by Maggie Sharp
(Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)
A happy Chilli with big, beautiful claws!
I've been observing my cat and how he uses his claws, it's lead me to be convinced that cats really do use claws for everything... We have a big bag of Guinea Pig and Rabbit grain and Chilli sits on a TV above it and, using his claws, he sort of makes a cage and scoops up the grain (only to have it taken off him!), and when they do that big stretch where their butt is as high as possible and their front legs stretched out as far as possible, yep the claws comes out... Obviously they also use their claws to scratch things, climb, play etc.
But if you observe more carefully you'll find that they even use their claws to show affection, have you ever had that silly cat sitting on your lap just staring at you, while purring like a chainsaw? If so, look at its paws, the toes will be stretched out slightly while the tips of the claws are exposed... And not to mention paw-pumping until your knee goes numb...
So why do people continue to delcaw cats? Do they just not realise that cats need and use their claws for just about everything? Are those people uneducated? Do vets go through the disadvantages prior to the operation? Or, are people just greedy, do they just put themselves before the cats? A prime example of greed was actually found on this site, it was a story written by someone who was going to either declaw the cat, or have it put to sleep, they declawed it and now that the cat wasn't inconveniencing them, they were happy... I know for a fact that claws aren't 'dangerous' once they've been clipped. And that's from someone who's been paw-pumped on the face while trying to sleep! =)
So, there's a few things to think about in regard to claws, cats and the cruel practice of declawing...