Cats Need Claws To Play!
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Pinky playing - using those all important claws
Cats need claws to play. You'd think this would fall into the common sense category. Unfortunately, many people don't have the brain capacity to watch a cat as it interacts with the world around it. Cats like to jump and climb. Outdoor cats love to climb trees.
Do people not realize what happens to a cats instinct to play once it's declawed? First of all there can be pain that lasts a lifetime. From the initial pain caused by the surgery to the lingering pain of severe arthritis as the cat gets older.
I received a message today from a woman whose cat had been declawed asking me why her cat won't use the litter box. They'd had their vet check out the cat and found no urinary problems. I suggested she try very soft sand as rocky cat litter is likely causing severe pain. I wouldn't want to step on little rocks either.
Now back to my topic of cats and claws and playing. I got the idea for this story from watching my kitten Pinky. Michael has made Pinky a star in his article on Cat Pink Eye. My Pinky had the worst case of conjunctivitis I've ever treated. It was heartbreaking just to look at him with his swollen bloodshot eyes.
Pinky is all better now after two weeks of Clavamox and Gentamicin antibiotic eyedrops. Last night he found the cat tree I purchased a few weeks ago. Here's a short video I shot of him enjoying his first go at the tree.
Look at my little kitty using his claws. They're literally helping him keep his balance as he climbs. He's livelier than a baby monkey as he swings around and swats at the hanging ball. Up and down and around and around the sisal rope he goes.
If he didn't have his claws he'd fall right off!
It was so entertaining just to stand there and watch the little guy climb. Keep in mind this is the only climbing he's done except to jump from the sofa onto the cat colony bar. It may be my imagination, but I believe he had a pleased with himself expression on his little face.
People who whine about their cats tearing up their furniture should invest in one of these trees. Or anything a cat can use as a scratching post. It's a lot cheaper to buy a cat tree once than to treat a maimed cat for life.
I'll end this story now before I get all heated up. Enjoy the video everyone.