a ton of declaws and do them routinely now. They said that they rarely see any problems with the declawed cats but that they get cats into their ER who have been declawed at other practices and have problems. When asked what they recommend, a two paw or four paw declaw. This employee said that it is, “personal preference.”  They said the cats will be fine long term from their declaws but just have to have their activity restricted for a couple weeks.

One employee was asked about getting a neuter/declaw for a kitten and a declaw for a 3 year old cat. Employee said that you can drop them off on a Tuesday for an initial exam with the surgeon to see if the cats are healthy enough for the surgeries. Then the cats will stay overnight and have the procedure in the morning on Wednesday. Cats will be ready to come home on Thursday. Employee said that for sure the cats will have the declaw done as long both cats are healthy and ok to go under anesthesia and they usually do pre-surgical blood work to check on that. Cat owner asked about problems of limping after a declaw. The employee said the only time they have problems with limping is if the cat doesn’t wear its E-collar or do activities too soon to cause an infection in their paws but the surgery won’t cause limping or anything like that. Employee said that the surgeon will go over the pros and cons of laser declaw or scalpel declaw and then you can decide which one you want.

Not ONE of the employees that they spoke to at the OSU companion hospital mentioned the humane alternatives like nail trims, sturdy scratching posts, deterrents, or Soft Paws and none said that the surgeons will go over these humane alternatives in the exam.

OSU has a “Cat Basics” section on their website that has a declawing section. Here is what they say about it with very conflicting information. On one hand they talk about owners doing it to protect furniture and on the other hand they say it is not medically necessary and there are many alternatives!

“Owners may choose declawing to prevent the cat from clawing them or their furniture. It is a common procedure, often performed on young kittens at the time of spaying or neutering. If you choose to declaw, be sure your cat receives appropriate pain medication to help it recover. However, declawing is not medically necessary and many alternatives exist for this surgery.” Here’s the link to their website with the declawing section- OSU Declawing info

Also, this declawing vet, Dr Richard Bartels, said that he attended a weekend seminar on how to use lasers at Ohio State University. In this 2015 video, he shows you how he burns off a cat’s toe with his new 20 watt laser and the cat appears to even pull away its paw when the laser burns off the toe bone.

Bartels Laser Declaw



Here’s an excerpt of some comments from Ohio State University’s declaw surgeon, Dr Kathleen Ham, from a 2012 story in Veterinary Practice News called, “Surgical Lasers Aren’t Just For Teaching Hospitals.”

“Animal-rights groups notwithstanding, declaw surgeries remain a facet of small-animal veterinary practice for the foreseeable future. The CO2 laser offers advantages to practitioner and patient.

“The laser will cauterize small blood vessels as it cuts, and therefore you will have minimal hemorrhage,” said Kathleen Ham, DVM, assistant professor of small-animal surgery at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “This also means that you don’t really need to use a tourniquet, which would, in turn, reduce any risk of neuropraxia as a result of improper or too-long use.”

Ham, a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS), noted that the laser method shortens surgery time, because reduced bleeding makes the incision line easier to see and to close.

“Most people don’t use a bandage after a CO2 laser declaw,” she said.

Best of all, a laser declaw appears to be less painful than a scalpel declaw. Dr. Ham cited a study comparing the two methods which found “The CO2 laser group seemed more comfortable the first day post-operatively. This is because the laser will vaporize small nerve endings, which produces a seal over the nerve, resulting in decreased action potentials,” she said. “Another study found that cats will bear more weight one and two days post-operatively after a CO2 laser declaw, versus a scalpel declaw.”

The veterinarians interviewed for this story happen to practice in academic hospitals, but surgical lasers, especially CO2 lasers, have also been adopted in private practice.

“I first began using it for declaw and spay/neuter procedures in a private practice,” Ham said.

Link to this story-


Email that was sent to Dr Ham and Dr McLoughlin.

Hi Dr Ham and Dr McLoughlin,

I’m the mom of City the Kitty who is the number one spokescat to end declawing. I was a Los Angeles Times staff photojournalist for 25 years and also wrote some stories for the paper while I was there.

I wanted to reach out to you about a story I’m doing about OSU and declawing for my blog on and wanted to get your input for it.

