Hello Everyone. Fo the Cat here. Zeva asked me to write the Paw Pals Boutique blog this week. She noticed that there has been a lot of discussion recently about banning the practice of declawing cats and wanted my opinion.
She didn’t see why people were so upset. After all, dogs get their nails clipped all the time. Some dogs even like to get their nails clipped because they get to wear nail polish. After I explained to her what really happens to a cat when it gets declawed, she understood why people were so upset.
Cat’s claws are really sharp. They are supposed to be. The cat’s claws are its main defense tool. Their claws help them run up trees when they are trying to escape a predator or, if cornered, used to slash and cut.
A cat’s scratch can be painful but for most people, if cleaned and treated with antiseptic right away, shouldn’t be a real problem. For the elderly and people who have medical problems that are being treated with blood thinners, however, a cat scratch can be more serious and not treated so lightly. The main reason people declaw their cats so they can’t scratch (slash and cut) them or climb (and ruin) their furniture and draperies.
What people (and I guess dogs) don’t understand is that a declawing a cat is not like clipping people’s or dog’s finger nails and toe nails. A cat’s claw is part of the bone in its toe. When a doctor declaws a cat, he or she is amputating the last joint on the cat’s toe. Cats are very graceful and agile creatures. Declawing alters how a cat’s feet work. Imagine how difficult it would be to walk without toes.
Declawing is major surgery but a cat can’t rest in bed for very long. Even with medication to ease the pain, the cat still needs to walk and needs to use the litter box.
Declawing also takes away one of the cat’s defenses. They can no longer climb trees or fight off other animals so that’s why declawed cats are not allowed to go out of doors.
Scratching is just something cats do. They scratch for a bunch of reasons like to shred the outer layer of their claws or to stretch their muscles. It’s part of who they are. It’s hard to stop them completely but there are ways to control scratching that don’t require amputating body parts.
There are tapes and sprays that make places they may want to scratch annoying or uninviting. Used with a scratch tree or perch, the tapes and sprays can be quite effective. Rubbing a little catnip on the perch helps with helping the cat to make the right decision on which object to choose for scratching.
Like dogs, cat’s nails can be clipped or you can get nail caps that fit over their claws. I haven’t seen the nail caps but I understand you can get them in pretty colors too!
Some countries have banned declawing outright while others say it should only be done if a vet thinks it is medically necessary. For anyone considering declawing their cat, please give it some thought, it’s not a simple decision to make.
Fo, the Cat
P.S. Blatant self-promotion. Zeva wanted me to remind you that Paw Pals Boutique has a huge selection of gift baskets especially designed for cats and the people who love them.