As a cat person, I thought I would get your thoughts on declawing. I adopted a little 10 week old rescue kitty this past weekend. I love cats and my 3 year old daughter has been asking, so I thought...why not? The last time I got a kitty (16 years ago) declawing was regularly done and now I am finding that it is Not Done because it is inhumane. What do you think?
I think this is the kind of thing I don't want to Google. As I understand it, this is the kind of topic that makes people wish they'd talked about something uncontroversial like vaccinations or circumcision.
When I was little, it was the norm for pet cats to be indoor/outdoor or just-indoor animals. It was common for an indoor-only cat to be declawed: the feeling was that an indoor/outdoor cat NEEDED claws for self-defense, but that an indoor-only cat would only use them to defend itself against the household's furniture.
By the time I was an adult, many shelters were asking cat-adopters to sign papers saying they wouldn't let the cats outside at all. We were apartment-dwellers at the time, so that was no problem. When our cats ripped the fabric off the back of two chairs, I asked the vet about front-claws-only declawing, which I'd heard was a nice compromise between Declawing and Not Declawing. From the way my vet reacted, I quickly understood that it was no longer considered a nice compromise.
These things to seem to PENDULUM AROUND. First it will be "Mutilation wing-clipping foot-binding crippling" and then it will be "Braces appendix electrolysis tonsils." Sometimes we screw with Nature and sometimes we don't, and whether a particular procedure is in the "Screw With" category or the "Don't" category depends on the time and place and person.
(Speaking of which, wouldn't there be a BUNDLE to be made in clinics that performed Currently Unfashionable Procedures with no Embarrassing Disapproval?)
So anyway, my cats have all their claws. But this is not because I feel strongly about Not Declawing, but rather that I prefer to go with the norm. If the vet had instead said, "We recommend neutering and declawing for all indoor-only cats," my cats would have been declawed in addition to having their reproductive organs surgically disabled.