1) I wanted to ask you how is it that the UK’s Royal Veterinary College calls declawing barbaric and mutilation yet OSU performs declaws as a routine procedure at your hospital?

2) You teach declawing to your students and residents.  Why don’t you spend more time on teaching them about normal cat behavior and how important it is for cats to have their toes and claws. Why don’t you teach your students how to educate cat owners about the harmful effects of declawing and how to counsel cat owners about the humane alternatives like nail trims, sturdy scratching posts, deterrents, Soft Paws, etc so they can be an ethical, no-declaw vet practice when they start working in your noble profession?

3) Do you teach the students and residents that a laser declaw is better?

4) Ohio State University gives weekend seminars in laser training for vets declawing. Do you work with the laser companies like Luxar, Cutting Edge, and Aesculight on these seminars?

5) You are an AAHA hospital. AAHA is strongly opposed to declawing and says, “Veterinarians must help cat owners to promote appropriate scratching behaviors” and “Veterinarians are obliged to provide cat owners with complete education about declawing.”

6) Do you spend time in the exam appointments on trying to talk cat owners out of declawing their cats by educating them how harmful and mutilating a toe bone and claw amputation procedure is for their cats. Do you counsel cat owners on the simple, common sense humane alternatives like nail trims, sturdy scratching posts, Soft Paws, deterrents, etc?

7)  Do your employees who take calls to your hospital first educate the cat owner who is asking for a declaw procedure about what declawing entails and that it is harmful to the health and well being of a cat and do they ask if they’ve tried the humane alternatives or do they just make the appointment to see you for the exam and then the declaw procedure?

8) Do you declaw cats on all four paws and if so, in what circumstances would you do the all four paw declaw?

9) Have you seen the latest story by Dr Marty Becker with the two latest studies in it that show how harmful declawing is to a cat no matter how it is performed?

10) Do you rarely do declaws or is it a common and routine procedure at your hospital and you do a lot of them?

If you aren’t interested in being interviewed for my story, please let me know.


Lori Shepler



Here’s another University that declaws cats. Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine says they do “pain-free declaws.” Purdue “Pain-Free” Declaws

My cat is ruined and now it’s making my life miserable

My cat is ruined and now it’s making my life miserable

August 2, 2017

Dear City,

I’m really struggling … I really hate my home life now. My cat is ruined and now it’s making my life miserable.

Out of kindness and compassion, I had adopted this botched declaw older cat from the shelter. He had been given up for urinating outside the box and had been at the shelter for a long time. He was in pain. I felt bad for him and no one wanted to help him.

So I adopted him and gave him a loving home.

But frankly I keep regretting saving him. He relapses and urinates everywhere, all over my stuff.

Of course I’ve had the medical checks, multiple urinalysis and he has a clean bill of health. It’s purely behavioral. I’ve tried so many things, spent so much time and energy and some money, worked with so many medicines and professionals, from Western to holistic to more. He has already received paw repair surgery, and I’ve been in touch with the for help.

I’m already very knowledgeable about cat behavior and have fostered numerous cats and kittens and worked at cat rescues, but he is the worst problem cat I’ve ever had.

So many behavior problems — the anxiety and inability to deal with stress because he can’t relieve stress through scratching, which is what cats do. He can’t really run or jump because of his pain in his front paws, so he can’t exercise to relieve stress or feel good.

He can’t climb at all because his paws are so mutilated, which means he can’t do the climbing that cats enjoying or need to do to escape if needed — leaving him feeling nervous, vulnerable, anxious, fearful of changes. He is emotionally damaged and psychologically damaged because he has been reduced to a helpless prey animal who can barely run away and can’t escape by climbing. He’s not able to play by climbing and leaping and running, and if you can’t do the things you enjoy, you get depressed.

Since he can’t handle stress appropriately, his response to stress is to urinate or spray the walls (or the dishwasher). When he is past his stress threshold (which is very low), he urinates uncontrollably when faced with anything he dislikes or makes him uncomfortable, such as if I try to give him any meds or he sees the landscaper blowing leaves too close to his windows. He is extremely sensitive to any stress and that includes stress from me when I find his urine on my furniture, which only exacerbates his stress and the cycle continues and the pattern hardens.

