mutilation is considered something done to an animal that has no benefit to itself. declawing is done out of the convenience for the human and not the animal.
I'm not judging anyone for declaw. I didn't mean to come across as condeming anyone who did it to their animals. I'm just calling a spade a spade here.
Declawing (onychectomy) is performed under general anesthesia and consists of surgical removal of the nail bed (basically the last joint). The cat's claw is not a nail as is a human fingernail, it is part of the last bone (distal phalanx) in the cat's toe. Contrary to most people's understanding, declawing consists of amputating not just the claws, but the whole phalanx (up to the joint), including bones, ligaments, and tendons! To remove the claw, the bone, nerve, joint capsule, collateral ligaments, and the extensor and flexor tendons must all be amputated. Thus declawing is not a “simple”, single surgery but 10 separate, painful amputations of the third phalanx up to the last joint of each toe. A graphic comparison in human terms would be the cutting off of a person's finger at the last joint of each finger.
I do work with a local cat rescue group where we are a no kill/no declaw organization. The spay/neuter program has greatly helped the health of our feral colonies...we are no longer seeing anemic, overtaxed females, we're not seeing kittens being killed due to simple viral infections, because there are no extra kittens, and the males and females both are in general better health because there's more food available to them and they're not kitten making machines. Is it a hysterectomy/castration? Yes. Does it benefit the cats' health and well-being? Yes. They will not come down with cancers that non neutered/spayed animals can become afflicted with. They live longer, healthier lives. 10-12 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year in the US alone. Too many pets and not enough owners. Spaying/neutering prevents unwanted litters and homelessness.
Again, perhaps fine line, but it is to the benefit of the animal to spay/neuter.
And now back to the subject! :)
Question on the claw caps...has your cat started chewing or biting at them? Has she shown any type of discomfort? How easy is it going to be to get the glued buggers off and reapply? I'm curious...I've seen these things before and figure to some it might be of great benefit, but i don't know all that much about them.