But it can be even worse for big cats, because it's often a black market procedure. "What's sad about big cats especially is that a lot of times it's done without anesthesia or a trained veterinarian, when they're small cubs," she said. Their sellers can then market them as pets or performers who will bond with their owners and can't hurt them - teeth aside.
This can lead to lifelong complications. One cougar at BCR was declawed as a kitten, and though she's now around 20 years old, her claws keep trying to grow back under the skin. "It's painful to walk on," Bass explained. "It can hamper their activity, and it can be painful for them to jump and land down on those paws."
Fortunately, it looks like Zorro is now pain-free - and putting his paws to good use. A video posted a few years ago shows the spry cat attacking a hanging box - and he totally goes to town.