Puss in Boots Movie – Kitty Softpaws is a declawed cat

By Leah – with editing and additional work by Michael

Kitty Softpaws is the girlfriend of Puss, in Puss in Boots. She is declawed. Why is this featured?

KItty Softpaws
Kitty Softpaws
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Kitty Softpaws is a new character in the successful computer-animated film Puss in Boots released in 2011. She stole Puss in Boots’ heart (and his boots). This his how she describes to Puss how she lost her claws:

Kitty Softpaws: “I was just a stray, but I had beautiful claws. One day a really nice couple took me in, gave me milk every morning, loved me. Maybe I scratched her curtains or play too rough with the hamster. I don’t know why they did it, but they took my claws.”

Puss in Boots: “Cat people are crazy.”

Her weaknesses are described as: Gets impatient from time to time, steals, can’t be trusted until you get to know her, lacks claws, and is partially defenseless without her sword.

I was watching Puss in Boots the other day, which btw is brilliant. However, I was more than just a bit unsettled to find that Kitty Softpaws was declawed. I don’t know whether it’s good that this is a good thing to portray in the film or not. What do you think? I have to say I don’t know why this was included in the film. What was the reasoning behind it?

She is called Kitty Softpaws not because she is declawed but because she is an accomplished thief. However, her name seems to be an oblique reference to her paws without claws.

When Kitty Softpaws was trying to unpick the lock to the magic beans with a knife, Puss in Boots kept saying ‘use your claws!’ ‘use your claws!’ Kitty Softpaws seemed to lose her temper and shouted back ‘I don’t have any claws!’ then he jumped in to the cart with her and unpicked the lock with one of his claws.

In this link is the conversation that followed, see quotes 3 and 4. I’ve hunted high and low for this particular clip of the film but can’t find it.

In the film she explains to Puss in Boots about her claws and how the humans took them (see above), this is of course very sad so clearly the writer knew what he was doing because the declawing process is sad for a cat (not just sad but life-changing and cruel) so the writer knew this and portrayed it in the right way. This to me means that he knows that declawing is wrong but why in an animated film? I don’t understand his thinking. Maybe it was because the writer wanted people to know that this is a sad fact of life for cats in America and that it is sad and detrimental for them?

If anyone has that bit of the clip please would you add it?

The film btw portrays cats really well and the characters are hypnotising and clever; here is a still of the moment when Kitty tells Puss in Boots about her claws…

KItty Softpaws and Puss in Boots talking
KItty Softpaws and Puss in Boots talking

“I am called Kitty Softpaws because I will steal you blind, and you’ll never even know I was there.”

On a similar theme, the film ‘Grown Ups’ features a dog that had been de-barked. Sadly it was mentioned flippantly in passing which I found very inhumane and sad because the dog tried to bark and all that came out was a hoarse noise. The caretaker of the dog simply states the neighbors complained so they had him de-vocalised. See below;

Shocking that the scene is described as ‘funny’ on you tube which clearly it is not because the dog had surgery for the benefit of the caretakers neighbours. Does anyone know of any other films such as this or Puss in Boots?

8 thoughts on “Puss in Boots Movie – Kitty Softpaws is a declawed cat”

  1. Seems like the creator doesn’t approve of declawing but he doesn’t go anywhere near far enough in describing declawing or it’s effects, possibly this would be a good platform for an anti declaw message as so many people seem to like watching animations but he seems to have missed an opportunity and made it sound all soft and fluffy instead of harsh and bloody. I didn’t watch the dog video, debarking like declawing fills me with loathing and makes me want to hit someone very hard.

    Reply
    • Me too Babz it isn’t gruesome it just made me angry that they dealt with it so flippantly! Mind you when he told his friend his friend say it was the wrong person it was the neighbour that should have been debarked. It made me mad when I found it on You tube and each person that had posted the clip found it hilarious! They have absolutely no idea what it entails for the dog and how dangerous it is 🙁

      Reply
  2. ‘Maybe I scratched her curtains or play too rough with the hamster. I don’t know why they did it, but they took my claws’

    It makes too light of declawing, that’s for sure, they didn’t take her claws, they took her toe ends. I think it’s horrible they make so light of this cruelty.

    Reply
    • You’re right Ruth I totally agree they like many other just say it the claws which is potentially quite damaging can you think of all the people that will think oh really a cat that can be a cat but without claws? They portray her as being able to lead a normal cat life except she can’t pick locks! On the other hand if you think about it he also mentions that shes partially defenceless without her sword because she has no claws so he is trying to get the point across but probably the producers and whoever else wouldn’t let him go as far as he wanted with it?

      Reply
  3. My gut feeling is that her declawing was featured because (a) it is a major feature of domestic cat ownership in the USA and this film is made in the USA and (b) it adds an extra dimension to the film and the script and (c) her name is referenced subtly to the declawing as well as her ability to thieve and (d) the movie’s creator does not like declawing and wants to make a point.

    Thanks Leah for the article.

    Reply
    • Thank you for tidying it up (quite a bit!) and for publishing it Michael I was shocked at first but then found myself wondering about it I tried to research the writer but couldn’t find much out. On reflection I think you are right about her name it does have a subtle double meaning.

      Reply
      • My pleasure and thanks for spotting the story. It is a good one. It surprised me too. It is a bit bizarre because Americans should be embarrassed by declawing and not publicising it in a mainstream film.

        Reply

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