Cats use their claws for various
purposes. The claws are important to cats, as they are an essential part of balancing. If you’ve
ever noticed a cat jumping and latching on to a high object, you’ve probably noticed that he uses his claws
to pull himself up. When climbing trees, cats tend to use their claws to latch onto the bark and climb
towards their destination.
Cats also use their claws for stretching,
walking, and running as well. The claws are also a cat’s primary source of defence against other
animals and humans as well. Most cats keep their claws extremely sharp, as their claws and teeth are
basically their only weapons. The claws are also essential for using the bathroom as well, as cats use
them to cover up their mess with dirt.
Cats also use their claws to scratch
things, which mark their territory. Their claws have glands, which contain a secretion. When they
leave their mark on something, the secretion is transferred to the area they scratched. This is
detectable to other cats although not to humans. Sometimes, they will also scratch something to remove
the older claw which will fall off and give them a brand new claw that resides
People generally have cats declawed to
prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious cats are declawed. In the United
States, some landlords require that tenants' cats be declawed. As sad as it is, a lot of pet owners choose to
put their own possessions above their cat, such as their expensive furniture or carpets. These cat
owners are afraid that they cat will ruin their furniture or carpet, and therefore will choose to get their
cat de-clawed. Declawing is a major surgery known as onychectomy, performed under anaesthesia that
removes the tip of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the cat's forepaws. There is a slight chance of
death in the surgery, and a declawed cat may have an increased risk of infection and life-long discomfort in
its paws. This surgery is not recommended for an adult animal and is considered an act of animal cruelty in
some countries (see below).
Getting a cat’s claws removed is a
surgical procedure, one that can only be performed by a veterinarian. The owner will need a good reason
though, as a vet won’t do the surgery just to keep one’s furniture or carpet
Veterinarians are generally critical of
the procedure and some refuse to perform it because:
The absence of claws in a
1. Deprives it of its main defence
abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
2. Impairs its stretching and exercise
habits, leading to muscle atrophy;
3. Compromises its ability to balance on
thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls;
4. Can cause insecurity and a subsequent
tendency to bite.
Those who decide to own cats should know
that a cat can scratch on occasion. If someone isn’t prepared to deal with that fact, they shouldn’t
own a cat in the first place.
is rare outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing is forbidden
by the laws against cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is forbidden under the terms of the
European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless "a veterinarian considers [such] non-curative
procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of (the) animal". In Britain,
animal shelters find it difficult to place imported cats that have been declawed and subsequently most are
to declawing is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with nontoxic glue,
requiring periodic replacement when the cat sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). However, the
cat will still experience difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as
Cats are great pets, although they do
have claws and they will use them on occasion. There are plenty of other great pets out there, if you
aren’t up for handling a cat. If you’re just worried about your furniture or carpet, there are ways
that you can keep your cat from scratching on your belongings.
The first thing to do is to get your cat
a scratching post and let him know where it is and how to use it. You can also get a rush mat as well,
which will help your cat with his instincts to scratch. You may have to demonstrate how to use the mat
or the post at first, although your cat should catch onto it quick. Once you have shown him the ropes,
he will scratch on the post or the mat – and not your furniture or your carpet.
Although many don’t realize it, there are
other ways to protect your things other than getting your cat de-clawed. If you’ve been thinking of
getting your cat de-clawed, you should know that the process can totally change his personality. Once
the cat is de-clawed, he will be in pain and confused. He may not be able to jump in the window or on
the couch, and he may not be able to play like he once did. Some cats, after being de-clawed, tend to
get aggressive and bite with their teeth.
To make a long story short, the cat will
be completely miserable – which is a tough thing to bear for those who love their cats. Getting a cat’s claws
removed is very painful and confusing to the cat, and may totally change his outlook on things. Before
you decide to take the inhumane path of getting your cat de-clawed, you should look into your other available
options- your cat will like these options much better.