Cats Need Claws To Walk!
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Cocoa:My declawed rescue
Cats need claws to walk in much the same context as birds need wings to fly.
I did the following video as a project when a reader of pictures-of-cats.org wrote in and requested video of a declawed cat walking. Preferable a side view. My daughter had ordered a harness so she could take Mister Tom out for a walk and I decided to give Cocoa the same pleasure.
Here's the video.
As it turned out, the outdoor world isn't a pleasure for a declawed cat. My poor rescued cat Cocoa is declawed on all four paws. See how he slinks with his belly close to the ground? What you can't see in the video is the warm earth, small rocks, and uncertainty a declawed cat faces.
Was Cocoa afraid his paws would slip without the balance of claws? Did the slight heat of the earth cause him pain? All I know is this was a very eye opening experience.
Mister Tom had confidence as he explored the "wilderness" around my home. He took each step with confidence and pride. He'll definitely be taking a lot of harness walks.
Cocoa has probably made his last journey outside unless I can find some nice soft grass for him to lay in. He kept laying down. Pay close attention to each paw as it touches the ground. Each step is a step into the unknown for a declawed cat. Will it burn? Will it hurt?
I can tell already he'll have arthritis in his old age. He moves a lot like my mother did in her senior years. Bad comparison, but mama had rheumatoid arthritis and I believe Cocoa will have medical issues caused by the declawing.
I've heard a lot of people say there's no difference in how a cat with claws and a declawed cat move. I say they're wrong. Not only is the difference in the body, it's in the attitude.
I'll be honest. Inside the house I forget Cocoa is declawed. He did have a sad declawed cat moment a few weeks ago when he went to jump onto the dining room bar and slid back down when he couldn't get a claw grip. Other than that, he moves the same as the others do. There's no difference in how he walks compared to my other rescues.
Which could be because I have either carpet or flooring that doesn't cause him to slip. I've learned people with hardwood floors have declawed cats whose feet literally go out from under them. NOT good for a cats confidence. Not to mention a cat is good at hiding pain.
I hope everyone will watch my video several times and compare my two cats. Remember it's not just the physical problems Cocoa encountered. It's the lack of confidence I'm sure he felt. After all, he had no way to defend himself in the "wilderness" behind my home.
And declawed cats ARE defenseless. Let's put an end to it before more cats have to suffer.
Notes: I've had a lot of people ask me why all four paws are declawed. I have an answer, although I'm not sure if it's correct. When a cat wants to jump from it's owner's arms, sometimes it will kick and the back claws will come out and scratch. Removing the back claws prevents the owner from being scratched.
I'm not going to say what should happen to the person who declaws a cat because I don't like to use that kind of language.
The harness I purchased for Mister Tom is from Amazon and is called the Comfort Controlled Harness. Here's the link - click on the image to go to Amazon:
Get a medium. I got a large and ended up having to rig it and finally to sew it so it would be tighter. The cats don't mind the harness because it's very comfortable and gets great reviews by people who have bought one for their cat.