SCRATCHING IS NECESSARY BEHAVIOR

by Ruth
(England)

poster about cats needing scratching posts
Poster by Ruth

Some people think that if their cat scratches the furniture he is being badly behaved.

They are wrong, it is necessary behavior for a cat to scratch and if a scratching post or pad isn’t provided then naturally the cat will use whatever else he can find to dig his claws into.

I read a blog the other day which inspired this article. It was by an anti-declaw person who wrote:

‘When your cat is behaving badly by scratching your couch you may think about having it declawed, but please reconsider.’

It went on to give some reasons not to declaw, such as the pain it causes the cat, making the cat defenseless etc. It was obviously written by a cat lover, but one who mistakenly thinks that scratching is bad behavior and who didn’t explain either that scratching is essential to a cat’s health and happiness.
Unfortunately there was no place to comment or to contact the author of the blog to point out this very important omission

Cats need to dig in their claws to stretch and exercise their leg, shoulder, stomach and back muscles and the reason most declawed cats develop painful arthritis is because they can’t do that.

The other reasons cats need to use their claws are that scratching removes the dead outer sheaths of the claws and that they also need them for marking their territory by the scent glands between their toes.

Cats are born with claws because they need claws and depriving them of those very essential claws by any method of declawing is very cruel, unnecessary and causes many cats a lifetime of physical and mental problems.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Comments for
SCRATCHING IS NECESSARY BEHAVIOR

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 02, 2010 To Judy
by: Ruth

Hello Judy, you are obviously ‘one of us’ who cares deeply about all cats and I’m sure we’d all love to read your stories on PoC. I know I would.
In particular, any about declawed cats suffering could possibly save other cats from the same fate.
What a dreadful example that mother was giving to that boy. We all hit hard times but we don’t abandon our families and cats are surely as much a part of the family as the human members.
All we can do is to keep on educating people and appealing to their better nature, although sadly some don’t have one !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Dec 01, 2010 declawing
by: Judy

I read your message on the reasons to not declaw your cats and I agree 100%; I had a friend that had all her cats declawed,I mentioned to her the negatives against declawing and she said the vet.told her it was ok,there was no future problems with declawing I tried many more attempts in trying to persuade her against it but she is a cat collector and had every cat declawed.
I found two beautiful cats in a wooded area near my sisters house they looked like twin cats orange/long fur and sure enough declawed,It didn’t take very long to catch one male which was sickly and the other one just never came in near humans again(so sad)the one I did catch looked like he was in much pain,after a few years of being with us he just couldn’t hold on any longer so against my better judgement I had to put him to sleep.I was standing feeding these two cats when the boy(owner)came up to me and told me the cats was his & his mom’s I explained a lot to the little boy about animals not being throw aways but him & his mom were homeless also,but I again explained to him that they could have asked some one to keep them until they got settled in some where else,I put my two cats in a kennel(boarding & grooming) for two months(years ago)I got another place when I brought my kitties back home with me.Of course my baby Lincoln kept slapping my leg or foot to let me know he was very upset for me leaving him there too long.I have so many great and sad stories of my own experiences to tell as I move on down the pages……..


Nov 30, 2010 Yes it is
by: Kathryn

Yes scratching is necessary and I only hope people who declaw their cats read this and it sinks into their pea brains that cats need and deserve to keep their claws.
I’m really upset reading about 4 paw declaws offered lately,as if 2 painful crippled paws isn’t enough.
They are nothing short of monsters who do this to cats.


Nov 30, 2010 typical human thinking…..
by: pamela marshall

How would human beings feel if they had claws and had to scratch, and were punished for it? How different things would be! Riots and demos on the streets until the governments listened…
There would be a change in the law, that all humans are allowed to scratch and, scratching pads will be provided…There would be huge scrathing posts on every street,and all new houses would boast…
“comprising a scratching pad in every room….!”
Human beings have a voice and can use the media to make their voices heard.
Our lovely pets do not have a voice, and rely on us to protect them, and to be their voice.
What they would say if they could speak would be, “Give us the right to scratch as we need to scratch to stay healthy. If you love your furniture more, than please don’t give us a home and de-claw us…this would be a life sentence of disability and agonising pain.


Nov 29, 2010 Cats need their claws
by: Michele S.

Ruth, you raise a very valid point about people knowing too little about natural cat behaviour. If only more vets and shelters were willing to educate people why cats need claws, millions of them could be saved from a lifetime of pain and misery.

I often hear the excuse that indoor cats don’t need claws. I assume this is based on the assumption that they’ll never need to climb to safety or fend off an attacker, but there are indoor hazards too. Cats can use their claws as crampons to prevent them slipping off somewhere high. They also use their front claws to steady themselves whilst grooming and as traction when running around.

