There have been quite a few articles lately about declawing (and here), but I just had to write one more. This is not to upset the wonderful Americans who are anti-declaw, it’s simply another attempt to help educate the pro-declaws. Cats claws are no big deal in the UK, so why are they such a big deal to so many people in the USA?
We all know that cats come with claws, so if a person doesn’t like it that cats have claws, why do they have a cat as a pet? It’s not compulsory to have a cat and it shouldn’t be an option to have a cat adapted for convenience sake.
True cat lovers love every part of their cat, including their claws. They are not lethal weapons to be looked upon with horror, they are a beautiful and necessary part of a cat.
Take two scenarios:
1. We get a new kitten in England, he has sharp little claws and hasn’t learned ‘claw manners’ yet so we get little scratches from him.
So what, there are far more hurts in life than a few scratches!
What do we do? We buy him a scratching post and teach him how to use it. When he comes along to scratch our feet or our furniture we gently lift him to his scratching post and show him how to use it. We praise him when he does, using his name a lot ‘Good boy Stripey’ He soon learns how satisfying it is to stretch up his scratching post for a good ‘work out’. We can, if we want to, trim the sharp ends off his claws but it’s not really necessary, we’ve had many kittens in our home and the scratching stage soon passes without interfering with the claws nature gave him.
2. Someone gets a new kitten in the USA, he has sharp little claws, they get a few scratches and immediately start trimming his claws because ‘everyone’ does it. Yes, I know in the USA cats are mostly kept indoors and don’t have access to trees and fences to help with their manicures, so I accept that kittens need to learn to have their claws trimmed, because it will be for life. But hopefully the kitten will be provided with a scratching post too for exercising his muscles and for the sheer pleasure of enjoying his claws, as is his right.
OK, but what about the people who see those tiny sharp claws as a threat, who without even trying to trim his claws and/or teach the kitten claw manners, arrange for him to be declawed! That little kitten’s essential toe ends and claws will be amputated and leave him disabled for life.
How can that be right?
Yes declawing vets encourage this major surgery and the AVMA condone it. In fact, they give totally the wrong idea when they say:
‘Cats with claws may pose increased risks of injury and morbidity for certain owners’ (proposed AVMA declaw policy statement)
The message they are conveying is:
‘CATS WITH CLAWS….oooh shock, horror, they are nasty dangerous things that need to be got rid of’. How do they think we manage in countries where declawing is banned? Well, we do manage and we manage nicely by accepting the fact that cats come with claws.
There are not two options ….. cats with claws and cats without claws. There should be no second option, cats are born with claws because they need them, they are part of a cat! Everyone needs to accept that fact.
If you don’t like claws, then don’t have a cat, it’s as simple as that!