He is a loving and sweet cat, otherwise. But I know I am his last stop before euthanasia (because the sanctuary options are not better).

He was abused (mutilated and left in pain) and abandoned at the shelter before I got him. These left emotional scars and psychological damage that I have to struggle with every day during his relapses. One stressor sets him off and the following week is filled with urine everywhere, my upset and angst, his fear, our stress.

I now hate living with him.

I hate living like this.  I hate living in constant fear that he will urinate on any item of clothing that falls onto the floor (somehow due to the pain of declaw, he has learned to prefer to urinate on soft clothes on the floor), I hate walking into the house wondering where he peed this time — the rug, the carpet, the bathroom mat, the bathroom tub, the kitchen floor, the kitchen mat, the wall, my furniture, my workout bag, my bag for work, my shoe rack.

I’ve started hating coming home because I dread the urine and the cleanup. I’ve started trying to live in my car as much as I can to escape him. I had the opportunity to travel for work and stay at a hotel and I jumped on it, eager to stay at a hotel and not have to see or deal with him. He yowls at me constantly for attention and playtime and if I don’t play with him immediately, he will urinate on my rug or spray the wall, right in front of me.

He is extra needy because he can’t fulfill his psychological needs of exercise on his own, so he depends on me to play with him and socialize. He has fursiblings who respect him and want to play with him but he only wants to play with me … or else. I hate being late for my appointments and meetings because I suddenly found a new puddle of his urine somewhere as I was trying to leave.

It’s like living with an alcoholic. You get periods of sobriety (no peeing outside the box) followed by relapses of urine everywhere outside the box, followed by anger/sadness/disgust, aggressive prevention, passive prevention … then the cycle repeats.

I really hate living like this, with this emotionally damaged cat who urinates everywhere.

But, after this, I will probably never save another declawed cat again.

The emotional and psychological damage done to cats by cutting off their 10 toe bones at the first knuckle creates pain for many cats and the people who care enough to try to help them.

He is upset and confused and wonders why I don’t seem to love him anymore or want to play with him, but the truth is that I hate living with him because I am constantly worried about and fearful of where he will urinate next. I don’t want to keep him locked in a room but I hate letting him have run of our small home. Because of all the time and energy I spent trying to launder my rugs and furniture of his pee or cleaning the pee off the carpet etc, I have no time left to play with him.

Or motivation to play with him.

Yes, I resent him for doing this to me. And he is confused and upset by this.

What a sad situation.

How many declawed cats with such problems simply get dumped or euthanized because people don’t want to deal with this.

From one of your supporters.



Let’s Hope For A Future Where ALL Veterinarians Will Be Like This One

Let’s Hope For A Future Where ALL Veterinarians Will Be Like This One

I’m really happy about this story. I have hope that this is the path that ALL veterinarians will take someday soon.

This is a story about change for the better and to me it signifies hope. Hope that soon all veterinarians in America will honor their oath to ease the suffering in animals and will not perform declawing.

Screenshot from her website,

Dr Susie McKnight purchased BayView Veterinary Hospital in Panama City, Florida from a vet that had owned it for 30 years.  Throughout his career, I’m sure that old school vet helped heal a lot of animals, but unfortunately he also declawed cats. He recently purchased a laser and even promoted his laser declawing on his facebook page and in a YouTube video. Thankfully he retired.

When I reached out to Dr McKnight to ask her why she chose to not declaw cats in her AAHA hospital, she said, “What it boiled down to for me was I wanted to spend my time focusing on helping our animal companions feel their best and live the longest and healthiest life possible. Those type of procedures fall outside of the scope of what I wanted to achieve with my professional career when everything is said and done and I retire from medicine.”

She simply did the right thing and took the ethical path of NOT performing this inhumane and harmful procedure of declawing at her veterinary practice.

Please give her a big thank you and high paws for being an ethical and humane no-declaw veterinarian! Here’s her facebook page Bayview veterinary hospital facebook page

Hopefully someday soon, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) will do the right thing and stop allowing declawing in all their “Standard of Excellence” hospitals.

What would be even better if all veterinarians just did the right thing like Dr McKnight did and that is to be a true advocate for animals who thinks of their needs first and foremost.




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