by Finn Frode
Blue boy with big claws
This beautiful litter of Abyssinians were born yesterday at the Tick-Tag cattery, Denmark. The photos were taken by owner Helle Andersen just a few hours after Jinnee had given birth to her kittens and as you can see - even these newborn kittens have long claws.
The fact that cats are born with claws on their paws may come as a surprise to some cat keepers in countries that still allows declawing - like the USA. Cat owners, who apparently value their beloved furniture more than the welfare of their pets. But cats come this way and they do have claws even before they open their eyes. It's not a mistake that has to be corrected.
Why? Because they'll need their claws now, just as they'll need them later for scratching and defending themselves. Right now finding a nipple and getting the mother cat's milk flowing is the first task the newborn kitten has to master - and it must succeed to survive. Once at the nipple the kitten will stimulate milk production by kneading and the tiny claws help to increase the stimulus.
In case you don't know, declawing is actually an operation that amputates the outer bone on each toe. Not just the claws, but the bones they grow from as well. How would you like having your fingertips cut off?
Jinnee's kittens are fortunate enough to be born in a country that does not allow declawing. Over here we have better and much cheaper ways of saving our furniture - it's scratch boards, scratch poles, cat trees and similar devices that allow our cats to follow their natural instincts.
Photos are copyright of Tick-Tag cattery - and used with permission.