There are NO pros to declawing your Maine Coon cat when considering the cat

A top website on the Maine Coon cat, Maine Coon Expert, has an article headed: "The Pros and Cons of Declawing Your Maine Coon". It is a very long article. It discusses declawing cats in great seriousness and in great detail. It argues for and against it. Personally, I am flabbergasted that the authors can find something positive (pros) to say about declawing cats. In 35 countries it is banned as an illegal activity. In the UK if a veterinarian declawed a cat they would be prosecuted by the RSPCA. Although it never crosses their mind. It is entirely off the radar of UK veterinarians. It is banned in Israel.

There are NO pros to declawing your Maine Coon cat when considering the cat
There are NO pros to declawing your Maine Coon cat when considering the cat. Image: MikeB

Any enlightened legislature will decide that it is barbaric and should be banned. The Maine Coon Expert website says that there are pros doing it and that it should be decision of the cat owner whether it is done or not. The trouble is that Maine Coon cat owners don't know what it entails very often. And their veterinarian will often pull the wool over their eyes. Veterinarians in general want to perpetuate the operation in America. They don't want to advise their client properly and honestly. So how can a Maine Coon owner make a wise decision?

The trouble is, the author of the Maine Coon Expert Website is simply regurgitating the usual rubbish. The article is full of platitudes and banality. It is unenlightened. They don't address the complications of declawing in detail and they can be incredibly serious. They don't address the mass of botched declawing operations carried out expediently by unethical veterinarians - the rapid chopping off of the ends of ten toes. The whole lot chopped off in 20 mins. It is disgusting.

They state that it is fair to consider the damage done to your furniture by a cat who hasn't been declawed when making a decision about declawing. This is saying it is okay to mutilate your Maine Coon (what a thought) to protect your damned sofa.

Poster by Ruth as at 2008. NY state and Denver city have also banned it.

And they say that declawing helps cats to be homed by people. What they're saying is that some people won't adopt a cat unless they are declawed. And therefore, it allows cats in shelters to be homed when they might otherwise be euthanised.

This is an incredibly poor argument. For a start off Maine Coons are hardly ever in shelters. You buy them from breeders. And they are in demand. There is no argument about the need to home Maine Coon cats by declawing them. It's a rubbish argument. Indeed, I would hope that the majority of Maine Coon cat breeders insist that their cats are not declawed and that this is a term of the contract.

RELATED: Arizona state legislature is discussing the banning of cat declawing.

All responsible and decent Maine Coon breeders should have a term in their contract which states that the purchaser must not declaw the cat that they purchase from them.

And the authors say that when you declaw a cat you help protect vulnerable people in the home. But how many people are vulnerable to being scratched in the home? Perhaps an elderly person who when they are scratched might get an infection and it might harm them. That's a fair point but there are good counterarguments.

The first is you can trim a cat's claws to the point where the claw will not break the skin if they inadvertently scratch a person's arm. Secondly, the way you handle a cat, including a Maine Coon, will prevent almost hundred percent of the time the possibility of being scratched by a cat. Thirdly, there is a very good argument that a person who is very vulnerable should not adopt a cat. That might sound harsh but it is practical and reasonable bearing in mind the seriousness of the declawing operation and the damage that it does to a domestic cat.

In any case, when you declaw a cat, they learn to bite instead. And therefore, you do not reduce the hazard of being 'injected' with harmful bacteria by your cat. Instead of the claws 'injecting' bacteria into your arm, the teeth do the job. Cats compensate. They are very good at this. The argument about protecting vulnerable people is nonsense. And this argument is wheeled out by the authors of the Maine Coon Expert website.

In short, there are no pros to declawing when considering the cat. Please remember that "cat declawing" means the partial amputation of all 10 toes of the forelegs and even sometimes on all four paws. I can't find a feline medical reason to do that. There might be a reason to partially amputate a toe or a couple of toes but to do both feet in their entirety, I don't see a reason for that medically.

An article on the pros and cons of declawing is going to be a very bad article because it suggests that there are some pros i.e. some factors which are in favour of declawing. 

There is only one reason for declawing and it is an extremely rare reason: it is when it is done in the best interest of the cat for health reasons. It should never be done at the convenience of the owner which is the reason why it is done almost 100% of the time in North America.

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