It’s shameful that in the 21st century vets are still promoting such a barbaric and unecessary mutilation on loyal animals who trust us to take care of their welfare.


Nov 29, 2010 Good information
by: Barbara

I agree entirely with this Ruth,to describe an animal’s natural behaviour as “bad” shows the dangerous ignorance that leads to some people mutilating their cats, applying that crazy logic then dogs that bark and kids that poop in their nappies are displaying bad behaviour, never mind that that is exactly what we expect them to do. It seems to me that the word “Bad” is being used as a synonym to the word “Inconvenient”. Thank you for spending more of your time trying to educate the ignorant and hopefully save cats paws.

Barbara avatar


Nov 29, 2010 EXCELLENT INFORMATION
by: Jo Singer

Thanks Ruth for getting the TRUTH out about scratching behavior, and how normal and necessary it is for cats to indulge in this behavior.

With so many products available on the market today, designed to re-direct cats from damaging furniture and carpets, and just the short time it takes to trim their claws .. I just can’t understand why folks insist on having their cats declawed.

Why get a cat in the first place is something I always wonder about, since cats come from the factory equipped with a full set as they are an essential part of their makeup. So if furniture is more important than the safety and well being of cats, why not get a goldfish?

Thanks again for all that you do for these kitties who are in danger of being mutilated.

Bonks and purrs,

Jo


Nov 29, 2010 Another great page
by: Rose

Another great page Ruth,I do love your posters.They don’t really need an explanation beneath them.
What everyone else has commented is true.We in other countries are horrified at the very thought of taking cats claws from them,we can see it plainly enough yet it seems a lot of Americans and Canadians have a blind spot.That puzzles me deeply.They blame the vets and yes they are partly to blame but I can’t comprehend how anyone who says they love cats agrees to such an obviously cruel thing to do to them.


Nov 29, 2010 Stupid
by: Leah (England)

As always, Ruth, factual and incredibly well illustrated.
You know I’ve thought many times if a cat keeper isn’t furnished with the truth from the vet about alternatives to declawing are they then to blame for getting it done without realising the horrible consequences?

I think they are. The information is out there now and even without that information at the very least you know that you are taking your cats first line of defence even if you didn’t know about anything else you know about that! For me that would be enough not to do it & even if my cat was indoors they could still get out so all that crap about its ok to declaw an indoor cat doesn’t apply.

I really do think you would have to be very stupid not to know that cats come with claws for lots of reasons and knowing that you are both stupid AND cruel for having them hacked off!!!

When I first heard about declawing (purely because I went onto PoC one day in March this year)I was absolutely horrified! I was horrified by one basic issue (because this is all I was aware of until I learnt of all the other horrors) and that was that cats in America were having their claws removed for human convenience. My first thought was ‘oh my God how horrible; how could anyone have that done, the poor cats can’t defend themselves!’

I consider myself to be of average intelligence so if that is my initial reaction then why don’t other people feel the same? When I discovered the other horrors such as the pain, blood, no medication, no exercise, all four paws, embedded in bone, butchers disguised as vets etc I sat and cried.

The basic fact is that cats are Gods creatures; beautifully and perfectly made. God gave them claws for lots of reasons and they SHOULD NOT be taken away!


Nov 29, 2010 Scratching is GOOD
by: Maggie

What a great article, Ruth! As always! When Chilli or Mae scratch the scratching post (which, might I add, has COMPLETELY stopped furniture being scratched since it was introduced to the house) I don’t think of them as simply scratching, I think of them as exercising. As you mentioned in this article, scratching is very important. It exercises the whole body. When a cat scratches do people honestly think they’re scratching because they’re bored, or simply because they can? NO! They’re scratching because it’s a form of exercise.

People say indoor cats don’t need claws. But in respect to exercise, indoor cats need claws more than outdoor cats. Indoor cats can’t scratch or climb a tree, they can’t chase birds and insects, they can’t climb fences, run across paddocks, climb roofs. They NEED their claws because it’s really the only form of exercise they can get.


Nov 29, 2010 I’ve always compared
by: Elisa Black-Taylor

I’ve always compared the way cats stretch and flex their claws to the way they knead their mothers to get milk while they’re nursing. Imagine the emotional damage it must cause for a kitten to imitate this behavior and be punished for it. A cat flexing its claws and feet and doing the whole stretching thing is just beautiful to watch. Call me weird, but I love to see the claws come out and go back in and watch how the cat can control all of it. To take away the claws is to take away a vital part of what makes a cat a cat



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.